Beauty and the builder: Mackay pair transform run-down home
DRIVING down Hunter St every day for two years, Madison Strutynski and Michael Cotter fell in love with with the neglected 1950s Queenslander at number 19.
So when the property was listed for sale shortly after they sold the house they were renovating, which was up the road, they jumped at the chance to bring the once-grand home back to life.
Before renovations began:
Initially the couple planned to renovate and on-sell the property but as each day of renovation passed, they knew it was starting to feel more like home.
"We purchased it for $260,000; it was a bank repossession. We probably spent a little more than we would have liked but sometimes you just have to when you want something bad enough," Madison said.
"Originally we decided we would fix it up as is and remove all of the downstairs area.
"But when we moved in we decided to do a big renovation, lift the house and convert the downstairs into a living space and live here for a little while."
The Hunter St house flip:
The lower level, complete with polished concrete flooring, includes a kitchen, dining and living areas, a guest suite with bathroom and a powder room, and a large entertaining area with built-in kitchen.
A striking custom-made black steel staircase separates the new from the old, leading up to three bedrooms and two bathrooms with retained classic features such as stained glass windows, tongue and groove panelling and high ceilings.
With builder-by-trade Michael on the tools and Madison a professional building designer, the pair have been able to control almost every aspect of the transformation.
"The good thing about our dynamic is we are both perfectionists so we want everything to be perfect down to the tap ware or whatever it is," Madison said.
"I work at Tempus Design Studio and Michael is a sole trader for Cotter Builders. We work full time during the week and then we renovate on the weekends."
When they are not working together on their own home, Madison and Michael join forces professionally and help others with property projects.
"We like to think we have the whole package. Often I'll help the clients and do the design work and interior selections and then Michael will do the build," Madison said.
But no project is quite as special as their Hunter St home transformation, which nearly a year from start date is creeping toward finalisation.
The couple have won multiple Master Builder awards for previous renovation efforts and intend to enter their latest masterpiece for recognition this year.