Love It Or List It Australia

Can good design help to heal this family’s growing pains?

In episode three of Love It Or List It Australia, can Neale create enough room for this busy family of nine?

Sydney family the McEvoys currently share a classic three bedroom Californian bungalow within the city’s sought after inner west.

The only trouble is, the family includes mum Leanne, Dad Glenn, and a whole chorus of seven children, from teenage through to toddler.

The charming Canterbury house is quite literally bursting at the seems – but still has a very special foothold in the McEvoy’s hearts as the place where the family came to life and grew (and grew!)


Lack of space is pretty problematic for the McEvoys – meal time must be staggered within the tiny kitchen, and Glenn and Leanne’s eldest daughter must bunk with her younger sisters in the neat three bedroom home.

All of the rooms in the house are located on a single level, with an enclosed veranda at the front, and dining room and kitchen to the rear.

As always, host Neale Whitaker believes that good design is the solution – but Andrew Winter’s convinced extra space could only be found somewhere totally new.


Neale's design idea

Within Glenn and Leanne’s AUD $280,000 renovation budget, Neale needs to deliver five or more bedrooms, another bathroom, additional living space and an outdoor area.

To win the family over, and convince them to fall back in love with their Canterbury bungalow – Neale optimises space and functionality by swapping rooms around. He also offers to build an 8m rear extension, drawing from the expansive backyard. The only compromise is that he’ll only be able to create two extra bedrooms for the family.

Andrew’s pitch to sell

Glenn and Leanne have a budget of AUD $1.7m if they decide to sell up.

For a potential new home, Andrew must find a bigger house, with five or more bedrooms, spacious living and outdoor areas, and air conditioning – all within Sydney’s highly contended inner west suburbs.

Andrew’s first property is a little further afield, at Picnic Point on the Georges River in Sydney’s south west. It’s a modern two-storey home, with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a four car garage – light years apart from their current home. For Leanne however, the style of the home is a little too clean.

Andrew’s second house is a little older but boasts a lot of timeless charm and separate living spaces. It’s located in Arncliffe, with five bedrooms, three bathrooms and space for two cars.

Lastly, Leanne and Glenn visit a sprawling multilevel home in Earlwood, which neighbours their home suburb, Canterbury. This large family home has sweeping views across the area as well as large bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a contained flat at street level.


The verdict

List it!

"Good design should always improve lives," Neale believes. His unbelievable transformation brought the family to tears, as he made special nooks within the house for the family to come together and enjoy. 

In the end however, the McEvoys decided the time had come to find four walls with much more space, and to create memories in a new home. 

Watch Love it or List it Australia on Lifestyle, Wednesdays at 8.30pm


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