Having a house where you actually enjoy spending time in has became more of a priority for many of us since the pandemic.
Certainly that was in the minds of Gold Coast couple Azra Alagic and Gary Waldon when they bought a four-bedroom property and renovated it in a way that reminds them of their last pre-covid trip: a Greek island honeymoon.
“When you are sort of forced to stay at home for an extended period like that, it makes you think more about where you’re living and how you’re living.
“We bought it when we weren’t able to travel. I thought that the house had good bones and I could see that we could turn it into something special and recreate maybe a bit of a mini Greece here,” Ms Alagic told Neos Kosmos.
“I had been to the islands and Athens before a few times but Gary hadn’t. So I really wanted him to experience it.
“I studied, ancient history in school and I’ve always had a fascination for Greece, and the rich cultural history it has. And, you know, the Mediterranean is just spectacular and Gary loves the ocean. So, I knew that he would love the islands. They are just breathtakingly beautiful.”
How did they go about incorporating the ‘holiday feel’ in the Helensvale property?
“We looked at ways of how we could include elements of Greek island architecture like the curves and the arches, the rendered walls and the Venetian plaster.”
It helped that the builder and the architects were “on board and very enthusiastic” about the couple’s vision for the house.
“I think Australian architecture has sort of been a little set for some period of time[…] Both Gary and I had that creative mindset and out-of-the box thinking, so they worked really well with us as a team to create the vibe we wanted for the house,”said Ms Alagic.
The couple have recently put the house on the market, as they plan to resume their globetrotting action, including a return to Greece to discover more of its islands.
“We very much love living here. But now that we can travel again, Europe is calling. So if somebody else loves to have the house, then we will sell it and we will go for an extended travel. That’s the plan.”
Ms Alagic shares her main tips for homeowners looking to recreate the Greek holiday aesthetic:
Keep the palette neutral
“Think of white buildings and rendered walls. Using materials and architecture in that way to create something similar is key to getting that sort of Greek island vibe.”
Open the space up
“When you go to the Greek islands, it is very much about the views. So you want to have a beautiful open floor plan in the house.”
Invite the outdoors inside
“If you’re fortunate enough to have water views, maximise those views so that nature almost comes indoors as well, and creates that relaxing vibe.”
Cement white stairs
“Every time I walk down the white stairs from the master suite, I feel like I’m in Santorini or Mykonos and it’s just wonderful to bring those memories from our honeymoon into what we’ve created here.”