At the tail-end of a long renovation, these clients — a couple with four children — came to me to help with the final layer for their home in Manly. Although I live around the corner, this was the first time I’d completed an interior design project in Manly! Both clients were engaged with the renovation process, and very visual. But, they were after a fresh set of eyes and someone to help with making the many decisions that still lay ahead of them. They knew what they wanted — a non-cliched coastal home, connected to it’s surroundings with plenty of warmth and soul. They just didn’t know how to get there! The outdoor areas needed filling, as did the living areas, dining and some bedrooms. The open plan living / dining was very open and the owners were struggling to make the spaces work for everyday and entertaining.
We set to work executing their vision for a “modern Australian beach house”. I wanted the furnishings to tie in seamlessly with the clients and their outdoor lifestyle, and also to elevate and improve what they had already created. Although the renovation was beautiful, it was a bit of a challenge working in with an existing vision! A key consideration was taking inspiration from the coastal and bush surroundings, and making the furniture plan work best for the family, and enjoying the water views as much as possible. The furniture layout was tweaked, and in the open plan areas, large rugs were used to define and demarcate each area, while still having them connected visually.
The result is a sophisticated, stylish house that reflects the homeowners and their lifestyle, with enough of a laid-back, low-key feeling to tie in with the beach side location and young family. The house now feel ‘whole’, with plenty of warmth and personality.
Check out all the images below.
All photography by Pablo Veiga.
As soon as you walk up the steps from the street, you’re greeted with this expansive outdoor area, so it was important to get the space planning right. A lounge-y corner was positioned to take in the views at any time of day, whether you’re having breaky on your own, or entertaining friends. Because this area is so open to the elements, an important consideration for me was finding materials and fabrics durable enough for the moist ocean area and strong winds this area can be hit with.
Another seating area comes off the kitchen, which the clients use for their morning coffee. Being undercover, the area is used just about all-year round, so the furniture needed to be sturdy and hard-wearing, as it’s almost a permanent fixture.
At the other end of the verandah sits a more private spot. I wanted to create spaces that the family could gather, but also retreat and have their own quiet moment when they feel like it.
The clients had completed the renovation of the kitchen when I was engaged, and the space shows their love of colour, natural materials and the desire to create a different version of a “coastal” home. It helped me to see that they weren’t afraid of colour!
Living and Dining Areas
Inside, the furniture layout was tweaked slightly to include armchairs that could be moved when the clients were entertaining. A large rug really defines the area and separates it from the dining and kitchen areas. Although initially the clients hadn’t thought about curtains in this area in order to take in the view as much as possible, a sheer S-track curtain frames the view really nicely, and gives a little extra cosiness to the space.
Working with the client’s dining table, I chose a deep blue leather, with an aged effect, to upholster the custom dining chairs. This reflects the ocean and the wallpapered backdrop, and is a nod to the natural materials the clients wanted to include. Because the blue colour is concentrated in this area, it helps to define the dining area and make it separated, but still connected to the wider area. A “sister” rug to the one in the living area also helps to achieve this.
It was a challenge to find a mirror that would reflect the view through the doors, but not be distracting to the people sitting opposite it! I finally found this one from Globe West which was just right.
Behind the dining room sits the TV room, where the clients wanted to create a more relaxed, casual feel. The clients had purchased the sofa (from Coco Republic) already, so I decided this would inform the look and feel of the room — neutral, textured, and very cool! Curtains were installed in the same tone as the wallpaper, so you can separate yourself from the rest of the house. The neutral textured palette was continued with the coffee table, lighting, joinery and artwork. This is set off with a custom blue rug to tie in with the adjacent dining room.
And that’s about it!
I hope you enjoyed hearing more of the story behind this beautiful interior design project in Manly. See more of our finished work here, or feel free to get in touch at email@example.com if you’d like to share your thoughts.