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Weekend in Pictures – The Stradbroke Shack

Above left: Looking straight down the hallway / Above right: tools on the go.

I’m so excited to share this post with you – think of it more like a family album of sorts, loose snaps of where life is right now.

Many of you might know that husband Timothy O and I found a little shack over on Stradbroke Island earlier this year.

After years and years of saving and searching, this 1970s beauty appeared one day on the market, so we headed over to the island to see it. In that classic mind set style of  ‘we can’t afford this, it’s so not going to happen’….. then, it did happen! Ohmygod.

Above left: The old car jam packed with plants / Above right: the new hanging green curtain of Pothus.

This house has such beautiful energy. I burst into tears the first time we visited. I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is that makes it feel this way.

 We don’t want to do anything to disrupt that special feeling. When it comes to making changes I’ve found myself more on the journey of  looking back and trying to find out how the previous owners had things.

I found out that one of the previous owners in the 1970s and 80s had a love for indoor plants. Apparently she made a curtain of pothus hanging down the hallway, so I decided to reinstate it.

Above left: Adder Rock, Stradbroke Island / Above right: one of the three bedrooms in the shack.

For me, any changes made to the house need to be in keeping with the spirit of Stradbroke Island. Very low fi.

Removing new additions and replacing them with originals. In particular, the kitchen. I really want to find out how the old kitchen was.

Above left: Cane eBay find / Above right: the cane eBay find with a few of my favourite objects.

It’s been exciting having a project to find new pieces of furniture for. I came across this old handmade cane piece on eBay in Melbourne and trucked it up.

I want to gently and slowly find the right old pieces for this house. Not to rush in.

Above: Basic bedrooms in the shack.

So many things about this house reminds me of my own childhood; simple things, like the shower head and the taps the bathroom sink.

Little sentimental reminders that catch you of guard and take you back to a much simpler time.

Above: On the ferry heading over to Stradbroke Island with our utes full of building materials.

Then at Easter time, things got lively! Dad and his tools arrived!

My parents came over to help out with some small renovations we wanted to do. So we loaded up both our utes, caught the ferry over and got to work.

Above: My dad and Tim getting into stuck into the ceiling work.

The three bedrooms in the shack have no individual ceilings – it’s an A Frame design – so when you are in bed you look up to the huge high ceiling. It can be rather loud and feels like a dorm.

Above left: Dad, Legend / Above right: Dad standing on his bedroom ceiling / new level floor handwork.


We toyed with the idea of leaving it all original and open, though decided to close in the bedrooms and in time add another room up the top of the bedrooms.

Above: Building bits and pieces sprawled about.

Above left: The Speedy Sandwich maker was working overtime, proudly perched on the faux marble laminex / Above right: deciding between some wallpapers.

I love this old sandwich press, sitting pretty on the laminex. It’s one from childhood and I have such fond memories of Mum making toasties in this little machine.

I took it over to Straddie when we first moved in and it gets a work out every weekend – the simple things.

Above left: The shacks front garden with a small shell collection/ Above right: the entrance.

I’ve been doing some work on the gardens, weeding and planting more of the same varieties of what was originally planted – succulents, bromeliads and tree ferns…. and in doing so have unearthed someone’s old shell collection which I found in the garden.

Above left: Timothy O and I through the window / Above right: full moon dinner with the family on the deck.

Lots more to come which I can’t wait to share with you.


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4 Comments to “Weekend in Pictures – The Stradbroke Shack”

  1. Oh Kara and Mr O – what a dream coming to fruition (that note in the freezer worked!!) Love it all – and love that you are not ‘modernising the soul out of it’ – love love love. So proud of you xxx

  2. Love this so much Kara – you even have umbrellas with fringes!
    I’m in Brisbane/Murwillumbah this week but don’t think I can get to see you, but I always love your posts and follow your progress with pride – not that I had anything to do with it (except spot your talent early on)!
    If ever you are in San Fran…

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