The great outdoors is fully embraced in Michelle and Troy’s Queensland home. Weekends revolve around the water – whether it’s a dip in the pool, throwing a fishing line off their jetty, or taking the boat and jet skis out on the river with twin daughters Jemma and Jade.
Entertaining is also a casual alfresco affair, often a barbecue lunch with friends and family before kicking back on poolside loungers. For the couple, who grew up in South Africa, it was this relaxed lifestyle that enticed them to relocate to the Gold Coast 15 years ago.
“One of my sisters had moved here and, every time we visited, we fell more in love with Australia and now it’s home,” reflects Michelle, a stylist. Having renovated several homes on the coast, the prerequisite for each has always been to be by the water.
“If it’s in a great location with the right orientation, almost anything else about the house can be changed,” says Michelle, who did just that and redesigned every bit of their current home.
Spanning two levels with an extension top and bottom, the renovation was a massive project inside and out: dated Mediterranean-style fixtures and finishes were ditched in favour of a timeless scheme, which exudes a Hamptons feel, influenced by the family’s time in America.
“Troy played professional soccer in the US for 15 years and our sons Declan and Layton go to university in Pennsylvania, so we have strong ties over there and visit every year,” explains Michelle.
“Places such as New England on the East Coast, and Palm Beach and Newport Beach on the West were a source of interiors inspiration.”
The detailed joinery and a sophisticated palette of marble, natural stone and cool coastal colours establishes a luxurious feel throughout, with light grey walls providing a serene backdrop for classic coastal and colonial pieces, layered with soft furnishings and collected treasures.
To maximise year-round outdoor living and entertaining, the layout was reworked and enlarged with a gym and an additional upstairs lounge area.
Downstairs, a new bar room, barbecue area and indoor-outdoor dining area was created to soak up sun and pool views, and connect to a stunning kitchen designed by Michelle that was to be the epicentre of family life.
Although the original plan was to renovate in stages, once work began the couple didn’t want to lose momentum, so they forged ahead with a continuous two-year build, all while living in the house.
Up to 15 tradies were in the house on some days, yet the family managed to survive the dust and disruption, relocating from room to room.
“If I had my time again, the only thing I’d do differently is move out for six months or so,” reflects Michelle. Now, with the dust behind them, the family couldn’t be happier with the result – a home perfectly tailored to enjoy quality time together, filled with treasured pieces.
“We’ve always enjoyed travelling and still go away a lot, but we love being home the most,” she says with a smile. “We’ve got everything here we could want and more.”
“I love that the colour palette in the bedroom is soft without being too feminine.” ~ Michelle
“The interior style needed to be relaxed and comfortable, which is exactly how we like to feel.” ~ Michelle
“The water is a big part of our lifestyle. The girls are in the pool all summer.” ~ Michelle
“I love that our house is open and breezes flow straight through, keeping the place cool during the warmer months.” ~ Michelle
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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