A classic coastal renovation with a modern twist

This family has their dream home - but it took multiple renovations. Now they're sharing their tips for success
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After three renovations on the same street in the NSW Central Coast, homeowner Megan understands the plight of Goldilocks. The first reno resulted in a house that was too small for herself, her husband Jarrod, children Finley, 14, Louis, 12, and Isla, nine. The second was too big and not conducive to shared experiences. Finally, with the help of Fabric architects and The Beholder styling, they achieved a classic coastal house with a modern twist. With the addition of their pet King Charles cavalier, Alfie, the size and style of this home is just right and we’ve got the secrets to their happily ever after.

Classic weatherboard beach house renovation
(Credit: Brigid Arnott)

Who lives here? Megan, founder of The Connect Agency, her husband Jarrod, children Finley, 14, Louis, 12, and Isla, nine, plus King Charles cavalier, Alfie, two.

Location: Central Coast, 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney.

Original property: A four-bedroom, two-bathroom classic Australian beach house on 746sqm block.

Time frame: Started June 2021 and finished April 2022. 

Must-haves? Functional spaces for the family. A spacious yet cosy home.

Budget breakers? When they opened up the walls they saw the whole house was crooked and had to be rebuilt.

Favourite aspects? The size of the home is perfect for the family. The stunning views and indoor/outdoor flow are another big plus.

This alfresco entertaining space, complete with outdoor furniture from Globe West, is flooded with sunshine. In the living area, ‘Edgewater’ sheer curtains in Ivory, from Wynstan, shield the light while letting in the views. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

Living Room

The original rafter ceilings were retained throughout the home but painted white for a fresher and more modern look (try Dulux White 0n White). “I wanted to ensure that we kept the essence of what the home was,” says Megan. The windows also faced a major change, being extended to allow full visibility to the gorgeous ocean views beyond. “We face south so with the sea breeze, timber doesn’t hold up well,” Megan explains. Thankfully, DecoWood windows held the solution, with hardy aluminium that has the appearance of timber. It’s the best of both worlds – easy to maintain, yet stylish.

Coastal living room renovation before and after
(Credit: Supplied/Brigid Arnott)

The floor plan was reconfigured to suit the family of five. The downstairs area has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry and second living area, while upstairs features an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area.

With a fresh coat of white paint and new windows the space is now open, bright and inviting. The ‘Neo’ lounge, from King, is large enough for the whole family without overwhelming the space. The Globe West ‘Amara’ coffee table in Brown Vein Marble is decorated with a ‘Flute’ bowl in Ivory from The Foundry. 

Contemporary coastal living with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams
An ‘Odessa’ rug in Arborio from Armadillo and ‘Enes’ throw in Clay from Saardé complete the look. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)


“I always prioritise kitchens, floors and windows,” says Megan. “If you get those right, your house will last.” And she certainly followed her ethos to great effect. The kitchen received a total makeover as an upper-level extension allowed more space for the team to play with. A butler’s pantry was added to the left, while a powder room was built to the right. Additional windows were added to the void, allowing an even greater abundance of natural light to the room, which opens out on to the deck via oversized sliders to create a seamless indoor/outdoor feel.

Contemporary coastal kitchen with kit kat tiles on island bench
An ‘Elysian’ kitchen mixer in White by Abi Interiors adds a sleek, modern feel to the space, as does the striking pendant from Caribou and stools from DesignByThem. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

The Tile Cloud kit kat tiles on the overhead cabinetry, emulated on the island, are one of Megan’s favourite features in this room that’s an entertainer’s dream. 

Contemporary coastal kitchen with finger tiles on island bench
The linen tea towel in Natural is from Saardé and the ‘Arch’ and ‘Joren’ cheese boards are from In Artisan. On the benchtop is a showstopping item – the Elso Collective ceramic vase in Natural. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)


Ensuring that all bedrooms and full bathrooms were on the same level was of the utmost importance to Megan. The family, have separate zones for privacy, but are close enough together so that they still feel connected. The entrance to the main bedroom previously featured a step down so the floor was raised to make it flush with the rest of the level. The area was also extended to include space for the ensuite. The main bathroom was entirely reconfigured to allow for growing children, with double sinks and plentiful storage. In the end, Isla’s bedroom was one of the only spaces in the home that remained relatively unchanged. The windows were updated to allow more light and the room was extended slightly for additional wardrobe and desk space.

Contemporary coastal bedroom with boucle upholstered bedhead and white lamp
(Credit: Brigid Arnott)

Double curtains from Wynstan, in ‘Harris’ fabric in Natural and ‘Edgewater’ fabric in Ivory, soften the amount of light that streams into the main bedroom. An ‘Axol’ side table from MCM House and a cushion from Moorish Co add warmth to the creamy neutrals of the Vittoria linen bedhead in Dune from Globe West and Jean De White lamp from MCM House.

contemporary bedroom with sheer curtains
Isla’s bedroom faces the street so privacy was essential. This was achieved by layering a Wynstan motorised roller blind with ‘Edgewater’ sheer curtains in Ivory. Neutrals set the scene for calm with In Bed’s linen duvet set in Chestnut and the linen bolster cushion cover in White. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)


The ensuite also features cabinetry from Loughlin Furniture and tiles from Tile Cloud. Bath towels from Papaya and Frama shampoo and conditioner from Oliver Thom add a decorative flourish.

Contemporary ensuite with timber vanity
The American oak, wall-hung, floating vanity and mirror cabinets by Loughlin Furniture in the main bathroom have ample storage space and add beautiful texture and warmth. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

“Not only is our home functional, but it’s so damn pretty”

Megan, homeowner.
Contemporary bathroom with rain shower and louvre windows
The ensuite features serene cool tones, thanks to the tiles from Tile Cloud. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

The deck has glorious views that Megan was loathe to block but, with a western-facing aspect, the amount of sunlight that streamed through was impractical. She used Wynstan cable guide awnings in ‘Outlook Mode’ fabric in Greystone for protection from the coastal wind and sun, while still allowing the seaside vistas to shine through.

Deck makeover before and after
(Credit: Supplied/Brigid Arnott)

“The blinds protect from the harsh afternoon sun without make you feel locked in”

contemporary deck wtih tiled floor and outdoor blinds
The stone tray from In Artisan and Saardé linen tea towel in Natural decorate the table without distracting from the view. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)
Alfresco dining with swimming pool
Linea weatherboards by James Hardie provide a durable alternative to timber weatherboards for the pool house, while still maintaining the original charm of the coastal style staple. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)
Swimming pool with cabana in bushland setting
Jarrod, Finley and Isla relax by the pool. The stone pavers are from Gather Co. The pool house was a new addition and provides a separate area for guests to stay, Megan to work and the children to play. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)
coastal weatherboard home renovation before and after
The exterior is clad in Linea weatherboards by James Hardie, with Colorbond roofing. (Credit: Supplied/Brigid Arnott)


Architecture: Fabric Architecture Studio,

Interior design: The Beholder Styling + Design,

Builder: BBM Constructions,

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