With its perfectly suited climate and laidback lifestyle, it’s little wonder the Hamptons style is flourishing in the Sunshine State. Blending seamlessly with traditional Queenslander architecture – both tend to feature gable rooflines, weatherboard cladding and deep verandahs with coastal-inspired interiors – the result is often a home reminiscent of long, lazy days spent at the beach.
This is precisely what Courtney and Jayce envisioned when they embarked on a new build on Brisbane’s northside for their young family, which includes two girls, Sierra, eight, and Baylee, four. “I grew up in an old Queenslander on the Sunshine Coast and was nervous about the girls growing up in the city,” says Courtney, “so we decided to create a home with a relaxed holiday vibe and were lucky enough to find a property directly opposite expansive parklands and a brook!”
After meeting with multiple builders, the couple settled on Lee Ambrose from Ambrose Design + Construct. “I wanted to be very involved in the design decisions, so needed someone who would respect my views. We’d worked with a builder previously who barely spoke to me and always deferred to Jayce. In this case, Jayce didn’t want to be involved in any of the design decisions, I was taking the lead, so finding a builder who respected that was imperative.”
Fortuitously, the family rented the house next door throughout the 11-month build, “which meant trades could just pop over if there were any last-minute decisions.”
While the overall vision was for a white coastal-style home, the couple included plenty of personalised touches. “I’ve always had my heart set on a banquette,” says Courtney of the dining nook. The replica Saarinen ‘Tulip’ table is illuminated from above with a ‘Capiz’ chandelier from Freedom.
“This is our forever home. We didn’t build to sell, we built to stay – so we could do a pink bathroom knowing it wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but it didn’t matter, it was just for us.”
Courtney’s advice to those wanting to take the design lead on their own projects, is to allow time for planning. “I spent a year considering the layout and hours and hours researching products and finishes. It’s hard because you just want to get in, but it’s worth getting it right.” Courtney also credits the Three Birds Renovations’ Reno School. “It’s empowering to realise, as women, we do know what we want – and with some knowledge can convey that on-site.”
With good communication and planning, the build ran smoothly and was completed just after the pandemic hit. “Our main vision was for a house that encapsulated indoor-outdoor living – and we were doubly grateful for that during the lockdowns.”
Today, the home’s connection to its alfresco spaces is still one of Courtney’s favourite aspects. “It means the girls can swim as I cook dinner or run around outside as I’m cleaning. It encourages them to spend more time outdoors and less time in front of screens.”