Home Tours

Buddy and Jesinta Franklin list ‘Villa Casa’ – their show-stopping contemporary home

A contemporary dwelling on the Gold Coast where one interior designer delivered her dream home to take in spectacular coastal views.
John Downs

When designer and interior stylist Dominee and her builder husband Ben built their new home on the Gold Coast, it wasn’t their first rodeo. In fact this is the ninth time that the couple, who tackled their first house when they were just 19, have built a place for themselves and their daughters, Macey, 10, and eight-year-old Willow.

When sold in 2022 to high-flying couple, AFL legend Lance “Buddy” Franklin and his model and entrepreneur wife Jesinta after just six days on the market, the property was billed as, “The most viewed house in Australia.” Now it’s on the market again, less than two years after the couple moved in with their young family. We tour the luxury villa and discover Dominee’s vision for this alluring contemporary dwelling.

This showstopping home has hit the market again.

Buddy and Jesinta Franklin snapped up the Mediterranean-style mansion in 2022 for a record $8.75m.
The family are rumoured to be heading to a farm next. “We’re actually thinking of selling up and buying a farm now, so yeah, we’ll see how we go,” Jesinta told Channel 7’s The Morning Show. “We just love the idea of being on land, growing our own food, having horses, a couple of Highland cows, we’d love that.”
The property is scheduled for auction on Sat 10 Aug at 11:00 am. See the full listing here.

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contemporary white home exterior
(Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

Frequent movers the family may be, but they weren’t even contemplating calling the removalists when someone knocked on the door of their previous property and asked if they’d consider selling. Serendipitously, a block in the same street but set at a higher elevation – delivering spectacular 180-degree views of the coast – became available, and the decision was made. “It’s quite rare to get this type of view here,” explains Dominee. “We weren’t really ready to move or leave, and I had nothing in my head design-wise yet, but we hit the ground running and pulled it together.”

contemporary home entrance round white table
(Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

Who lives here? Dominee, a designer and interior stylist, and her husband Ben, a builder; their daughters Macey, 10, and Willow, eight; plus dogs Chip and Snickers.

Favourite room in this house? Dominee: “I do love the kitchen! And that front lounge room is just absolutely beautiful, so lit with sunshine.”

Anything you would do differently? “We’ve been living in this house for more than nine months and there is honestly still nothing that I’ve found that has annoyed me.”

Is this your forever home? “Eventually we’ll move on. It’s in our nature … I’ve got another little book of ideas brewing in my mind for next time. So we’ll see how long it takes for me to get itchy feet!”

contemporary living room mezzanine trit sofa
LIVING ROOM A modular sofa from Trit House follows the line of the balcony and its custom brass balustrade. “This room needed a beautiful curved sofa because of the way it’s set up,” says Dominee. The Home Bazar coffee table sits on a rug from Globe West. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)
contemporary living room windows to garden
LOUNGE A chequered ‘Harper’ cushion picks up the tones in the twin armchairs from Estilo Studio and a white King sofa borders a large rug from Miss Amara. A ‘Teddy’ and ‘Alfie’ vessel from Kira & Kira sit on the coffee table. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: Photography: John Downs / Styling: Carlene Duffy)

The couple speedily constructed a small guest house on the block to live in while they planned and built their new place. Working around other client projects, the couple’s own build took just over two years, with Dominee using the guest house as a tester for new ideas and finishes she was keen to try on the main, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home. “Because of the block, we had the opportunity to execute all the elements I’d always wanted in a home,” says Dominee, who worked closely with building designer Reece Keil on the project. “I’ve been able to create things like really big hallways, and built-in linen cupboards which are all concealed up the hallway. People who come to visit don’t even know we’ve got linen cupboards because they’re all hidden!”

contemporary kitchen with curved marble kitchen island
Dark timber flooring, from Kustom Timber, laid in a chevron pattern makes a forgiving base. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

It’s a large house – the biggest Dominee and Ben have ever built – so the interior design required careful thought and planning. The kitchen area is balanced with a spectacular island – more curves! – with the working zones hidden away in a full-sized butler’s pantry.

contemporary kitchen curved marble kitchen island herringbone timber floors
“People will walk around the island and run their hand around it. It’s one of those things that they just want to touch,” says Dominee. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

“The kitchen was quite the undertaking,” says Dominee. “That island took three months to make, and it took eight men to carry in the benchtop!” Polytec thermolaminated cabinetry in ‘Estella Oak’ forms a quiet backdrop to the show-stopping half-moon island, which is faced in fluted Super White Dolomite marble tiles sourced through Teranova. The CDK Stone benchtop and its integrated sinks are in the same colour of marble, balanced with brass tapware from Brodware. The sweet wall lights are ‘Duomo Piccolo’ sconces in brass finish from Nightworks Studio.

contemporary dining room round table
The dining room features a striking Coco Republic table. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

As a counterpoint to the expanses of concrete, Dominee chose swathes of curtaining to screen the windows, dark timber for the floors, and brass finishes for the lighting, tapware and balustrade that borders the upper hallway. “That bridge actually connects to our bedroom, so I didn’t want it to be black and severe,” she explains. “I thought it had to be brass. It’s aging and patinating absolutely beautifully.”

timber lined hallway with curved walls
Macey and the yorkies get comfy on an Estilo Studio armchair in the hall. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)
contemporary pedestal basin with rendered walls and terazzo
A freestanding Concrete Nation pedestal basin steals the show in the powder room. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy)

The whole effect adds up to a space that’s light, bright and tactile. “A lot of people walk in the house and they want to touch everything,” says Dominee. “Barely anyone walks over that bridge without touching the railing, and I love that!”

contemporary bedroom with white upholstered bedhead
A cultiver duvet cover in Cedar Stripe adds warmth to the bedroom. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)
main bedroom with panelled white upholstered bedhead and arched windows and pendant lights
(Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

In the main bedroom a vaulted tunnel separates the bathroom and walk-in wardrobe from the bedroom. “Ben gets up early, so I decided to bring in an element of separation between the bedroom and bathroom,” explains Dominee. “I just don’t want to hear a tap turn on at 5am!” The four-metre custom headboard in an ivory boucle finish is by Create Estate. The side table came from Trit House.

walkin wardrober with black cabinetry and arched recessed mirror with marble top
WALK-IN WARDROBE The home’s signature motif frames the dressing table mirror, surrounded by Polytec cabinetry in ‘Estella Oak’. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

In the ensuite floor-to-ceiling sheers from The Curtain and Blind Company screen the windows behind the circular stone bath from Reece. A Saardé Home ‘Vintage Wash’ bath sheet from Kira & Kira is artfully draped over the bath adding colour and texture to the space while vases of blooms brings the outdoors in.

white contemporary bathroom terrazzo tile floor round bathtub
(Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)
contemporary bathroom rendered double showers
“I wanted to get a hotel sit kind of feeling in the master,” says Dominee. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy)

Warm metal hues, a softer, more mellow look than black, are having a design moment. Dominee has embraced them in this home, opting for elements such as lighting and tapware in a brass finish. “All of our windows are black, but I didn’t want any strong black features inside the home,” she explains. Visit nightworksstudio.com and brodware.com

pink kids room with fluoro light
A pretty daisy print wallpaper forms the backdrop to a Create Estate bed in Willow’s room. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)
breezeway in contemporary all white rendered home
Dominee framed by the home’s full-height French doors. (Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

Outside, Dominee describes the style of the home as “luxury Mediterranean” thanks to its restrained palette, lime-rendered walls, and series of graceful arches. Planters on the upper storey spill trailing plants over the exterior and there’s abundant greenery dotted around the pool. “Plants instantly elevate everything,” she says.

large swiming pool with glass fence and hanging garden landscaping
(Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: John Downs)

Design/decorating: The Open Home, @theopenhome_
Building: Tidal Constructions, 0408 705 579, tidalconstructions.com
Building designer: Reece Keil, reecekeildesign.com.au
Furniture: Estilo Studio, estilostudio.com.au

SOURCE BOOK:
contemporary swimming pool with white home exterior and arched architectural details
(Photographer: John Downs | Stylist: Carlene Duffy) (Credit: Photography: John Downs / Styling: Carlene Duffy)

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