Staycation Spring 2017 Masthead 2
jstreetexterior

Home: Living on JStreet

Amanda Whitley

Standing on the balcony of Beau and Sam Babic’s Jamrozik Street home, it’s tempting to pull up a chair and stay soaking up the view for hours.

There, in the distance, is the unmistakeable spray of the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, the flagpole of Parliament House, and Telstra Tower’s spire—a vista framed by the lush carpet of the Arboretum and Mount Stromlo. It seems a world away from the bustle of central Canberra.

Image: Sam Babic.

Image: Sam Babic.

I’m in Turbo Construction’s latest project—The JStreet—and I’m tempted to move in. And not only because it has a wine cellar in its four-car garage.

From the moment you step through the wide timber and glass door, this home has a feeling of light and serenity (a word I don’t think I’ve used outside yoga retreats, but it’s apt). A feature wall of salvaged Canberra red bricks leads up a timber staircase to an airy high-ceilinged space with a palette of warm white and greys.

Image: Sam Babic.

Image: Sam Babic.

“We do love ourselves some recycled bricks,” says Sam, lawyer-by-day, builder’s assistant/ designer/ scheduling wizard by night.

“We have used recycled Canberra Red Bricks in the last two big projects we have done. We feel they really bring a touch of history, and some warmth and homeliness to a modern home.”

The husband-and-wife team say they “build houses we want to live in, with all the modern conveniences and features to make a house a home.”

jstreetliving

Image: Ben King.

This is Turbo Construction’s fifth year of building, having evolved from focussing purely on carpentry work when they were established a decade ago. Beau’s craftsmanship is evident in the timber touches throughout the home—from custom hardwood timber floating shelves in the lounge, to the laundry chute which connects the bathroom and bedrooms to the ground-floor utility room.

“We thrive on the custom elements of houses and love creating new fixtures and fittings that make a house unique,” says Sam.

“Whether it be a concrete benchtop from Mitchell Bink Concrete Design or timber accents from Jochen Heinzmann—if we don’t make it, we know where to find it.”

As I walk through the home with Sam and Beau, they chime in at various points—each identifying their favourite features. For Sam, it’s the Astra Walker tapware in French Gold (a stunning contrast to the monochromatic bathrooms); for Beau it’s the way the herringbone-patterned subway tiles align perfectly with the inset shower shelves—these edged in black, adding a luxe simplicity. It’s clear they both bring different strengths to the business.

jstreetbathroom

Image: Ben King.

“We often argue about who is the brains behind this operation. There are a lot of in-jokes about sidekicks and Batman and Robin,” says Beau. “But in all seriousness, we work very closely in all the development and planning activities. We are onsite everyday doing the work, managing the trades and running the site.

“Once the plans are finalised. Sam will take the reins and get all the approvals in place to get the house ready to start. She coordinates all those elements. I then take over and actually build the house (albeit with Sam’s backseat building ‘advice’). We work together to select the finishes and manage the trades. But Sam does all the shopping and Pinteresting of ideas.”

Image: Bel Combridge Photography

Image: Bel Combridge Photography

Beau and Sam tell me that each and every home they create is built to the highest standard, using quality products. They’re not kidding.

“Oh man, the appliances!” enthuses Sam.

“Winning Appliances supplied all of our appliances and tapware—my favourite is the Vintec Wine Fridge, but then there are the Pitt hotplates—with the burners installed straight into stone. They not only look amazing but they are so practical and easy to clean. No more stainless steel!

“And you can’t go past the V-Zug ovens, coffee machine and microwave. Not only do they look amazing with their black glass exterior but they really are a chef’s dream to cook with.”

jstreetkitcheb

Image: Ben King.

The house features a dizzying array of technology—the whole home connected to a security system that can be controlled from laptop or smart phone, enabling access to cameras 24/7.

“The house will email you if there is something suss going on!” says Sam.

“There is also an intercom system that you control from your phone so you can unlock your front door remotely when you get locked out or when your best friend desperately needs access to your wardrobe.”

One of the (usually unsexy) features I was excited to discover was the smart Actron system. As someone who is always cold, with a partner who is always hot, we are in constant conflict over the thermostat. The system from Modern Heating and Cooling allows you to control the individual temperature in every room. It’s thoughtful inclusions like this that make it obvious that  Beau and Sam create spaces they want to live and entertain in.

The home really is a living example of Turbo Construction’s work, and a home as beautiful as this needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Photographs only do so much—they can’t communicate the feel of a place, the way the light falls, the warmth of textures. If you would like to learn more about Turbo Construction or visit the J Street Project, Sam and Beau are offering viewings by appointment only.

Speaking of views—let’s go back to that front balcony where we started our journey. Turbo’s next project is located right across the road and has been purposely designed to protect JStreet’s outlook, whilst making the most of views from the Jamroks’ deck and alfresco area. These are forever views.

As I leave JStreet, I stop and take one last long look—I love everything about it. So much so that, for the first time, I’m tempted to tell my husband that maybe we should consider building from scratch some day. But only if it looks and feels like this. Like home.

The JStreet Project is located at 13 Jamrozik Street in Denman Prospect. Discover more at turboconstruction.com.au or email [email protected]

This is a sponsored post. Grass in feature image has been computer-generated—it’s growing!

Photography of JStreet by Ben King. Image of Beau and Sam by Bel Combridge Photography.

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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