Vincentia property transformed into luxury retreat Stay.Casita

Brendan Crabb
By Brendan Crabb
December 22 2021 - 10:00pm

Sydney-based Heidi Albertiri and husband Douk Konstantaras say their first attempt at renovating a home was "daunting".

"I come from an interiors background as a stylist... I've always styled, but styling for sets is very different to styling in 'real life'," she said.

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"I'm a creative person so I had a vision for what I wanted to create. To articulate that to a bunch of other people can be challenging, but you have to be strong in what you're creating, and own that."

Located in the South Coast village of Vincentia, 'Stay.Casita' has recently been transformed from an original 90's brick home into a renovated and styled, Mediterranean-influenced luxury retreat.

Heidi Albertiri and husband Douk Konstantaras. Picture: Supplied

The couple had been holidaying on the South Coast for many years, and had been looking to buy a home to renovate in the area for some time.

"We didn't know if we could afford Vincentia at the time, but we just happened to discover this one," Mrs Albertiri said.

"They dropped the price because they couldn't seem to sell it, so we made an offer and it was accepted straight away. We just got in before the boom."

They bought the house in late 2020, and set about their first renovation project.

The property, pictured prior to the renovation.

They gutted the inside of the house and opened it all up, thus transforming it into an ultra modern home.

Stay.Casita was designed and curated by Mrs Albertiri, founder of digital content agency The Life Style Edit and former style editor at Home Beautiful magazine; and Mr Konstantaras, a painter.

They worked with local trades on the project, and Mrs Albertiri has filled Stay.Casita with textures, finishes, luxury linens and furniture from a range of brands.

The property, pictured prior to the renovation.

"This property is kind of our exit plan out of Sydney in retirement," Mrs Albertiri said.

In the meantime, the retreat has been designed for short stays, long weekends or for brands and businesses who are looking for a unique location to shoot their products.

The house features a kitchen offering high-end appliances and two living spaces.

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How a couple turned a South Coast home into a luxury retreat

There are also three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a backyard complete with firepit and outdoor shower.

The back entertaining area features a barbecue, lounge area and a large dining table.

"We have poured our hearts and soul into creating this little house and I just want people to notice all the details, the little things, every single thing has been put in the house for a reason and that is to be purposeful, beautiful and to bring joy," Mrs Albertiri said.

"I wanted to create a look and feel of pair backed, effortless styling that will allow all visitors to melt into the minute they step through the door."

From early December, the property has been listed for holiday rental on its own website, Airbnb, Stayz, and also the Jervis Bay Breaks website, a holiday rental accommodation company who manage the property.

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"Having spent time living here, I'm obsessed with living here permanently now," Mrs Albertiri said.

"Once we start to get regular income from this house, we'll start looking at doing the next place."

How a couple turned a South Coast home into a luxury retreat

Jervis Bay Breaks owner Jenny Bainbrigge said a lot of the properties now utilised as holiday rentals in the area had been renovated during the past few years.

She said of the 70 properties they manage (the majority of which are in Huskisson and Vincentia) about half are older houses that have been long-standing family holiday homes.

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"But quite a few of our properties have had renovations over the past five years or so to keep them up to people's standards," she said.

"People expect much the same standard as what they have in their own home, so it's important to meet that standard by keeping the rentals up-to-date."

Brendan Crabb

Brendan Crabb

Illawarra/South Coast property reporter

I'm a member of ACM's national property team, covering the Illawarra and South Coast. Based in Albion Park, NSW, I write about exciting, interesting or just downright quirky properties that have been listed for sale, major sales, market trends, auctions and more. One of my favourite aspects of being a journalist is I believe everyone has a story to tell. What's yours?