Stylist Amber Keller admits she’s a city girl at heart, yet the allure of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast prompted her and her family to leave the hustle and bustle of Sydney for a more laid-back pace closer to the beach.
“We’d come every summer to visit my husband Matt’s relatives, who live at nearby Sunshine Beach, with our girls, Amelie and Alessandra, and each trip we’d want to stay longer,” says Amber. “We just loved it so much.”
Four years ago, they made the permanent sea change and snapped up a little beach house– yet before long another move was on the cards after they discovered the hinterland. “We didn’t know much about the area when we moved here, but on weekend drives to the Eumundi Markets we started exploring a few pockets,”says Amber.
“We found this whole other world, with homes among trees on acreage and with incredible views, not far from Noosa’s main beach. It was magical.”
Not shy of a renovation, having transformed their three previous homes, Amber began looking for a hinterland property. She stumbled on a perfect ugly duckling that had sat on the market for months.
“It’s not surprising it had been overlooked,”explains Amber.”The colours and finishes were a terrible mix of apricot, beige and brown, cheap carpet and terracotta tiles, which hadn’t been updated in about 20 years, and the gardens were so overgrown they hid the exterior.”
On the plus side, the property had great bones, incredible view sand an expansive block filled with tropical fruit trees and bordered by lush Noosa reserve rainforest–which the family later discovered was home to rock wallabies who visit at dusk to nibble their lawn.
Amber dived into renovation mode and had new flooring installed, the interior repainted and the old kitchen ripped out before the family moved in.
Although no structural or layout changes were required, it was still a huge project, encompassing five bedrooms, two bathrooms and large living areas across two levels.
Outside, the exterior was also repainted, gardens revitalised with landscaping and the pool overhauled to create a Mediterranean-inspired outdoor entertaining area.
The palette was kept to black and white, providing a backdrop for Amber to add flourishes of colour with homewares and art. Having collected heirlooms and classic pieces since her early 20s, she and Matt brought a significant amount of furniture with them yet added pieces for a casual, coastal feel.
“The timber floors, white walls, VJ panels and rattan add a natural textural sensibility,”says Amber.”With the high ceilings and ocean glimpses, it feels beachy, even in the hinterland.”
The best improvement is the kitchen, with views stretching to the ocean.”It’s wonderful,”says Amber.”The girls love to go to the garden and pick fruit – whatever’s in season – and make little tarts and cakes on weekends. It’s so special to be able to do that. It’s a magic lifestyle.”
“Our home is a mix of modern and vintage furniture, family antiques and boho homewares, mingled with sentimental items collected on our travels.” ~ Amber
“VJ panelling was a great addition in every space, to visually elongate walls and add warmth and texture.” ~ Amber
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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