A beautifully reinvigorated beach house on the Sunshine Coast

This revamped holiday home is an idyllic hideaway for several generations of the one family.

Nobody could accuse Brisbane couple Jo and Steve of being held back by indecision. Within moments of wandering through their sublime Sunshine Coast weekender for the first time, the pair were ready to sign on the dotted line. “We loved it from the minute we walked in, even though it wasn’t what we were originally looking for,” says Jo. “But it just felt like us, and we ended up buying it in the car on the way home. We’re very spontaneous people – and we never look back.” That was 25 years ago and Jo and Steve, now grandparents, certainly haven’t regretted their impulse purchase for a moment.

Time after time, the couple have felt a sense of joy when opening the front door to their undeniably special home by the sea.

Perfectly positioned on Queensland’s glorious Sunshine Coast, the holiday home Jo shares with husband Steve and their extended family has been transformed into the couple’s ultimate vision of a welcoming getaway. Even family pooch Bella loves visiting the idyllic residence every chance she gets. “Bella gets so excited when we head off to the beach house,” says Jo. “As soon as we turn into the street, she sits up and knows we’re almost there!”

For Jo and Steve, sons Andrew and John, and now their families, laidback holidays punctuated by salty breezes and sunny, sandy days far from the hustle and bustle have always been the happiest of times.

An evocative painting (artist unknown), purchased by Jo and Steve two decades ago at an art school in Bali’s Ubud district provides a talking point in the dining domain. Made from antique French oak, the 10-seater dining table, with bespoke matching chairs, makes light work of entertaining. Additional character is added to the room with the eye-catching timber cabinet – an antique painted Javanese trunk the couple bought in Bali 23 years ago and freighted home. On top sits an impressive pineapple lamp that Jo found at One World Noosa.

“The house was a bit tired when we bought it, but it certainly served its purpose until we decided to renovate a couple of years ago,” says Jo.

In common with the entire home, the central chill-out zone – adjacent to the kitchen and dining room – is, quite simply, a textural triumph. Comfy EJP ‘Bristol’ sofas – layered with an array of scattered cushions (some in Alcott ‘Denim Barley’ striped fabric by Sanderson Fabrics) – provide ample room for the entire family to curl up. “We wanted everyone to have their own space, but also spots such as this to come together,” says Jo. The coffee table was found at One World Noosa, while the stunning ‘Chambord’ chandelier was sourced through Beacon Lighting. “The challenge was to find a chandelier with minimal exposed metal because of the propensity to rust near the ocean,” says Jo. As for the model sailboat from The White House in Noosa, Jo reveals: “We’ve named it The Lady Annette after my sister-in-law, whose birthday we were celebrating with a week-long stay here at the time of purchase.”

“The children were young, so there was always sand through the house. I used to throw a towel over the front balcony to signal to the boys on the beach that it was time for lunch!”

Fresh and airy, and grounded by solid blackbutt flooring, the beautifully appointed hub of the home is an easy entertaining paradise. Silver Sahara granite, sourced from Signature Stone, covers the benchtops, while the beautifully rustic chandelier suspended above the island is another favourite piece. “I found it wedged behind some timber pallets in a timber restoration shed when Steve was looking for timber for the mantle,” says Jo. “It’s been rewired and hand-waxed. I love it, as it reminds me of a chandelier you may have found in the dining area of an old timber sailing boat.” ‘Barcelona’ stools in Natural Oak from Provincial Home Living continue the coastal feel.

Just metres from the sand, and presenting a breathtaking outlook when the sky is as blue as the ocean, the elevated three-level home also presents beguiling vistas on the darkest and most tempestuous days.

In the upstairs walkway, painted timber Bain & Sons shelves display more of the couple’s keepsakes. “Paul has placed a lot of artefacts that we collected overseas here, together with some shells and books,” says Jo. The benches at either end of the unit feature seat cushions upholstered in Warwick ‘Jarvis Sesame’. Above the stairs, a custom-ordered Beacon Lighting pendant adds another touch of old-world detailing, as does the eye catching Javanese display cupboard.

“I love watching a big storm roll in over the ocean,” says Jo. “I grew up in far-western Queensland, where we hardly ever saw rain, so storms have excited me my entire life.”

A stunning carved Italian marble basin rests atop a Macaubas granite vanity counter. The elegant, ornate mirror, sourced from Mirror Gallery, adds a sumptuous finishing touch.

In 2018, Jo and Steve decided the time had come to embark on a renovation. Enlisting the expertise of interior designer Paul Popham of Popham Interiors and Laguna Building Consultants principal Toby Witt, the couple were confident they were in good hands.

An antique Balinese dresser commands attention alongside another beautiful find – a vintage armchair.

Their trust was well rewarded. “It ended up being a major renovation,” says Jo. “Paul and Toby very much worked together and really only approached us if there was a crisis, because they knew what our vision was.

An intricate Balinese bench purchased by the couple many years ago.

I didn’t want a theme – I just wanted it to feel like a very comfortable beach house.” And that it surely does. Bathed in natural light, the home – with its beautiful new living spaces and multiple decks overlooking the sea – provides an easy connection to nature, with ample space for family and friends of all ages.

The glistening pool overlooks the ocean.

“It’s a very non-precious home,” says Jo, “and you have to have that at the beach. You just have to sweep the sand up and get on with it.”

A pair of classic Adirondack chairs invite time-out in the sun.

While the home’s base palette is mostly neutral, featuring organic textures, there’s plenty to intrigue the eye, too. Consummate travellers, Jo and Steve have assembled a fascinating collection of pieces from around the globe, many of which have been reinvented and are now showcased about the home, each telling a story

A feature wall clad in showstopper botanical wallpaper – Mokum ‘La Palma’ by Catherine Martin – is the star attraction in the pool lounge and bar. A vintage cabinet from India, painted white by Steve, is the perfect spot to display treasures ranging from an antique Chinese green-lidded jar to a Balinese tribal shell necklace and a tall, bronze pine lamp, also from local store One World Noosa.

“Much of the furniture Paul recycled or re-covered,” says Jo. “He did a wonderful job with the floor plan and with all of the interiors. I trusted him implicitly and let him have the reins.”

The sitting zone of Jo and Steve’s bedroom features an upholstered ‘Havana Rattan’ One World Collection armchair, adorned with a palm-tree cushion from Eclectic Style Noosa and Warwick Fabrics Eastwood cushion in ‘Tan Leather’. “Our room has magical views due east over the ocean,” says Jo. The sweet glass table is also from One World Collection.

Above all, this is a heavenly yet delightfully unpretentious home – one Jo and Steve hope will continue to be cherished by future generations to come. “This home is part of our family and always will be,” says Jo. “It’s very special to us all.”

In the sitting corner of Jo and Steve’s bedroom, a collection of framed prints found at One World Noosa hang above a Brazilian Macaubas granite-topped display unit. The eye-catching calligraphy brushes were purchased in Japan.

“Steve designed the timber cut-outs for the high breezeway into the walk-in robe in our bedroom, based on some of the designs we had seen on a trip to Morrocco.” ~ Jo

In this luxurious sleep zone, Sheridan bedlinen and a Pillow Talk comforter join with an array of plump and colourful patterned cushions for a decidedly inviting look.

The ‘Alegra’ freestanding bath from Decina in the couple’s ensuite.

This is the bedroom our grandchildren use, and it has two king single beds,” says Jo of the nautical-style room, on the middle level of the home. Classic bedlinen by Pillow Talk and a ‘Noah’ bedside table and lamp from One World Noosa are relaxed and comfortable.

Capitalising on its heavenly location, the alfresco deck – conveniently located off the kitchen – is forever in use by the family. “I most love what we call ‘The Nickie Bar’ after my daughter-in-law Nickie, as she came up with the idea for it. It’s the area where the two all-weather bar stools sit,” says Jo with a smile. “The bench is wide enough for a small cheese platter and wine glasses, and it’s a lovely spot for early morning coffee and early evening cocktails.”

An outdoor shower is perfect for washing off sandy feet.

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