A luxe coastal home with neutral, warming elements

This beautifully renovated holiday home in Noosa is a rainforest-meets-the-sea getaway for a family of five.
coastal luxe family renovation

Come school holidays, flights permitting, Singapore-based couple Debbie and Wes and their daughters Mika, nine, Honor, six, and Pippin, four, head to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The trip takes about 10 hours and when the family arrives at their Noosa holiday home the most pressing decision is where to head first – Little Cove Beach for a swim, or Noosa National Park for a walk to stretch the legs. “We love doing both and never take our time in Noosa for granted,” reflects Debbie. “In Singapore, we live in a rented apartment, with no outdoor space – not even a balcony, so here we enjoy being outside as much as possible.”

“The custom aluminium vertical battens at the front were a splurge, but we love their visual impact and they’re the perfect solution to filter light and provide privacy,” reflects Debbie of the home’s entrance.

Who stays here? Debbie, a lawyer; husband Wes, who works in finance; their daughters Mika, nine, Honor, six, and Pippin, four.

What did you learn during the reno? Debbie: “Even though 3D renders can be costly and timely, they were an excellent way to help visualise the space, making it easier and more efficient to make decisions!”

Best design decision? Debbie: “There were garages on either side of the house… we enlarged one into a double garage and converted the other into a media/games room.”

Favourite spot in the home? Debbie: “We love entertaining friends and family in the alfresco dining area overlooking the Noosa National Park.”

HOME EXTERIOR The custom aluminium battens are from DM Steel and Aluminium.

For the expat couple and their children, there’s no place like their holiday home, nestled among the trees in Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. It took almost a year to renovate the home to create a luxe retreat, perfectly suited to the climate and idyllic location.

Wes and Debbie with daughters Honor (left), Pippin (centre) and Mika (right) in a corner of the living area.

For Wes, who grew up on the Sunshine Coast, it had always been a dream to own a property in the tightly held Little Cove area where he could simply walk to the surf breaks he enjoyed as a kid. Initially, the couple bought a townhouse yet not long after the arrival of their youngest daughter Pippin in 2018, they leapt at the opportunity to upsize to a larger home nearby. “The timing was perfect as we’d outgrown the townhouse and really wanted a place where our extended families could also stay with us on holidays,” explains Debbie.

MEDIA/GAMES ROOM Debbie with daughters Mika (left), Pippin (centre) and Honor (right) in the playroom, where a custom bench seat from Akyrah Kitchens houses deep drawers for storing games and toys.

While the location and size were ideal, the ’90s-era home riddled with ad-hoc extensions needed a dramatic renovation inside and out to get the feel and flow right. Enlisting the expertise of local building designer Georgina Price and interior designer Bindy Ward, the redesign centred around taking advantage of Noosa’s temperate climate by creating a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces and capturing views of the national park, which provides a lush backdrop. “We wanted a space that functioned for us as a family where we could watch the kids run around the garden and splash in the pool while we entertain in the kitchen and living spaces,” says Debbie.

ENTRANCE Rather than a designated front door, the home’s entrance is a series of pivoting batten screens, which open to reveal doors leading to the playroom and living area. The Malawi chair is from Uniqwa.

Key changes included converting a garage to a games room, enclosing annexed bedrooms and relocating internal stairs to create a more user-friendly open-plan living and dining area.

KITCHEN The kitchen was also overhauled to become a connected social space, designed for informal dining, with shelves filled with locally made ceramics forming a striking feature wall.

KITCHEN Once orange, taupe and poky, the new, white, bright kitchen feels fresh, timeless and far bigger thanks to a few clever tweaks that involved removing a wall and installing additional skylights. Cabinetry by Akyrah Kitchens, colour matched to walls in Resene Half Black White, is simple and subtle, with the kitchen island defined with VJ detailing and shapely oak legs. To keep the palette pared back and functional, Caesarstone benchtops in ‘Cloudburst Concrete’ echo the tone and feel of the floors refurbished in a micro cement finish.

Juggling the 11-month project while living overseas, the couple, who both have a passion for design, quite enjoyed reviewing plans and perusing furniture selections online, late at night after work. Every few months, they also travelled back to oversee progress and make decisions onsite. “It felt like a nice reprieve from our normal day jobs and our team made the process as easy as possible with regular photo and video updates,” says Debbie of the transformation completed in early 2020.

LIVING AREA “As a holiday home we rent out when we are overseas, our vision was to create an effortless yet elegant space for ourselves and our guests,” explains Debbie. A Jardan ‘Sunny’ sofa is a favourite spot to kick back for an afternoon nap after a morning spent at the beach, while the girls love to stretch out on an Armadillo rug, teamed with a Sarah Ellison ‘Paloma’ coffee table. The new staircase doubles as a light well and a gallery wall for a natural fibre piece by Roundnine9.

DINING AREA Floating custom bench seating by GTO Building in White Smoked timber from Woodcut, teamed with Cultiver cushions, is a clever addition, which maximises space. Paired with a custom timber table by Raw Sunshine Coast and No. 18 chairs from James Richardson Furniture, the casual setting caters for big family lunches with ease.

Just as they imagined, the holiday home and its surrounding beauty provides a welcome change of scene from their inner-city lifestyle. “For us, it’s an opportunity to slow down, relax and unwind, while the kids really relish the amount of outdoor space there is,” says Debbie. Like most homeowners in the picturesque coastal pocket, Debbie says they can’t ever imagine ever letting go of their place. “Noosa is so special to us and we plan on plenty more happy memories being made here as our family grows.”

GUEST BATHROOM “The key to creating a relaxed holiday vibe was adopting an understated palette which drew inspiration from the natural landscape,” explains Debbie. An ADP ‘Arch’ mirror from Reece reflects views of the national park, with H&M towels providing another shot of greenery.


Rather than simply furnish the house for function, carefully chosen layered artworks and ceramics imbue a personal touch and reflect Debbie and Wes’s appreciation of handcrafted works. “We wanted a luxe coastal feel with fairly neutral, warming, textural elements,” says Debbie. Pieces by Clae Studio and local ceramic artist Elke Lucas were chosen for their organic, tactile appeal.

MAIN BEDROOM The upper level is designed as a retreat for Wes and Debbie. Rather than furnish the space with a bedhead, a ledge clad in VJ panelling provides a focal point and place to display ceramics. A ‘Malawi’ rug from Armadillo and linen by Cultiver keeps the look textural and serene, with the main source of colour in the room a commissioned artwork by Hannah Nowlan and native foliage.


The pool, resurfaced by Nautilus Pools and updated with ‘Glocal’ structured tiles in Ideal from National Tiles, is enjoyed by the whole family. “My favourite spot is to sit in the hanging chair and work on my laptop while the kids play in the pool or back garden,” says Debbie.

The ‘Kenya’ hanging chair is from Yak and Yeti Trader.

The existing pool was resurfaced and updated with new concrete-look tiles.

A custom timber box and board rack stores gear, including a locally crafted ‘Flax Fish’ surfboard from Hughies.

The landscaping is by Serene Gardens.

The outdoor area is equipped for entertaining with a Cosh Living dining table, Globe West dining chairs and a Grandfire barbecue.


Builder: GTO Building,

Building design: Georgina Price Design,

Interiors: Bindy Ward,

Holiday bookings: visit Noa by the Beach,

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