When Brisbane couple Justine and Matt began house hunting, they didn’t cast the net wide: instead, they narrowed their search to just one leafy inner-city suburb. Inspired by friends who had moved from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, the couple were after a similar lifestyle change where they’d spend less time commuting and could walk their children Beau, Elli, Louella and Cruz to school. “Matt and I loved the suburb, but every house that came on the market sold really quickly and we kept missing out,”recalls Justine.
Although building wasn’t something they’d considered, when the couple chanced upon a tiny 1930s bungalow on a huge block in the area, they realised it was the perfect opportunity to knock down to create their dream home. For Matt, an experienced custom home and luxury pool builder, it was also a chance to build something for his own family.
“We’d renovated in the past, however, Matt had never built a new home for us, so we really embraced the freedom to start from scratch and come up with a place we absolutely loved,” says Justine.
The pair rented the bungalow for a year, allowing them time to perfect plans and design a striking two-level, open-plan home with flowing outdoor areas geared around the pool and entertaining.
“Matt spent a lot of time observing how the sun moved across the block, and the north- easterly aspect informed where rooms and windows were placed,” explains Justine.
Two years since the house was finished, sun-drenched spaces are enjoyed daily, with doors and windows flung wide open.”With four kids, we wanted everyone to have plenty of space, so they’ve all got their own bedroom upstairs, and downstairs, everything happens in and around the kitchen and pool,”says Justine.
While Matt’s craftmanship is reflected in the build, Justine’s sophisticated yet family-friendly styling shines throughout the interior, where black French oak herringbone floors, Carrara marble kitchen and bathroom surfaces, handcrafted tiles and chic furniture epitomise effortless elegance.
Interior selections were carefully considered and layered over time.”For the first 12 months after we moved in, the front living area was completely bare so I could get a feel for the space and see how it would be used,” says Justine, who relished turning it into a luxe’ Hamptons meets Hollywood’ retreat.
Picking up several Master Builders awards, the couple appreciate the industry recognition, yet Justine reflects the ultimate reward is enjoying what they’ve created together.
“To build our forever house here is a wonderful feeling,”she says.”Even on holidays we don’t often feel the need to getaway, it’s just so lovely being here.”
“We wanted our bedroom to feel distinct from the rest of the house and I love the dark moodier feel.” ~ Justine
“The first thing I do every morning is open the house up, so there’s that connection to the outdoors” ~ Justine
“Matt loves plants and has spent a lot of time adding greenery, which has really brought the house to life and made it more homely.” ~ Justine
Ever since writer and stylist Kylie Jackes got a Holly Hobby quilt cover at age 6 she’s been obsessed with interiors. For the past 10 years she’s enjoyed writing about beautiful spaces and the people who call them home. When she’s not styling other people’s places, she loves acquiring plants to fill every corner of her beach house.
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