Come the weekend, as soon as Kim, Ian and their twins Max and Tate arrive at their beach house on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, their bags are promptly dumped at the door, their shoes are kicked off and they head to the beach, which is conveniently just across the road.
“Depending on the tide, we either explore the rock pools for small fish and crabs, jump the waves or build dams in the small freshwater creek that flows into the ocean,”says Kim.
“Saturday night is always takeaway fish and chips, then we’ll ease into Sunday with a beach walk and pancakes. It’s our weekend escape from the everyday.”
Having lived in the United States for more than a decade before returning to Brisbane, the couple discovered this magical part of the world several years ago. Then, in 2018, when Kim, who had studied architecture, was looking to sink her teeth into a renovation project, a little beach shack came up for sale.
“The place was quite humble from the street,”she recalls.”It was painted sage green and mustard and there was a collection of thongs nailed to the timber posts under the deck, but inside it was amazing.
It was filled with character and I loved the incredible mezzanine sleeping area.”A deal was struck, and within two days Kim sketched the designs for a renovation that embraced the home’s bones yet incorporated a modern extension.
Her inspiration came from stays with friends in homes along the US east coast.”We had lived in Boston and I loved the New England aesthetic – styles such as Cape Cod cottages and saltbox houses with their pitched roofs and timber panelling,” says Kim.
“Internally it was important the design could accommodate larger get-togethers with friends and family, and intimate areas to retreat to with a book.”
Kim donned the hats of building designer, project manager and interior designer during the five-month transformation. Upstairs, the 1970s mission brown rafters and dark timber veneer walls were revitalised with white paint and a swathe of fresh finishes, and stairs were added.
The ground level was gutted and extended to encompass three additional bedrooms, bathrooms and a striking galley kitchen.
Cane furniture and vintage pieces collected over the years were taken from their family home in Brisbane, while nautical touches such as timber oars are a nod to the beachside location.
“I’m really drawn to texture and eclectic pieces, so I spent an awful lot of time onGumtree,”says Kim. Her own artwork adorns the walls, while curio-laden shelves feature watercolours of the local area that were painted by the previous owner and gifted to Kim and her family.
The result? Far from a bare-bones holiday house, this is a richly layered haven filled with mementos and the essence of escapism.
“Nothing here is overly precious. To me a home should have character and beauty, yet it should also feel relaxed and comfortable.” ~ Kim
“I wanted a place that felt like you’d escaped the everyday… something that was as much about fund and delight as about beauty and comfort.” ~ Kim
“I still pinch myself when I walk around. I get to live in what was in my head, and that’s fantastic.” ~ Kim
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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