Beachy vibes permeate this home in Secret Harbour, located 60 kilometres south of Perth. And, as it’s just 50 metres from golden sands, owners Kristie and Andrew can smell the ocean air drifting through the open plan.
After living in the WA hinterland for eight years, they wanted a sea change in 2018 and have never looked back.”This empty lot ticked all the right boxes,” says real estate agent Kristie. “It was slightly elevated, which would give us views of the beach with a north-facing backyard. That would provide a wind-free zone in the afternoons by the pool but allow the Freodoctor [a cool south-wester that blows in during the afternoons] to cool the house.”
Kristie designed her new home, hiring draughtsperson Adam Butcher of Darklight Design to draw up plans and help make her vision a reality. “It was all about us building a dream home for our family,” she says.
DESIGN TIP: Statement lighting
Kristie loves unique light fittings and has used them as focal points. “They create the opportunity to do something original and authentic while adding warmth,” she says. “You can play with shape and texture, and they remind me of island resorts. I based the whole house around the ‘Palm Springs’ chandelier from Gypset Cargo (not shown). It reflects how I feel.”
The couple knew what would suit them and their children, Halli, four, and Archer, two. “We were after a beach-shack feel, bright and relaxed, so we could feel we were always on holiday – together with open-plan living so we could see through the whole house to the pool and keep an eye on the children,” says Kristie.
But there are me-time spaces downstairs, too, such as a study, a playroom and a guest suite with private access to the deck. “My parents often come to stay and have their own wing,” says Kristie. Meanwhile, a jute-carpeted staircase leads to three more bedrooms.
Kristie drew her inspiration from many sources, including images of a South African home on a cliff overlooking the ocean. “It had such a sense ofopenness,” she says. “You could almost feel the breeze around you.” The Six Senses Laamu resort in the Maldives, where she and Andrew had their honeymoon, was another inspiration. “It’s a barefoot island,” explains Kristie, “with the buildings all open, with no walls, just a roof and a floor.”
She maintains the home, completed in late 2020, “is more relaxed and laid-back” than true Hamptons style, but many elements here could be in Montauk or Southampton – the pitched roof, weatherboard cladding, bleached timbers, exposed beams, louvres and grooved panelling mimicking tongue-and-groove. Not to forget sofas with their white slipcovers, jute carpet upstairs and the sun-drenched palette.
“All the surfaces are tactile, so it’s earthy and not clinical,” says Kristie. “The shelving is micro-cement while the handmade Moroccan tiles have a homely, crafted quality.”
Her family spends most of their time in the kitchen, but they are by the pool in summer and around the firepit in winter. “I also love the master suite, with its French doors to the balcony where I can enjoy the sunset,” says Kristie. “It’s a moment when I can enjoy the sea breeze and watch the world go by.” And reflect on the results of her hard work. “This is better than winning the lottery,” she says.