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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

Renovating The Taubmans House

I’m in Manly, a seaside suburb where I can catch a ferry ride to Sydney. The reason I am here is YUGGAWAI (Sleeping Place), a home built in the early 1900s, perched on a hill with great views out to the ocean. I’m working with the new owners who are undergoing a major renovation and transforming this old home into something new for their family. Of course a home like this comes with a story, this is the original residence of Mr Taubman, the creator of Taubmans paints.

When you first arrived you could not see the house from the street, covered by trees and an old and small garage at the front. Construction has already begun, trees and garage have gone and now you can see the original character of this home from the street. The home itself is rich in architectural detail, two storeys with commanding bay windows, clad with shingles on the first floor, a great feature adding lots of texture. As you can imagine the new owners have bought this home for its historical character, but must bring some changes to it, to suit their modern lifestyle as well as capturing the amazing ocean views.

Of course, it’s not just the outside of this home that’s going to be transformed. The home is rich with historical detail, something you would expect from a historical residence. Ornate mouldings, decorative arches, an amazing staircase, marble fireplace and beautiful trims in the architraves and skirtings. But one of the most unique features of this home is the fantastic stained-glass front door.  I’m like a kid in a candy shop.

Now, this house has over one hundred years of history, and along that time it has been changed and transformed by the people that lived here, but one thing that has been here all along is the backyard shed. Here Mr Taubman mixed and created paints. This is a feature that both the owners and I are keen to retain, ensuring that the character and story of this home will continue for another hundred years.

One of the most amazing things about this home is its location, perched on a hill with amazing views, and as part of this renovation a new balcony will be added on top of the front veranda and new french-doors for easy access to ocean views.

This is a historical home, and rich in timber detail, panelling in the doors, elaborate skirting, architraves and amazing ceilings, which I want to highlight ... because there is lots of natural light I could choose a darker colour for the walls than I normally would… well, It’s time to start playing with some colour.

Follow this renovation through the videos released one per week on my Youtube channel, or on social media channels (#TheTaubmansHouse).

Click on the video below to visit Yuggawai before its renovation.

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has 3 decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.



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