Home Tours

A laid-back tropical Hamptons home in Secret Harbour

With hints of the islands and tropical Hamptons, this family home sheds its shoes and embraces coastal living.
Loading the player...

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.

James Hardie Scyon ‘Linea’ 180mm-wide weatherboard cladding was painted Dulux Casper White Quarter to evoke an “island feel”, according to homeowner Kristie (pictured, with husband Andrew, children Archer and Halli, and dog Soda).

The ‘Shell Limestone’ cladding by Limestone Australia also features inside around the fireplace. Archer’s cart is from The Beach People and the ‘Deco’ chair is from Empire.

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.”

LIVING AREA The print from Frisky Deer, an African vintage cow bell on the coffee table and the ‘Cannes’ sun lounger from Freedom give a multinational feel. “The pitched roof, with its timber rafters, creates a sense of openness, detail and texture, reminding me of an island resort,” adds Kristie.

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.”

LIVING AREA Seats with slipcovers, such as this ‘Santorini’ sofa and chair, and ‘Long Island’ sofa, all from Blu Peter, are a great solution when pure white upholstery and active children share the one house. The coffee table, cabinet and bar cart, all from Empire, and the grass-weave rug from Freedom, celebrate sun-drenched driftwood hues, while a ‘Kawai’ pendant light from Gypset Cargo is a dramatic focal point.

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.

KITCHEN Joinery in Polytec Blossom White and benchtops in Caesarstone Pure White, are complemented by ‘Jok’ stools from Blu Peter. Vulcano Clay ‘Moroccan Bejmat’ tiles from Myaree Ceramics create a textured splashback. “It symbolises our travels in the past and I have a thing about kitchen splashbacks,” says Kristie. “This looks like the reflective inside of a pearl shell.” ‘Bungalow’ pendants from Beacon Lighting. “I dislike symmetry, so the two pendants, not the usual three, are mounted off to the side for a sense of movement,” says Kristie.

Wonderful Floor ‘Supreme Oak’ engineered timber flooring in Forgy echo the finishes. “It has knots and an earthiness, but it’s not too pink, yellow or grey, and mimics our greyed-off decking. And skylights keep things bright, but they can be closed off in summer to keep the house cool or open all day in winter to keep the house warm.”

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.

MAIN BEDROOM A pitched roof and Hardie Groove VJ panels from James Hardie find their perfect companions in a mango-wood bed (for a similar look, try Shack) and a ‘Palm Springs’ chair from Freedom. Jute carpet from Natural Floorcovering Centre runs throughout the upstairs and forms a runner on the stairs. “It breathes easily and wears beautifully, with no track marks or dog hair,” says Kristie. A ‘Tahitian’ fan from Beacon Lighting also evokes that seaside ambience. Above the bed, a beautiful sculptural ‘Fluted Shell’ wall light from Gypset Cargo “reminds me of the living, breathing ocean”, says Kristie.

“I used grooved VJ panelling and stucco walls throughout the house to give texture,” says Kristie.

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.”

ENSUITE Kit-Kat finger mosaics in Vintage Blue White were mounted horizontally to give the room width, and the ‘Fusion Blue India’ floor tiles from Myaree Ceramics, are an interplay of colour and pattern. “This tile is my favourite tile ever and also features on the edge of the pool,” says Kristie. A ‘Dylan’ mirror from Freedom, Brodware ‘Neu England’ tapware, the Merwe above-counter basin from Sea Of White, a benchtop in Caesarstone London Grey and custom vanity with rattan inserts “for a beachy look” all lend a casual, relaxed air in this space.

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.”

LAUNDRY In no way was this a forgotten room. The textural and colour themes continue, in the marble penny round mosaic splashback and terrazzo floor tiles, all from Myaree Ceramics, butler’s sink from Sea Of White, 2-pack Shaker joinery in Dulux Classic White on an Ascot profile, another benchtop in Caesarstone London Grey and Astra Walker ‘Icon’ tapware.

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.

OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING “The ‘Shell Limestone’ cladding from Limestone Australia was the whitest I could find,” says Kristie. “WA limestone is too yellow and creamy, but this is white and chalky, with shell fossils throughout.” Home Bazar chairs from Bunnings are teamed with a coffee table made by Andrew. “I wanted a pitched roofline, but not too high and wide, so I did two and the pitched roof to the left is left open outside to let in the light,” says Kristie. Two pitches also help create distinct zones inside, without sacrificing an open plan.


Builder: Bruce Construction Design, 0421 843 936, bruceconstructiondesign.com.au.

Drafting: Darklight Design, 0402 537 666, darklightdesign.com.au.

Landscaping: LHP Landscaping, (08) 9386 3183, lhplandscaping.com.

Related stories