Coastal Retreat

A Place in the Sun

The summer holiday season has us reminiscing about a beach house that we worked on about 6 years ago. Set on the northern NSW coastline, the brief for this holiday home and weekender for a growing family was to create a home that was relaxing, comfortable, practical and robust.

Our inspiration was drawn from the colours and textures of the coast – seaweed, that washes up on to the beach, succulent plants that grow on the edge of the dunes, rocks, the sea in all its myriad tones and moods, sand, driftwood and, of course the vibrant colours of beach towels, umbrellas and deck chairs, scattered along the beach. By mismatching fabrics, and adding ‘found’ pieces of furniture to sit with the new, the interior feels as though it has evolved over years, creating a real family beach house feel. We created different zones within the large living area, some for socialising, others for watching the whales and dolphins swimming by.

The transition to the outside is seamless and creates more places to relax, so that the family can interact or find some solitude. Our material strategy selection for the finishes of the house was a varied palette of timber, stone, stainless steel, sandblasted oregon, zinc and concrete. We kept the joinery simple and minimal, using wicker baskets instead of drawers and open shelves for clothes storage.

The house – which won an AIDA Award – has a relaxed feel about it. It withstands sandy feet and surfboards that find their way in from the beach, and it is also a hospitable home that accommodates a house full of guests. Over Christmas Anna had the opportunity of visiting our clients and was delighted that it had stood up to robust use and looked better than ever.

Photography of Coastal Retreat by Simon Kenny