Christmas Day in Queensland is often hot and humid, yet the warm weather is welcomed by designer Kristy, her husband Trent and daughters Chloé and Willow, as it’s the perfect time of year to make the most of their enviable waterfront home, complete with its own jetty and wraparound pool which envelops a resort-style pavilion.
Last Christmas, the family took to the water on their boat for a leisurely morning cruise along the river, stopping off at friends’ jetties for a visit and quick dip, before returning home to tuck into a long alfresco lunch of glazed ham, prawns and cold salads rounded off with a generous scoop of pavlova.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in the pool. “The girls splashed about and swam, while the adults relaxed in the submerged water lounges; it felt like a holiday home,” recalls Kristy of their first Christmas in the house. The plan this year is to enjoy more of the same. “The girls love baking Christmas cookies and we have fun decorating them. They’re always keen to put the tree up as early as possible, often before it’s even December,” says Kristy with a smile. “The day itself goes so fast, so we really make the most of the lead-up.”
These days, they couldn’t imagine a more idyllic place to call home, yet when Kristy began designing the place several years ago, it wasn’t intended for them. At the time, they’d just put the finishing touches on their own ‘Hamptons haven’ a few streets away, which featured in Home Beautiful in 2018, and had no plans to move.
WHO LIVES HERE? Kristy, a designer; husband Trent, owner of Giumelli Group; their daughters Chloé, eight, and Willow, five; and dog Ralphy, 15.
WHAT’S YOUR CHRISTMAS DECORATING STYLE? Kristy: “I love lots of white and green with natural elements and elegant gold pieces. Last year, we had a beautiful lit-up angel and reindeer that stood on the waterfront.”
WHAT MAKES A GREAT HOME? Kristy: “Plenty of areas where you can enjoy being together, as well as quiet spaces you can retreat to for alone time.”
HOW DO YOU SPEND THE SUMMER? Kristy: “We spend plenty of time at home in the pool and at the beach, then often head off somewhere for a week or two.”
“When I first saw the outlook across the water, I knew it was an incredibly special location,” reflects Kristy. A Ralph Lauren ‘Riley’ large ring chandelier from The Montauk Lighting Co. was the catalyst for the interior style and soaring void, which visually links the living area to the upper floor. “It’s my favourite piece in the house,” says Kristy. “I love its sheer size and navy leather detail.” Furnished for comfort and style, an Eclectic Style rug unifies the generous Molmic sofa, teamed with ‘Bermuda’ chairs from Alfresco Emporium, ample Bandhini Design House cushions and a coffee table from JAC Home Living.
“This home was a development project I was running and midway through the build, after Trent had been on site, he said, ‘I think we should live there, it’ll be amazing’, so that’s what we did,” she recalls.
“I tweaked the design on the fly, to suit our family, and when the build was finished, we sold our house and moved in.” As much as they loved their previous abode, the family agrees this one trumps it, with its incredible waterside location and outlook across to a quaint stone walk bridge, which looks straight out of a picture book.
The home itself is just as dreamy. With a flair for Hamptons-inspired interiors and architecture, infused with a Queensland coastal sensibility, Kristy’s design melds timeless elegance with a connection to generous outdoor areas and plenty of fun features, including porthole windows and a boathouse cubby for the girls.
Family life and entertaining plays out in the lower level open-plan kitchen and living areas, designed around the view, and a striking Ralph Lauren pendant from The Montauk Lighting Co. “As soon as I saw the pendant, I just loved it and it influenced the whole palette,” says Kristy of the stylish interiors, awash with a sea of deep blues, set against a backdrop of fresh white walls in Dulux Lexicon Quarter, linen furnishings, decorative brushed-brass feature lighting and a touch of leather.
Beyond the French doors in the formal living room, a custom daybed basks in the sun, while inside a Molmic sofa coupled with an occasional chair and ottoman from Lavender Hill Interiors, and Dash & Albert rug, sit fireside. Although Queensland’s subtropical climate rarely requires the Schots Home Emporium fireplace to warm up the space, it adds an elegant focal point, framed by a tactile backdrop of Dry Alpine Stacked Stone. For similar stone, try Eco Outdoor. The artwork was sourced at Bandhini Design House, and the collection of cushions are from Paloma Living and Bandhini Design House. A handy side table by JAC Home Living sits next to the plump sofa. Flooring throughout the home is Royal Oak Floors in French Grey.
With three guest bedrooms, all with ensuites, and numerous places throughout the house to relax, kick back and enjoy an afternoon nap on a daybed, it’s perfect for hosting Christmas get-togethers. This year, Kristy’s parents and Trent’s mum are planning an extended stay over the festive season. “It’s all about being with family, good food and watching the kids have fun,” says Kristy. “Here we can fish, swim, go boating and feed ducks straight off the jetty. Living here really is amazing and we love sharing it with family.”
Of the sun-drenched main bedroom, enveloped in French doors, Kristy says, “It has such a beautiful outlook; you could sit in there all day and watch the world go by.” A four-poster bed from Xavier Furniture, teamed with crisp Pillow Talk linen, Bandhini Design House cushions and a throw from Provincial Home Living, adds to the room’s resort-like appeal.
While the girls have their own bathroom, they love to use Kristy and Trent’s ensuite. “I’ll usually get in the bath 10 minutes before they jump in with their toys,” says Kristy of the tub from Schots Home Emporium, raised on Carrara tiles from Marble & Ceramic Corp. Rather than conceal storage, custom-installed JAC Home Living cabinets are used to display pretty pieces, with essential accoutrements kept in lower cabinets.
Bi-fold doors blur the distinction between indoor and outdoor zones, opening the entrance hallway to an oasis dotted with established olive trees. “I love having trees in water areas, it’s the tropical part of me,” says Kristy, who spent time living in the Cook Islands and Fiji growing up. Chloé and Willow also enjoy a paddle in the shallow water, which gleams when the sun hits the custom-coloured pearl glass mosaics from Slate and Stone. The fresh exterior palette is Dulux Lexicon Double, with trims in Dulux Basalt.
DESIGN: Gmelli Design, @gmellidesign
ARCHITECT: Invilla Architecture, invilla.com.au/
BUILDER: Wes Hall, 0419 793 241.
POOL: SCE Pools, 0407 569 016.
JOINERY: Wyer + Craw, (07) 3856 2400, wyercraw.com.au.