Aside from the picturesque beachside location two hours from the city, the house has strong family ties. “My grandmother’s brother actually built the house in the 1950s,” says owner and interior designer Amanda Browne. One of a row of houses all built to the same design along the cliff, the home had an impractical layout, with a landlocked kitchen in the centre and a bedroom on either end. “It was really dated and daggy, says Amanda.
The house had to be restumped since the floors were sloping in place, and the interior was completely gutted to make way for a new floor plan. The second bedroom and enclosed dining room were sacrificed to make way for an open-plan living and dining area adjacent to the new kitchen, which now opens onto the extended back deck.
The original kitchen was “the size of a cupboard” says Amanda, who drew up the plans for the renovation herself to include a more roomy L-shaped kitchen in the place of the former bathroom. A crisp white palette opens up the space, with walls painted in Dulux White On White, a Laminex benchtop and cabinetry in Ash White and light appliances that blend almost seamlessly with the joinery.
A simple neutral scheme gives the living room the relaxed, airy feel Amanda craved, while her assortment of quirky curios and accessories imbue it with would. “The house is very eclectic since I brought in a lot of pieces left over from various projects I’ve worked on,” she explains. A case in point is the black sofa, topped with graphic cushions from Moss Melbourne. Artworks throughout the room were created by Amandra’s daughter Stephanie.
“I wanted the space to have the feel of a beachside resort,” says Amanda of the renovated bathroom, where a ‘Grundtal’ porthole-style mirror from IKEA adds a shapely touch. The shower base, found at a hardware store, came complete with a glass shower screen and acrylic walls – it simply needed to be installed.
As for floorboards in the bathroom? “They’ve lasted this long! We just put a big bathmat down,” says Amanda.
The front-facing bedroom captures ocean glimpses and salty sea breezes through the timber louvre shutters. Like the rest of the interior, the bedroom is an intriguing mix of old and new, with an antique trestle table from New Zealand positioned alongside a zany rug and bold cushions.
The divine teal green exterior is actually a relic of the original house which was refreshed by painting the door and window frames white to match a pair of replica Tolix stools in front of the kitchen window.
The divine teal green exterior is actually a relic of the original house; Amanda freshened it up by painting the door and window frames white to match a pair of replica Tolix stools n front of the kitchen window.
The deck was extended to create a larger entertaining area, flanked by greenery.
Amanda spotted the luxurious black enamel freestanding bath and immediately fell in love. “I love the outdoor bath, I use it all the time,” she says. “There isn’t a bath in the house so that’s probably one of the reasons it gets so much use.”