Home Tours

The radiant renovation of a 1970s Queensland cottage

A ceramicist and her husband transformed a humble worker’s cottage into a spacious light-filled sanctuary designed to evoke a sense of serenity.
The open-plan dining area overlooking the pool and garden.Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon

When ceramic artist Cinnamon, her husband Scott and their children, Tide, 17, and Minty, 15, started to outgrow the ’70s worker’s cottage the couple had owned for nearly 20 years, they had to decide whether to renovate or move. Renovation won out, as they realised how much they loved the village feel of their northern Gold Coast suburb.

“It’s hard to replace that sense of community,” says Cinnamon. “It’s close to Scott’s work, the kids’ schools – and, importantly for me, only a two-minute walk to good coffee!”

A white cladded front facade with draping greenery.
The front, painted in Dulux Lexicon Quarter, could have looked “quite imposing” says Cinnamon, but is softened with hanging plants. They also added texture with a timber balcony ceiling and a cultured stone fence by Boral. Shutters by Sunshine Shutters. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)
Artist Cinnamon sitting in the living room.
When ceramicist Cinnamon and her husband Scott renovated their ’70s worker’s cottage, where they live with their two teenage children, Tide and Minty, they not only created a peaceful haven for their family but also a headquarters for Cinnamon’s art business, Andclay.co. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

Who lives here?

Cinnamon, a ceramic artist, and Scott, a business owner, their son Tide, 17, and daughter Minty, 15; and Rupert the Whippet.
Did you start with a vision board? Cinnamon: “No, we really just wanted a home that helped us feel calm and grounded, so based every design and purchase decision with that in mind.”
What drew you to ceramics? “There’s something about the earthiness of the clay that is very meditative.”
Best thing about working from home? “The house shares a similar aesthetic to my work, so it’s easy to feel inspired!”
Anything you’d do differently? “I’d never choose louvred windows again, they’re too hard to clean. We’ve replaced quite a few already.”

Handmade white ceramic statues on a shelf.
Stone candle holders from Mason Wylde and ceramic crosses by Cinnamon adorn the simple rendered shelf. “I love the subtlety of white ceramics against a white wall,” she notes. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

The plan was to retain the aesthetic of the single level, pitched roof cottage but add a second storey to house the bedrooms. Unfortunately, height restrictions dictated otherwise, and the best solution resulted in a flat roof. “This completely changed the look of the home,” says Cinnamon. “It was now a big white box, which needed softening, so we added oversized window boxes for hanging plants, and the aesthetic grew from there.”

Also high on the list were separate bathrooms for teenagers, Tide and Minty. “Giving them their own space makes mornings much more peaceful,” says Cinnamon. “And that was actually our guiding star for the entire process. We wanted a home that was filled with natural light, organic textures, and a neutral colour palette to promote calm at the end of a chaotic day.”

Living area

The front living room is furnished in ‘Judd’ linen sofas from MCM House, a side table sourced from Maison & Maison and a table made by a friend many years ago. Cinnamon kept the styling and colour palette restrained with ‘Crossier’ linen cushions and a raw timber chapati bowl from St Barts along with white ceramics and white artwork by Andclay.co.

A white living room with natural timber furniture and ceramic décor.
Walls throughout are painted in Dulux Lexicon Quarter and natural oak floors are Prestige Oak ‘Parana’ from Groove Tile + Stone. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)
A black rustic vase and timber tray on the coffee table.
Raw chapati bowl from St Barts adds a rustic feel in the living area. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)


Renovating also gave the couple a chance to contemplate what they wanted as a family and to design the house accordingly. Cinnamon says a good example is the spacious kitchen with its hardy sintered stone benchtops. “You would presume we designed it for cooking in, but it’s mostly used for building ceramics. I love to sit at the bench in the evening and chat to everyone as I work. There’s plenty of space for drying clay, and the tiles make clean up a breeze.”

A white and timber kitchen with vintage and natural decor.
Timber-look Treverkdear Natural tile from Groove Tile + Stone, was chosen for the splashback. Custom pantry door by Hardwood Heaven. Stools sourced from Coco Republic (discontinued). Oversized pots by St Barts and white ceramics from Andclay.co. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

The kitchen features a Neolith Strata Argentum benchtop from CDK Stone made from 100 per cent natural materials, that is heat-, stain-, and UV-resistant. “It looks like real silver travertine marble but is much easier to maintain – and I love the tactile, chalky finish,” says Cinnamon.

An artwork by Cinnamon on a bench by the kitchen.
An artwork called ‘The Dome’ by Cinnamon sits beside the kitchen. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

Dining area

The sun-drenched dining area features full-length certified eco linen curtains by LVH Byron Bay. “We never have them closed, but I love them for their softness and the way they draw attention to the ceiling height, I can’t imagine the room without them,” shares Cinnamon. The dining table was made by a friend decades ago and the dining chairs were sourced from James Rui. “It was hard to find a rug big enough I liked at a good price, so I ended up grabbing two sisal rugs from Freedom and just placing them together.”

The open-plan dining area overlooking the pool and garden.
The ornate mirror was a vintage find. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

“The ceiling height is one of my favourite things about the house.”

– Cinnamon
A timber dining table with a collection of rustic trays.
The simple timber dining table was made 20 years ago by a friend. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

Main bedroom

Cinnamon’s love for simplicity spills into the pared back bedroom with a rendered half wall purposed as the couple’s bedhead and a timber ‘Tonk’ stool from MCM House, used as a bedside table.

The main bedroom with white and timber décor and a bed canopy.
Natural textures abound in the main bedroom, where the bed is dressed in linens from Moss Living. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

“I was quite happy for the master bedroom to be quite bare, quite minimal. But it almost looked too bare until I added the curtains around the bed,” says Cinnamon. To create this version of a canopy bed, she sourced Uniqwa Eucalyptus Latte Poles from James Rui and attached them onto the ceiling before draping them with generous layers of linen. Curtains custom made by LVH Byron Bay.

We love… canopy curtains
The main bedroom with a white curtained bed canopy.
“Now the house is higher, we wake up to views of the treetops and sky,” says Cinnamon. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)


The north-facing ensuite in the main bedroom opens onto the balcony garden. “The light is always really beautiful, especially in the mornings when you get these amazing shadows,” says Cinnamon. Stone ‘Bianca’ basins and a ‘Ryese’ bath, all in Ivory Stone, from Pietra Bianca create a spa-like ambience.

A minimalist white ensuite with a freestanding bathtub.
Ceramic cross by Andclay.co. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)
The main ensuite with vintage style mirrors and a timber vanity.
The custom vanity in Polytec Natural Oak was made by MG Cabinetry. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)
The ensuite vanity with a white ceramic vase.
A vase by Brisbane ceramicist, Jess Sellinger, is in the main ensuite. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

Pool area

The backyard also got a makeover; blue ceramic pool tiles were replaced with Sukabumi natural stone in a gentle green hue, and a daybed that looks like it’s suspended over the water has been added. An original ’70s copper fireplace and decked seating area provides a cosy nook in cooler months and a sweet garden studio allows Cinnamon a quiet spot to throw clay.

The outdoor pool area with draping plants and deck chairs.
The revamped pool area features a daybed, “which Rupert thinks is a dog bed,” says Cinnamon with a laugh. The pool was updated with Sukabumi stone tiles. “They were expensive to install as they had to be laid individually, but I love the moodiness of the natural green and the imperfection of the natural stone.” The poolside furniture was found at Bunnings. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)
Artist Cinnamon in the white curtained pool cabana.
A custom daybed in the backyard appears to ‘float’ above the pool. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)
A vintage outdoor copper fireplace.
This ’70s copper fireplace found on Marketplace in a nook outside. (Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

Related stories