For Roberta and Pat Eastman looking for a holiday house was akin to a search for the Holy Grail. They knew just what they wanted and were prepared to wait for the right one to come along. They were looking for a property that satisfied the needs for a family holiday home that could also provide an income and rekindle parts of their youth.
The quest for a bolthole away from their busy lives in Sydney took some time and saw them investigate many areas including the NSW South Coast. One thing they knew was that it had to be close to the ocean. For self-confessed beach lovers this was non-negotiable.
The Central Coast with its relaxed atmosphere and proximity to their Sydney home kept luring them back and for Roberta, having had property before at McMasters Beach it was familiar territory that she knew well. The Eastmans spent many weekends getting to know their way around again and so when a lady from a cafe at Pearl Beach phoned to say there was a beach house for sale they jumped in the car quick smart. “It was a horrible day and the place was a mess,” Roberta recalls, “but I knew right away that this was it!”
Snugly sandwiched between thriving Ettalong and isolated Patonga, Pearl Beach has become a home away from home for many celebrities. Its cafes, relaxed feel and “away from it all” atmosphere have created a sense of community that many beachside hamlets rarely achieve. This was brought home to Roberta and Pat when it came time to start the renovations. The shell was sound but the place really needed a facelift.
“We went through a process of elimination of colours for the outside” Pat says. “We painted large areas at the front to see how it looked in different lights”. This practice produced a variety of reactions from the locals from disbelief and acceptance to open hostility.
The couple eventually settled on a bright yellow, a favourite colour for both and chose Dulux Manz lightened with white to produce their own shade. They were understandably wary about the reaction their neighbours might have but were delighted when one of the older locals told them he thought it was perfect and looked just the way all the old properties used to look back in the day.
Renovations began in earnest and the inside gained a well needed paint job. The house had a ‘60s retro feel and Roberta was able to call on the past choosing bright, happy-coloured tiles in the kitchen that reminded her of her childhood home growing up on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
To the front the couple added a screen which provides a handy extra living space and the perfect spot for a quiet read or a cup of tea in the afternoon. At the back, patio doors open to a secluded deck for surveying the garden and the neighbouring bushland where the local scrub turkeys often visit. “The garden was a tip when we bought,” Pat says, proudly admiring the lawn. It is often noted that Pearl Beach has the appearance of bushland with houses set among it rather than the expected opposite.
Despite the house being available for holiday rentals, Roberta was keen to maintain its family-friendly air and has chosen many personal pieces to decorate the interior. The decor in the living space is fresh and white and provides a perfect backdrop for stylish furniture and vintage pieces that the couple has gathered from many trips within Australia and abroad.