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A heavenly Hamptons-style new build on the Northern Beaches

When a husband and wife design duo found a rambling old home on a block near the beach, they created a slice of the Hamptons in Sydney.
Coastal style alfresco dining and living area.

Not everyone dreams of finding a forever home. For many renovators who have caught the fixer-upper bug, the lure of revamping a property is irresistible. This was true for interior designer Janette Stritt and her husband Alex, a building designer and builder, who found a large block nestled in Sydney’s Northern Beaches that was pleading for a new life.

The old house had seen better days and the garden was completely overgrown – a far cry from the sanctuary the couple dreamt of for themselves and their teenagers, Sebastian and Allegra. However, the coastal locale and mature palm trees on the sprawling 1330-square-metre site clinched the deal, and soon after seeing the property the couple picked up the keys.

Hamptons home white front facade and garden hedges.
The facade is painted in Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter with Dulux Lexicon Quarter trims, while the storm shutters and front door are accented in Porter’s Paints Chintz Grey. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

“We were immediately drawn to the magnificent existing palms on the site, which in turn had a direct influence on the style and layout of the home’s design.”

Hamptons style garden and white gate with fluffy dog.
After spying a run-down home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, serial renovators Alex and Janette Stritt, a husband and wife building and design team, embarked on a full knockdown and built this Hamptons-style abode in its place. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

What followed was a three-month design phase and a 12-month knockdown rebuild – an undertaking the couple have tackled countless times over the course of their careers and marriage. “We have built and sold many times since our very first home we built together in our early twenties,” says Janette. “With every home we design and build, we get a feel for what we really enjoy in our homes and what works for us.”

Who lives here?

Alex Stritt, a building designer and builder; his wife Janette, an interior designer, their teenagers, Sebastian and Allegra, and Daisy the Cavoodle.
Where did you splurge? Janette: “The home includes bespoke trims and customised finishes inside and outside to make it unique.”
Favourite pearl of wisdom? “Aspect is a major consideration in design, as is layout and functionality of spaces. An open-plan kitchen/living/dining area with an easy transition to the outdoors is key for everyday living.”
Is this your forever home? “There will no doubt be another design and new build on the cards for us in the future… We can’t wait for the next one.”

Family shot outside the home's blue French door entrance.
Homeowners Alex, a builder and building designer, and his wife Janette, an interior designer, with their teens, Sebastian and Allegra, and Daisy the Cavoodle. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

For Alex, a sunny aspect and high ceilings were essential. “They add scale, light and airiness to a space and are perfectly suited to coastal homes. An open fireplace is also a must-have for me, not only for their warmth but for the character they bring to a home,” he says.

Janette craved ample storage space, plus a butler’s pantry and generous walk-in robe. “I needed plenty of storage throughout the home, whether it be kitchen cupboards, laundry cabinets or the mudroom – anywhere we can keep items stored away and the house tidy,” she explains. “I love to keep the home neat and in order, which is not always achievable with teenagers, but suitable storage solutions help!”

“We used wide V-groove and large board and batten panels, in keeping with the large scale of the home and referencing its coastal resort aesthetic.”

All-white foyer with marble table and staircase.
A marble Coco Republic table holds a decorative ginger jar, navy parrot figurines and a Trudon Ernesto candle, all from The Classic Outfitter. The couple ran Grand Provence Oak French washed timber from Flooring Zone underfoot (discontinued, for similar, try Royal Oak Floors). (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)
Contemporary coastal mudroom cupboards and blue seat.
A stylish mudroom helps corral clutter. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

This cued a design brief that extended from the front gate to the rear boundary, with Janette taking the interiors under her wing and Alex designing and building the home, cabana and pool. The couple drew on some of their favourite features to blur the boundary between indoors and out: custom glazing, transom windows, French doors and oversized sliding doors that wrap the exterior. “Not only do they add to a home’s aesthetics, they are also fundamental in allowing maximum light to enter a space,” says Janette.


The kitchen is the beating heart of the home, and a classic colour scheme of blue, green, white and wicker welcomes the suburb’s headland greens and sea blues inside. The result is quintessential Hamptons style, which courses through every corner of the 570-square metre abode.

Coastal style white kitchen with blue accents and hanging light pendants.
Twin Black Visual Comfort sconces from The Montauk Lighting Co provide essential task lighting above the rear benchtops and pair perfectly with Perrin & Rowe tapware from The English Tapware Company. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

“High ceilings have always been very important to me in the homes I design for our clients as well as for ourselves.”


In the kitchen, soaring 3.6-metre coffered ceilings are crowned with a skylight that bathes the kitchen in sunlight. The bright backdrop of Dulux Lexicon Quarter on the walls, joinery and trims coordinates with the splashback of white handmade subway tiles from Di Lorenzo Tiles. Behind the rear wall, a butler’s pantry – one of Janette’s must-haves – peeps into the kitchen.

All-white hamptons style kitchen, cooktop and splashback.
Greenery peps up the all-white kitchen. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)
Window reading nook under French windows.
Janette upholstered the banquette seat in ‘Havana In+Outdoor’ fabric from Westbury Textiles. “Not only does it serve as a seat, it’s perfect for when the children come home from school and place their bags and blazers there (yes, even though we have a mudroom!).” (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

Living and dining

“Where possible, we like to salvage local sandstone blocks from old homes being demolished and reuse them for our fireplace surrounds and garden walls. Not only is this a more sustainable approach, it also adds character and a touch of local history to a new home,” says Janette of the stunning stone that hugs the Jetmaster fireplace. She bathed the walls and trims in Dulux Lexicon Quarter, which complements the crisp Coco Republic sofas.

Bright open-plan living room with French doors and fluffy dog.
Daisy loves the Dash & Albert rug from Winton House, which chimes with twin striped Braddock ottomans from Cromwell. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)
Living room sofa and side table and sandstone fireplace.
“Being a large property, it gave us the ability to design a generous home around the palms, a pool and a pool house,” says Janette. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)
Marble coffee table and striped coastal living room chairs.
Books, greenery and ginger jars are within reach on a GlobeWest coffee table. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

We love… the outdoor connection

“Custom decorative windows, transoms, French doors and large-scale timber sliding doors are some of our favourite key components we like to include in our designs,” says Janette. The couple drew on these architectural elements in their open-plan living room to let in lashings of light and frame verdant garden views.

Coastal style alfresco dining and living area.
Being their own client gave this experienced design duo the opportunity to create a sanctuary that blurs the lines between inside and out. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)
Alfresco outdoor dining with barbeque and white table.
The open-plan layout spills onto an alfresco kitchen and wide dining area. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)


“Living by the beach, we are fortunate to be surrounded by the blues of the sea and greens from the coastal shrubs and grasses,” says Janette, who drew this palette into the bedrooms. Flanked with bedside tables from Xavier Furniture, the custom Casa Locale bedhead is plumped with cushions from The Boathouse Home, and Sheridan bedlinen. Janette designed the bespoke lampshades.

Blue and white contemporary coastal bedroom with side table and soft bedhead.
The framed artworks are from Designer Boys Art ‘Palm’ collection. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)
Contemporary coastal ensuite, blue vanity and rounded bath.
A freestanding Kado Lux Oval bath from Reece lets the soft blue vanity take centre stage in the ensuite with its classic honed Carrara marble top and cabinetry painted in Porter’s Paints Newport Blue Half. Honed Carrara marble floor tiles from Teranova anchor the room. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

Powder room

“Wallpaper was always intended for this space and I wanted to choose a pattern that was fun, while resonating with the rest of the home,” says Janette of the powder room papered in Bethany Linz ‘Bamboo’ in Green from Milton & King.

Powder room with green bamboo wallpaper.
“When I saw this range, I knew this pattern was the one! The green is delightful and the blue birds and bamboo all tie in so well with the lush, resort feel of the garden.” (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)


In the laundry a fireclay butler’s sink from Turner Hastings, with walls and trims in Dulux Lexicon Quarter, offsets joinery in Porter’s Paints Newport Blue Half.

Grey and white laundry with butler's sink.
Janette paired Neu England tapware from Brodware with handles and pulls from Mother of Pearl & Sons Trading. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

Pool and pool house

The transformation of the landscaping was just as radical as the house. “Our vision for the garden was for it to be relaxed with a resort feel, lush and green with a large lawn, hedges and palms growing out from the lawn,” says Janette.

Di Lorenzo Tiles in LA Ice surrounding the pool tone perfectly with the weatherboards painted in Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter, with Dulux Lexicon Quarter trims. The couple layered the hedging with buxus, viburnum and syzygium resilience, and tufts of mondo grass punctuate the limestone pavers.

Hamptons style pool and pool house with striped blue chairs.
“The home’s connection to the outdoor areas makes it very special” says Janette. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

The family moved in just in time to enjoy the summer holidays. “It is one of the longest periods we have lived in one of our homes,” says Janette. “We are very grateful to call this house our home; it feels calm and relaxed, while being comforting and uplifting.

Design and building: Stritt Design and Construction, 0416 194 568, stritt.com.au.
Joinery: The Kitchen Maker, (02) 9905 5028, thekitchenmaker.com.au.
Landscaping: Shane Carroll, Scapes and Stone, [email protected].


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