June 21, 2016

With the stunning Lopi fireplace in the heart of the family living room, a gorgeous fresh white kitchen and vast deck out the back, Vermont residents Jacqui and Travis Delarue say they love their Pastoral Street home.

“Last winter we loved the fireplace!” says Jacqui.

“We’ve never had a fire before and we often fell asleep watching the TV in front of the fireplace.

“I love that it heats up the whole house.”

Jacqui and Travis, and their children five-year-old Heidi and one-year-old Fletcher, have called Pastoral Street home for the past three years.

This is the second house the family built themselves, having owned at McGraths Hill for more than two years prior to buying at Vermont.

Jacqui says they moved into her parents’ house in Richmond while deciding their next move.

“We drove around and knew the land at Vermont was for sale. We saw the block we liked, went to the Bird In Hand pub for a drink and a think, and then we decided there and then to buy!” she says.

Travis runs Del Building and Design, a local business which specialises in new builds, renovations, extensions, decks, pergolas and second storey extensions, so he undertook the build himself.

It took him a year to complete, working on the house after hours and on weekends with the help of local tradesmen, including a concreter and Riverstone kitchen maker.

Jacqui says they also engaged an architect who was able to modify the designs of a house they liked to suit the family’s needs.

Jacqui says that having experienced one home build already, she had a better understanding of what she wanted this time around. She says she knew they preferred a single-level home for the ease of family life and for keeping an eye on their young kids.

“The home was specifically designed to give us clear lines of sight to the kids whether they were in the open-plan living, kitchen and dining room, the bathroom or outdoor area,” she says.

The result is a beautiful four-bedroom family home, with modern, clean lines and ‘industrial’ touches.

Jacqui’s advice to others embarking on their own build is to carefully consider the choice of architect and builder.

“Engage a good builder, and choose the best architect that you can afford. That way you have more control and a higher quality result,” says Jacqui.

“I also recommend using an interior stylist to help finish off your look.”

Jacqui says she enjoys the lifestyle at Vermont.

“There’s so much more here at Vermont, I love it,” she says.

“We love taking the kids to the local park, water-skiiing on the river with friends and going to the Vintage Pantry for a coffee. And we’re so close to Windsor or Richmond when we want to go out for dinner.”

Jacqui says she also enjoys entertaining on the timber decking that wraps around the back of the house, surrounded by bamboo screening.

“We celebrated Fletcher’s christening there and the children love playing outside,” she says.

The opportunity to be more involved with the community through volunteering with local breast cancer charity, Pink Finss, has been rewarding for Jacqui, who also works part time as a PA in the city.

Having experienced the loss of her good friend in 2014 after a six-month battle with breast cancer, Jacqui says Pink Finss was a natural fit for her to give back to the local community and help families in need.

Jacqui says she’s now working on the charity’s upcoming annual race day at the Hawkesbury Race Club in September.

Expect more at Vermont

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