In our March #HousePerv we were pretty chuffed to be invited into the home of three-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and Australian marathon wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley and it was wonderful to chat with his beautiful wife Sheridan and young family.
We’d like to say we got to hang out with a world champion, but we didn’t. After racing in the backdoor fresh from a morning training session, Kurt managed to fit in a quick greeting, followed by a shower, then a play and cuddle with the kids, before heading back out the door again to give a keynote presentation in the Hunter Valley. Luckily, we were in good hands with Sheridan.
Not surprisingly it is a busy time for the family as Kurt is in full training mode preparing for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and we wish him all the best!
The Fearnleys worked with our sister company Compass Additions to turn their Hamilton cottage into a modern dream home.
Come take a peek and enjoy!
IMAGES: Atelier Photography
When did you buy this place?
S: We purchased the house in April 2010. Back then we were newly engaged (getting married in December) and wanted something a little bigger than our current apartment. The house ticked all our boxes – three bedrooms, a bath (for future babies), backyard for our dog, and a garage for all Kurt’s race chairs. It was painted very uniquely by the previous owners and featured a turquoise bedroom, red bedroom, and brown and white striped bedroom. The lounge room was lime green and the dining room, orange. We repainted and began some early renovation work the following year.
What do you love most about living here?
S: We really love our neighbours and also being able to walk to great food and coffee. At the end of 2014 we nearly bought a bigger house in Merewether, but we decided against it knowing that whatever we purchased would need some alterations, and in the end, we didn’t want to leave our neighbourhood.
Can you tell us a little more about the renovation and inspiration behind the design?
S: At the start of 2017 we decided to have another baby, so it really was time to renovate again. Working with Compass was great as they made sure everything was perfect, right down to the precise measurements for Kurt’s wheelchair. They undertook lots of measuring and check measuring for our shower screens and made sure there was a smooth line all the way from the front door to the garage. The design of the house is a great mixture between what works for the wheelchair and what we love.
We have been fortunate to have travelled a lot, so we have seen many different styles and designs. Over the years we have filed away features that really impressed us. For example, a friend in Germany has an exposed brick wall and as soon as we walked into his apartment we fell in love with the look. The back half of our house was fun to design as we wanted it to feel more modern and different to the front section. We chose a polished concrete floor because it provides a smooth surface with no grooves and it also looks great! We both grew up with wood fires, so our home had to have one, although knowing how messy a real wood fire is we opted for gas. Our kitchen is slightly oversized because we hate bumping into each other while cooking. We also really enjoy entertaining, so the kitchen is the heart of our home.
We love your artworks and they work so perfectly, where are they from?
S: We had searched for the perfect art for years to hang on our then dining room wall. But when Kurt met paper conservator Michael Brewster from Studio M, we both fell in love with the look and story behind the vintage posters. They have been resorted and date back to 1900.
And where did you find your cool occasional chair?
S: We found it at an Islington second hand shop. It was green when we bought it, so we had it recovered. It really is the best chair to curl up in and have your morning coffee.
You are both from different country towns, how and when did you meet?
S: Kurt is from Carcoar in the state’s Central West and I’m from nearby Bathurst, about a 40 minute drive away. We met at Charles Sturt University in 2005, he was studying PE Teaching and I was a doing Theatre/Media degree. We had crossed paths a few times before then – Kurt presented me with my school house vice-captain badge in Year 11 during assembly. Our first proper meeting though was at the Uni Bar, after my friend Danie organised an introduction because she knew I thought he was a bit cute.
What do you love most about your home?
S: It has been amazing living in a house where we chose everything together, it really feels like us. I suppose another reason we didn’t want to move was because this is the house we brought Harry home to, where he took his first steps and where we’ve shared so many other special moments. We have the best of both worlds because we get to keep the original home which holds our early family memories and now get to create new ones with our latest arrival, Emilia.