Nestled on the banks of Callandoon Creek, the aspect of their home allows them to enjoy views of the water, and of hundreds-of-years-old ghost gums adorning the creek bank. Kate and Bart’s love affair with this site began more than 10 years ago.
Bart found ‘The Block’ while Kate was doing a stint in the city. He subsequently enticed her back to town. Their property’s name evolved after many weekends spent clearing, planting and picnicking at ‘the block’.
Kate originally hails from Croppa Creek in New South Wales and Bart is Goondiwindi born and bred. Kate moved to Goondiwindi 18 years ago and the couple have been an item for 14 of those years. They married in 2007 and held their wedding reception at ‘The Block’, under a marquee where the kitchen now lies, marking the first of many life events ‘The Block ‘ will witness.
The decision to build a new home six years ago was not an easy one, as Kate loves old houses. Her previous home was an old Queenslander, full of warmth and character, which she bought when she first moved to town. But when faced with the decision to renovate or build afresh, Kate and Bart discovered the Queenslander posed too many hurdles. Their hope for their new home was to replicate the aura of their beloved old Queenslander.
The new home was designed by Aspect Designs in Toowoomba, under Kate’s watchful eye. Utilising a U-shaped design, the bedrooms are on the northern side and living spaces on the southern, with a pool in the centre. Kate requested big open living spaces. The goal was to create enough space for kids to scoot around on trikes, but to also accommodate children Claudia (7) and Jake (5) as they grow into teenagers and beyond.
The brief has been met with grace and style, with a huge entryway leading into wide hallways, large bathrooms and a kitchen, dining and living area to die for. Kate claims these adjoining spaces to be her favourite, as she can be a part of what’s going on whilst whipping up a storm in the kitchen.
The welcoming warmth of her home is accentuated by her decorating. Kate says, “Nothing matches in my home,” but it works; her home is filled with her eclectic taste and style. Kate has sourced her furnishings and decor largely by foraging. The texture of what she has created exemplifies her love of old things embedded within the new. The Block’s home and gardens are adorned with Bart’s creative masterpieces, all made from steel and crafted at his engineering workshop. Limited only by his imagination, Bart’s creations include custom-made screens and fire pits, amazing sculptures, and delicate steel flowers.
Kate and Bart appreciate daily the wonderful home and outlook they have created together in which to raise their family.
Words and Images by Mandie O’Shea