Dream rural escape

The dream of living on a rural block and having sweeping views became reality
for the Wenzels and Sarah Homes' Heysen 4e was the ideal home for it.

Escaping to the country is a dream many of us have, but it's often something not many of us manage to fulfil. However, Brenton and Susan Wenzel were determined to make this dream their reality, moving from the Adelaide Hills to Mannum.

Securing a 3.5ha rural allotment at Mannum on the River Murray,just over an hour from Adelaide, the couple wanted to build a permanent home that would make the most of their land and extensive views. After much research they decided on the Heysen 4e design by Sarah Homes, wanting a low-maintenance easy-care home to cater for their working lifestyles. The design offers four bedrooms, two bathrooms and one large living zone incorporating the kitchen/ dining/living, with the couple choosing to have a wraparound veranda and deck surrounding the home.

'We chose Sarah Homes' Heysen 4e design for several reasons, although it was one of the least expensive of the options we looked at, it adapted easily to the changes we wanted to make in the layout," Susan says. 'We decided on four bedrooms as we were moving from the city and further away from family and friends, so it was important to have room for overnight visitors and open living space for entertaining."

Attracted to riverside Mannum for its simplistic charm and abundance of flat, open space, they wanted a home that mirrored this outlook and maximised their views. 'We both work full-time, so it is important that our home be low maintenance and easy living," Susan says. "The open-plan living space gives us room for guests and the veranda pretty much doubles the footprint of the house, and with the sliding glass doors front and back we can open the space up so easily."

Adding on the veranda (optional extra) not only doubled the size of the house, but also ensured it took into account the weather conditions and also helped reduce energy costs.  "We were quite careful in how we positioned the house, so the veranda gives us full shelter from the hot summer sun, while letting the afternoon sun warm the living area and bedroom through the winter months," Susan says.

"We also have a large solar array and there is so much more sun out here than back in the Adelaide Hills, it helps keep our power bills very low." Choosing to keep the interior minimal, the focus on zoning gives the design a homely feel , ensuring it has plenty of areas to relax in. "We didn't have a lot of money for decorating, so comfort was most important in the long run," Susan says.

"The guest bedrooms are at one end of the house with a bathroom and toilet, and laundry, while our bedroom is at the other end of the house, so having visitors is never an inconvenience and we still feel we have our privacy." Focusing on planting out their allotment came next and Susan had a strong focus on working with the land and taking the time to invest in their property.

"We have planted over a thousand native trees and shrubs, along with an orchard and vegetable garden," she says. "Once our boundary trees have grown a bit more we can start looking at some more exotic species, and when our plants have grown we'll be living in our very own park."

Proving that making dreams a reality doesn't have to break the bank, Brenton and Susan have managed to switch their busy city lifestyle for a laid-back country dream. "We just love it out here, away from the city bustle - this is our home."

 

14-May-2017 - The Sunday Mail Home Magazine

For more information about the house in this story please look at the Heysen 4e.