SUNSHINE BEACH, QUEENSLAND – It’s taken six months to source everything from taps and tiles to floor boards, but my beach house project is finally complete and what a pleasure to see all the components blend so beautifully. Best of all, apart from a few minor glitches and the inconvenience of storing furniture which arrived earlier than expected, the project was a delight.
Clean and simple
The client’s original brief was to create a clean and simple environment, without a stereotypical beach theme. He favoured a high end and sophisticated look but was mindful of going over budget. Although the home will mostly be rented out, the client will make use of it too so he wanted to put his mark on it and did so through using his own photographs for artwork. He was also involved in the choice of fittings and furniture from the outset. I think we achieved the best possible outcome by sourcing from a range of suppliers in Brisbane, and on the Sunshine Coast. This gave us the ability to choose quirky pieces such as the rustic vintage framed relics from Brookfield Garden Centre. This unexpected discovery makes a perfect focal point upon entry.
Custom made headboards
I’ve so enjoyed seeing the build develop through the different stages and witnessing some of our design choices implemented. One of the success stories, for example, was the built in bedroom headboards. The cabinet maker was able to use the same tongue and groove design featured in the cupboards and doors to create headboards.
This was ideal for a rental unit as apart from being cost efficient, it also ensured the beds will always be positioned in the right spot. The entertainment units were also custom made so work well in a rental where furniture can often be repositioned by cleaners or holiday renters.
Less is more
The constant challenge was remembering the home was to be used mostly as a rental property so everything we selected had to be durable and cost effective. I had to also be mindful of over-styling and had to remind myself to pare back. Basket-ware and wooden boards in the kitchen were perfect for layering and adding texture and patina without being obvious. I suppose the challenge was for the unit to look like a home but to maintain a ‘less is more’ motto.
Features such as the wide floor boards enhance the homely feel and through age and wear, will add character. I also enjoy the mirrored kitchen splash backs which create the illusion of pulling the outside in. I like the idea of sitting or working in the kitchen area and being able to see other house guests – it opens the area up and creates a wonderful spacious feel. The pendant lights above the kitchen bench were a local find and add a subtle nautical feel without being overly ‘beachy’.
If I had to select a favourite room, it would probably be the master bedroom. I love the window seat and cream tones with subtle layering for contrast and texture. The cow hide adds an eclectic element with its understated natural tones and organic shape. The room is suffused with light when the solid white louvres are opened which adds a sense of airiness so important in a holiday home.
Some minor changes to original specs have also enhanced areas. For example, we increased the size of the bathroom mirrors to give the illusion of space. We took the travertine tiles all the way up the walls rather than using the original white matte tile, again creating a feeling of spaciousness.
Versatility and practicality was the key when selecting furniture. In line with this brief, we chose chairs that could be used both inside and out according to seating requirements. Everything had to be robust to deal with the wear and tear of renting. The cream leather couch in the upstairs living area can be easily wiped clean while the modular on the lower level can be moved around – the grey tone fabric was another practical choice.
In a way, it’s been a wrench completing the project as it’s occupied so much of my thought process. It’s rather like giving birth to a baby and then giving it away! What a privilege to have been involved in the build from start to finish and to know the home will give pleasure for many years to come.
Words: Lois Nicholls
Photography: Keegan Nicholls
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I love to source and initiate change to help clients transform their space into a haven that reflects their personality.
My love of sumptuous fabrics, rich textures and design is carried through to every residential project I oversee.
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