With a stunning Noosa beach as its backdrop, this stylish and contemporary home is functional for a family with three teenage children, yet makes the most of its beachfront location
Edgy, minimalist design combined with nature-inspired interiors and ocean views give this home a modern vibe. You can literally step from the manicured lawn of the white-and-grey Miami-style house onto the sand of Noosa’s Sunrise Beach.
Built eight years ago, the home has withstood the test of time, remaining functional for the family as its three children grow into teenagers. Importantly, the clean and contemporary design retains a timeless style, a factor which architect Frank Macchia says was a carefully considered one for the home he created for his good friends, the Cerasani family.The house worked just as well for the family when it had three younger children as it does today, with the kids now teenagers. The house has distinct zones and is designed for separate living over each of its two storeys.
The upper level is used mainly as a family area and this is where the children’s bedrooms are each located, as well as a bathroom and the master bedroom and ensuite. There is also a kitchenette upstairs — an important element in making school-morning rushes run smoothly. The idea is that the family can remain upstairs, get ready for school and work, and have their breakfast without dashing up and down the stairs. “It’s worked really well,” says Frank.
The home’s lower level is where the creative flair really shines and has been designed for entertaining. The downstairs layout has fairly distinct zones to keep the areas separated. This zoning is created using well-lit corridors, which is an old-fashioned way of doing things, admits Frank, but is one that works particularly well for this home. After entering the residence and admiring the fish tank, you can go over a wooden bridge and lap pool, through an alcove and into the media room. The idea is that it’s separated and also “works acoustically”. The downstairs guest bedroom is separated in a similar way and is divided from the main living area. Beyond these quarters is the polished concrete lower level, with the home’s living room, dining area and kitchen all flowing to the outdoor living spaces.
The family is big on entertaining and very good at sharing their beautiful space with other family members and friends. The house has a barbecue area, spacious lawn and decking that spills from the main living room.
“What we enjoy about the house is still discovering new sitting areas after eight years, admiring the view internally as well as externally,” says owner Christina Cerasani.
Though this home fronts the beach, it is also located close to a main road. To keep out any noise or, in fact, any sense of the road even being there, it is as if the house has literally turned its back to it. A sturdy grey faceted wall, up to a metre thick on the facade, serves a dual purpose in acoustically and psychologically blocking out the road and giving a sense “that you’re enclosed in a very strong structure,” says Frank. Rising to the challenge, the architect used this necessary structural element as a reason to do something a bit special.
“It gave us a piece of sculpture. It was an excuse to exaggerate something and create something sculptural and beautiful,” he explains. “It’s timeless, has clean, strong lines and won’t date.”
The solid masonry and blocky design of the exterior lends itself to a sense of protection. Having the beach at your back doorstep has its obvious bonuses, but it also means being at the mercy of windy ocean weather; the home’s south-easterly aspect in particular meant this was something that had to be considered.
“Our house is situated in a beachfront estate, with prevailing south-easterly winds. Consequently, we need protection while still having that connection with the beach,” says Christina.
Frank says this was an integral part of the Queensland home. The structure was angled and designed with this in mind so the owners could enjoy having a unique beachfront home yet be completely protected from the wind and weather. The successful design has managed to create open and flowing living areas that provide shelter, yet still embrace the sea.
The natural elements that surround the home tie in with its interior style. A clean white and neutral grey colour palette works well with the square, blocky structure and the use of glass keeps it light. Keeping it neutral and giving the owner a blank canvas to work with was important. It allows the striking beach setting to speak for itself.
The intentional white palette was like giving Christina, who has an exceptional creative flair, a gallery space to work with. Her interior style uses wooden furniture, natural fibres, splashes of orange and animal objects which, combined with the solid structural elements of the home and its oceanfront aspect, give it a modern yet organic feel. Timber floorboards and polished concrete add to this.
Admiring her sophisticated styling, Frank comments on how the home’s light spaces are used. “Windows face different surfaces; the play of light as it hits the surfaces is important and was orchestrated through the placement of windows. The owners use this with their sculptures and art and it’s almost like a gallery that Christina is curating,” says Frank.
The white masonry render of the exterior is continued on the inside of the house. The block design and use of concrete could have been overpowering and heavy, but is balanced out with the use of glass and a light colour palette such that the feel of the home remains summery and light-filled.
The strong, sculptural design is reflective of the owners themselves, says Frank, who is close friends with the family. “They are modern-thinking, contemporary and they travel a lot. The house works for them,” he says. “It had to be clean, contemporary and quite stylish. The owners have strong personalities and are quite social so the house is reflective of that as well.”
With owners that love entertaining and its direct beach access, it’s no wonder this home and its different zones is a hub of action and socialising for family members of all ages.
Words Emma Wheaton
Photography Anastasia Kariofyllidis
From Home Design magazine Vol. 16 No. 6