Updated: Dec 26, 2020
When we first arrived in the Pocket, Bliss as it's named now, was a lovely funky little space, with some amazing hand crafted touches, but had seen better days, with white ants settling into chewing through much of the front deck. It was initially a cosy home for some of our Wwoofers, however, towards the end of that time we decided to do a small Reno and to make it our first Cottage to be offered to our guests as part of Sanctuary in The Pocket.
Looking at the image above with the ladder up to the Mezzanine, you will see the little window, which is above the kitchen now.
The first reno
We loved the space and the outlook onto the garden in front but decided we needed to make the living space larger and lighter and bring the outside in, by adding large sliding doors.
Ceilings were painted, large deck and new lounge area was added and the kitchen received a minor makeover.
Guests loved the space, and we received great feedback and had visitors in this iteration for about two and a half years. We did receive some feedback, especially if we had two couples staying, that it would be lovely if we had separate bedrooms and also the mezzanine bed really only appealed to a young age group. So we started to think about how we could remodel the space efficiently and suit a wider group of guests. I also stood out on the deck, looking out at the garden and thinking about building a space similar to what we created in our previous house and business, (Sanctuary@Bilgola) in Bilgola on Sydney's northern beaches.
We wanted the new space to be truly memorable for our guests, something they may have never experienced, something to wow them. In July 2019 it began with the plunge pool.
Next Stop Water Garden, Spa, and Gazebo
and to sculpt the pads for the ponds....
The Internal Build
After a couple of false starts our friend and master builder, Mike Jordan, began the changes to what would be the Internal build, this consisted of removing a number of internal walls and pouring a slab for the new bedroom and bathroom. Along with his crew of Kyle, son Heath and Jimmy, they forged ahead.
I loved working with Mike, as I always start with pretty rough sketches and we work it out collaboratively as we go along, the level of quality in both him and his crew always provides an amazing result.
Mike was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in September 2018, but true to his way ensured that everything was in place to complete the job. Tragically Mike passed in March 2019, and we will never forget the friendship, quality and the part he played in our journey with Sanctuary in The Pocket.
In December 2018, we opened Bliss for business, it had been a long 8 months slog of emotional and financial angst, but 2 years after, We've received so much positive feedback from our guests, it was all worth it.