The home of Helen Nott in East Lismore.
The home of Helen Nott in East Lismore. Cathy Adams

A welcoming family home

HELEN and Neville Nott bought their very run-down house, 10 years ago.

For the past 10 years it's been a huge project for the couple, having floors, ceilings and guttering replaced, as well as a host of other things that needed to be done.

"It was sadly neglected for many years," explains Helen.

"The previous owner was quite elderly. I used to walk past the house with the dog regularly and Neville and I always admired the style of the house.

"The house was built the same year as the Harbour Bridge. I still have the original plans, it's approximately 80 years old and we're only the third family to own it.

"With the help of a builder friend of ours we spent the next two years restoring the house after purchasing it. We replaced some ceilings and some flooring that was badly damaged.

"I wanted people to come and feel comfortable in this house and I love the fact that it's old, all the things I have collected over the years look beautiful in this house.

"I wanted to create a family home that was warm, comforting and inviting. I also wanted to create a space that I could have all the things I've collected over the years," says Helen.

"My husband and I have worked tirelessly in the garden, but especially my husband, he has been amazing. When we bought the house, there was very little here, it was much neglected.

"What we have created is a formal English-style garden; we have extensive box hedges as well as a Japanese garden. We have used the garden twice for events for the Blue & White Society. It's come together so beautifully, and it brings us much joy.

"This house really is our haven. We have our children and grandchildren over a lot, lots of barbecues and lots of sleepovers. It's a wonderful family home, but most importantly it's welcoming and comfortable."