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A considered renovation and clever retrofitting turned a small dilapidated house on Wathaurong country into a rustic, coastal retreat for this creative young family.

When Harriet Birrell (otherwise known as Natural Harry) and husband Fraser West needed somewhere to live, they felt overwhelmed by the price of buying close to family on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.

‘We had a very small budget,’ explains Harriet. But when the option arose to renovate a small, run-down house on land owned by relatives, the couple jumped at the opportunity. At 40 m2, ‘It’s not technically a tiny home, as it’s not mobile and cannot fit in a trailer, but it’s small nonetheless’. By utilising their own skills and labour and incorporating upcycled and reclaimed materials, the couple made the house liveable within six months, creating a compact but well-considered space, full of light and closely connected with the outdoors.