When it comes to building a retirement home most people head for the coast, but not Tanya and Jeff Trevarthen.

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The Trevarthens made the decision to live at Hampton, 30 kilometres north of Toowoomba on the New England Highway, in about 2011. They were married in 1984, lived at Highfields for 10 years and then on a property near Goombungee for a further 16 years, where they raised their children, Rachel and Matthew. The Hampton property is to be their retirement home. “We chose Hampton for its climate and natural beauty,” Jeff said. “We maintain an interest in rural activities and own a cattle property at Bunya Park, Anduramba, just north of Crows Nest where we run a herd of Brangus breeders. We both still work in Toowoomba so Hampton is an easy commute both ways.” Jeff is a partner in Horizon Accounting Group and Tanya is a director of Knights Commercial Laundry.

The design of their expansive home took a good 12 months, with the brief to create a classic colonial heritage home with some American overtones. “We liked some of the design features of the ‘Hamptons’ homes in America, which coincidentally bare the same name as their hometown village. The build, by Millenium Homes, took a further 15 months.

“We moved in just after Easter 2013. The build was close to budget and we are very happy with the result and the attention to detail in the construction and finish,” they said. A feature of the house is the double height living areas, balconies off the upstairs bedrooms, and red ironbark timber sourced from Bunya Park. Jeff took up tennis again a few years ago and finally got his tennis court in the backyard. The slope on the block allows a view down into the court from the house.

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Tanya did the majority of the home’s decoration with input from some of the main suppliers of products. One had an interior designer on staff. “One of our biggest concerns was that our colour selections would come together,” Tanya told me. “The very first thing we selected for the house was the granite bench top for the kitchen. By the time it was installed 12 months later we could not remember what it looked like! Fortunately it worked out.”

The home is certainly generous in proportions but still manages to be homely and inviting. The Trevarthens now plan to enjoy the home with their family and friends. Jeff said, “Our first Christmas was enjoyed at home last year. We have found the Hampton community to be an eclectic group of people. Many of the residents have moved there from other areas and we have met many wonderful people in the short time we have been there.

“We have five acres of land around the house and are establishing gardens. We have also planted some signature trees around the property that will grow and develop and bring the land and home closer together over time.”

Words & Images by John Elliott