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A sun-drenched textural home on the Gold Coast

Layered with gentle curves and an earthy, textural palette, this beautiful new build showcases its owners' flair for design.

Asking Kellie to choose the spot she most loves in her home is like asking which of her five children is ‘the favourite’, she says with a laugh. “They’re all pretty great, it’s impossible to pick,” she reflects, surveying the sun-drenched spaces of her home on Queensland’s Gold Coast, which she shares with partner Scott and her two youngest children Bella and Noah. “It’s our morning ritual to have coffee on the front verandah, afternoons are often spent in the alfresco area out the back and in summer it feels very special to have a swim at night as music plays through the outdoor speakers. We love it all.”

A generous deck, with a hanging chair and floor cushion from Yak and Yeti Trader links the main home with the guest house and overlooks the pool. “One of our biggest splurges was the white honed concrete around the pool, which was three times as much as standard concrete, but worth it for the look and the fact it’s not slippery underfoot,” says Scott.

WHO LIVES HERE? Kellie, an interior-design student and her partner Scott, a building-design student; Kellie’s children Noah, 12, and Bella, 20, a uni student; and ragdoll kitten Arlo.

CHRISTMAS DAY PLANS? Kellie: “We have a wonderful family get-together at our house with an afternoon swim at the beach.”

WHAT’S ON YOUR CHRISTMAS MENU? “Delicious fresh seafood from our local seafood supplier.”

WHAT’S YOUR DECORATING STYLE? “Our 2.7 metre tree is the centrepiece of our living space while fairy lights twinkle around the pool house and verandahs. The guest house has a simple tree and beautiful glass decorations.”

RESORT VIBES Kellie and Scott’s home on Queensland’s Gold Coast, which they share with Kellie’s children Noah and Bella, is the culmination of the couple’s flair for design. Having never built or renovated, they embarked on an ambitious project to create a home imbued with gentle curves, tactile materials and warm tones. Summer days spent poolside are enjoyed in the pavilion, decked out with a giant custom daybed.

For Kellie, an interior-design student, and Scott, who’s completing a building-design diploma, creating their home was the perfect proving ground to hone their new skills after both changed career direction. “When we started house hunting, it was all about the site as our intention was always to knock down and build a home where we could personalise every element,” explains Kellie. Towards the end of 2019 they found a great location near the beach, with views to the local national park, which they could capitalise on with a two-storey build. Spending three months in the original 1970s home gave them a chance to get a feel for the block, while they mulled over concepts for the new house, which was drafted by a local building designer.

POOLSIDE A ‘Moonlight Islander’ drink cart from Yak and Yeti Trader is handy poolside.

OUTDOOR SHOWER Finding the perfect stone for the feature wall by the pool was a priority. “A lot of people have commented how much they love the stone, but unfortunately it’s no longer available,” says Kellie. Bella can take her pick from the couple’s vast surfboard collection – one of her favourites is the ‘Cinnamon Girl’ board by Mitchell Surman Surfboards.

EXTERIOR “There’s a lot of white in the house inside and out, so I wanted a warm undertone and it’s just right,” says Kellie (pictured above, with Scott, outside her home; son Noah is in the van) of their choice of Haymes Minimalist 1 for the exterior.

Once they had the basic plans, the design was further individualised with additional sculptural curves, space to store Scott’s collection of 20-plus surfboards and a tiled breezeway flanked in glass, which connects the main house with a self-contained guest house.

“This is the nicest house we’ve ever lived in and only house we’ve owned. Before we built, we’d only rented,” says Kellie.

BACK DECK Kellie relaxes at an outdoor setting from Globe West, enlivened with plants and pots from The Good Plant Co.

KITCHEN Barstools from Fenton & Fenton complement American Oak timber veneer cabinetry, while a brushed brass mixer from Abi Interiors adds lustre.

The couple’s site visits during the build paid off, with tweaks made to the design along the way. One significant change after the slab was laid was upsizing the island bench. “Often it’s not until you’re physically in a space that you get a true sense of the size and after stepping out the kitchen area we enlarged the joinery, so it was in proportion with the adjoining living and dining zones,” says Kellie. The bench forms a sleek centrepiece, clad in a white two-pac timber profile and topped with a blend of Hebel by HWD Construction and micro-cement render by Render X.

DINING AREA In the dining zone, walls finished in render creates an earthy, textural backdrop which gives the integrated banquette seating an organic feel. Perfect for casual meals and large family get-togethers, H&M and Bagru Block House cushions add comfort around the timber Tolv ‘Itamae’ table from Kira & Kira, teamed with Fenton & Fenton dining chairs. A Kyal & Kara pendant plays on the curves theme, as does a pair of ‘Mona’ vessels from L&M Home. Fiddle leaf figs from The Good Plant Co in Globe West baskets add lush greenery to the zone.

Ready to start the build in March 2020, the same month COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, Kellie recalls questioning if it was wise to press ahead. “It was a tough decision, but we began as scheduled and our fingers were crossed during the entire eight-and-a-half-month project.” While there weren’t too many setbacks, the biggest issue was materials. “We had a moodboard and distinct colour palette in mind, but couldn’t always get our first choice of finishes,” says Kellie. “Often we had to make selections based on what suppliers had in stock.”

‘Mona’ vessels from L&M Home on the dining table allow an ever-changing look with fruit and foliage combinations.

Despite this, they created a dreamy scheme layered with beautiful materials and textures in earthy tones. With four bathrooms and a powder room to fit out, Kellie relished giving each space a distinct look with inspired tile choices, statement bathtubs and hand-crafted basins. The dining-nook walls were slathered in tactile render, while timber, leather and rattan provide a final injection of warmth. “The whole process was challenging and exciting and taught me a lot about interior design,” says Kellie. “We worked hard to get the flow and continuity right and I think we pulled it off.” Although the couple agree it’s the best house they’ve ever lived in, they’re already planning the next project. “We’ve got lots of ideas and are keen to do something completely different, maybe a modernist barn-style house in the hinterland,” says Kellie. Whatever they do, it’s bound to be beautiful.

LIVING AREA When prioritising inclusions, bifold glass doors, which create a seamless indoor-outdoor connection, topped the list. Spanning almost the entire width of the room, they provide natural light and an expansive outlook. Flowing ‘Burano’ curtains from DIY Blinds soften angles and diffuse light. “We wanted a wide vista like a postcard linking the indoors with views of the pool and greenery,” says Kellie.

LIVING AREA A leather chair from Hello Trader creates a chill-out spot.

In the living room a ‘Long Beach’ sofa from Lounge Lovers melds with surrounding finishes, while cushions and a throw from Feather & Oak paired with patterned Sea Tribe cushions add warmth. Atop a Sarah Ellison ‘Chub’ coffee table, a candle and potted ‘Tineke’ rubber tree, from the Good Plant Co, provide a sprinkling of pink. Rather than adorn walls, Kellie says the arch window that frames a dragon tree is “a piece of art in itself”.

The plan was to have timber floors throughout but the couple decided to switch to tiles on the lower level. Thrilled with the look, Kellie couldn’t be happier with the large-format concrete toned ‘Bottega Caliza’ floor tiles she chose from Earp Bros.

GUEST BEDROOM “We used Taubmans’ ‘Cotton Sheets’ on the walls – it’s the perfect shade of white,” says Kellie.

It’s no surprise that visiting friends and family are keen to extend their stay after one night in the home’s self-contained, split-level guest house. With a living area and kitchenette downstairs, the guest bedroom sits in a loft space above and is a tranquil retreat with leafy National Park views. Atop Woodcut Voss engineered flooring, a ‘Norah’ bed and matching bedside table from Life Interiors claims a central spot. Dressed in linen from Adairs, the green is picked up in potted plants from The Good Plant Co, including a Philodendron ‘Birkin’ on the bedside table.

ENSUITE Curves abound in the couple’s ensuite where they playfully feature in a custom glass shower screen sourced from Water Art Glass, subtle wall niches and brushed brass fixtures from Abi Interiors. Opting for a simple, pared back palette, floor-to-ceiling ‘Lusso’ tiles in Natural from Three Balls Red ensure that the hero of the space is a luxurious free-standing ‘Valencia’ bath from Concrete Nation in Nude. A solid stool in natural timber stool from Au Fait Living rounds out the look.

BATHROOM One of four bathrooms in the house, this one adjoins Bella’s room and features a custom vanity that’s wrapped in American Oak veneer and teamed with an Alpine White Quantum Quartz benchtop. Kellie gave each of the bathrooms its own unique personality with different basins from Concrete Nation, brushed brass tapware from Abi Interiors and feature tiles. Here, a ‘Milos’ basin in Clay, sits against a crisp backdrop of ‘Artisan’ tiles in Snow from Three Balls Red punctuated with a Water Art Glass mirror.

MAIN BEDROOM An Adairs stonewashed cotton quilt cover adds a soft touch to the main bedroom.

ENSUITE The well-appointed ensuite includes a dressing area fitted out with custom American Oak veneer joinery.

On the front verandah inbuilt bench seats wrap around one corner to maximise the use of the space, with Sea Tribe and Feather & Oak cushions echoing the greenery of a cluster of plants from The Good Plant Co. The grey pots were also sourced from The Good Plant Co, while the white pot was picked up at Bunnings. Additional embellishments include a Hello Trader pendant and a Sarah Ellison ‘Elton’ table. Rather than stain the Blackbutt timber floor, a clear coat protects the natural warm wood tones from the weather.

FRONT VERANDAH A morning coffee is often enjoyed on the front verandah, which is furnished like an outdoor room.

GUEST HOUSE BATHROOM Magma’ tiles in Coral Pink from Three Balls Red.


BUILDER: PJH Constructions, (07) 5520 0733, pjhconstructions.com.

LANDSCAPER: JSW Landscapes & Design, 0411 194 203, jswlandscapes.com.au.

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