By Jess Binns, Project Consultant Catherine De Vinceno, Property Coordinator Judy Fogarty, Photographer Chris Allan
The owners of this coastal home were adamant that they wanted to steer clear of the “cookie cutter” – beach-house interior typical of older ocean-view properties. The remodernisation of this house needed to be unique yet homely, contemporary yet comfortable – a building that spoke to its surroundings, not to mention the 180-degree sea view.
Working with the area’s natural landscape, they selected a soft khaki tone, which helps the house to blend, and even recede, into the background. Balau timber has been used in abundance to blur the boundary lines, its weathered qualities further enhancing the visual and textural appeal.
A central staircase to the back of the house is the perfect link to the pool area below; beyond this you can find raised walkways through the bush, leading out on to viewing decks. Individual covered balconies soften the exterior facade, alongside large retaining planters full of lush greenery, which helps to disguise the steep ascent back indoors.
The interior designer based her brief on a well-known ocean-inspired saying: the calm before the storm. The outcome of such inspiration is a palette of moody greys against weathered wood, neutral sand tones and flashes of white. In order to retain the character and charm, the original roof beams of the old outdoor covered area were recycled and made into a striking kitchen island.
The old roll-top bath has also been reused and repositioned in an outdoor bathroom. Set of the main master en-suite, this makes for a great place to unwind after a long day.
Carrying the upcycling theme through to the furnishings, existing chairs, coffee tables and the original bar were stripped and either resealed or repainted, giving each piece a new lease on life.
Living at the sea, there had to be an element of practicality to the materials chosen. For the kitchen and the bathrooms, rough-textured tiles solved the anxiety of slippery floors and happily slot into the moody colour tones. Wood and wicker prevail outdoors for their durability and aesthetic appeal, while outdoor fabrics were chosen to complement, but not dominate. Where absolutely necessary, brass ironmongery was employed to weather the salty air.
For the owners, getting the look and feel right was just one aspect to creating their forever home. The layout needed to flow – as regular entertainers, it was important to have all the public living areas on the same floor. That way guests can mil from one space to the next and not feel cut off.
In contrast, privacy can also be found, if and when needed. There is ample choice for curling up with a good book, whether it’s in the swing chair on the veranda or up in the reading room with its soft seating.
All of the bedrooms offer up style and comfort. Restful shades of grey offset crisp-white bed linen, alongside statement or unusual pieces of furniture that differ from room to room.
In the master bedroom, decoratively carved oak panels act as a feature headboard, finished either side by long, graceful mirrors that bounce natural light back into the room.
A flat-screen TV has also become a feature, perched on an artist’s easel. This quirky idea is a fun and pleasing solution that adds, rather than detracts, from the space.
The further you wander around this home, the more there is to discover. Each nook and cranny has been lovingly curated; plants overspill from the outside in. Nature really does envelop you here.
Lastly, it’s all about the ocean itself. It’s invited in through every doorway and window, and is the perfect antidote to modern living.