Grand Designs Australia

Grand Designs Australia, Toolangi, VIC: Hear from the homeowners Chris and Tabitha, Episode 6 Season 8

We've seen the big reveal on Grand Designs Australia, but what do the new homeowners really think about her new dream build?

Every week, Lifestyle will bring you the inside scoop on each Grand Designs Australia’s homeowner thoughts. From their favourite aspect of their home to what they’d do differently, this week we chat to Chris and Tabitha about their dream build in Toolangi, Victoria.

Favourite parts

For Tabitha, the way the home sits and blends into the landscape is a highlight.

"I like the design and the way it sits in the landscape, it's in proportion with the trees and the colours that we've taken the trouble to use and it's those sorts of things that make it blend in rather than stand out," she says. 

As for the interiors, Tabitha loves that everything looks beautiful and is practical at the same time.

"We live in the country, so we're not going to have a pristine surface or floor all the time. When we were buying the kitchen cupboards I took the kids in to try out the ones I was going to buy and told them to put their fingers all over it," she says. "Even the floor with the oiled finish, it's very low-maintenance and looks good. It is very liveable and practical - you don't want to be stressing about fingerprints every day!"

Meanwhile, Chris loves the timber feature wall up the staircase and the fact that everything in the home has a great story behind it. 

"I think the timber brings a lot of warmth into the house and I love watching people's expressions when they go upstairs because they don't get an idea of the size of it until they walk up there," he says.
Everything has a little story behind it, too. For example that timber is third hand. So many houses these days have no character, whereas I like to think every piece in ours has a story, from the tiles to the glass in the floor."

READ MORE: Behind the scenes of Grand Designs Australia with Peter Maddison: Toolangi, VIC

Any changes?

Both Chris and Tabitha are very happy with their labour of love and wouldn't change a thing. 

"I don't think we'd change anything - there are a few teething problems with bits and pieces but they're things that are easily sorted out, like adjusting to having a light paint colour on the walls," Tabitha tells. 

What next?

While many wait for that feeling of joy when they walk into their home, Chris and Tabitha didn't quite get that feeling immediately. 

"From the day we moved in I was completely over the house," Chris reveals. "I was run down emotionally, mentally, physically and financially and I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't get the feeling that I was hoping to get. But when I was working outside for the reveal shoot, I walked into the house after Tabitha and a couple of interior designer friends of ours had been preparing the house and in that moment it hit me. I just though wow - this is actually ours! I'll never forget that moment."

Tabitha admits that the whole process is all-consuming and her focus is now on the outdoors. 

"I just want to get outside and plant my fruit trees in the garden," she says. "As a horticulturist that's all I want to do!"

Best of all, Chris and Tabitha see this place as being their forever home that will carry them through all life stages. 

"The house works for the kids, entertaining or if a family member comes up to stay it works on a number of different levels and across different stages of our lives - our forever home on that block of land that's so special to us.

Watch Grand Designs Australia Wednesdays 8.30pm on Lifestyle or On Demand.

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