REAL HOME: Colourful Gold Coast beach house


A much-loved beach house receives a new and refreshingly individual interior design.






real-home-interior-lamp-rejuvenation6 real-home-interior-stairs-rejuvenated7 


John Croft Design has a long and steady relationship with the homeowners of this bright, fresh and innovative Gold Coast home. They have worked together on three projects over the last 20 years so it’s no great surprise a trusting relationship has developed. This relationship was exceptionally important as the homeowners were very attached to the already-existing design, which was also completed by John Croft 12 years ago. Filled with bursting colours and powerful patterns, the previous interior was greatly loved. Unfortunately, after many years of wear and tear, the homeowners decided a refreshing refurbishment was necessary.

The homeowners placed their trust in John Croft and knew they were in good hands with the chief designer, and fellow interior designer Nyria Mckew. “The clients really loved the home they had before, which was even brighter than this one,” explains John. “There were bright lime-green and purple walls, but the house was tired and really needed freshening up.”

Contrary to what might be apparent at first glance, the home has been neutralised. Compared to the bright pre-existing interior, this new space is calmer and warmer than before. A selection of natural tones and textures can be found dotted throughout the house, and many of the walls have been painted in neutral hues with a softening ragged finish applied. Even walls with the brighter colours have been layered with tones of beige prior to the application of the bright paint.

Artistic touches can be seen coursing through many rooms in this new interior. While neutral colours feature prominently on the more structural elements, colour and pattern have been added to the furnishings so that the carpets and walls jump with life. The ornate design that runs along the hallway adjacent to the kitchen is an exquisite touch and a perfect example of the design’s artistic nature. Hand-painted by artist Mike Perry, the artwork adds a one-of-a-kind element to the space. The rug that runs along this hallway is also unique.

With six grandchildren, the homeowners wanted to feature some of the children’s artwork around the home. Rather than sticking pictures on the fridge or framing them on walls, John Croft Design suggested having the pictures hand-knotted into a rug for the floor. The much-loved addition is very special and it incorporates all the imperfections that the young children drew on the initial drawings, yet looks intentional and considered.

In fact, the house features a great many distinctive and artistic pieces. Most of the homeowners’ furniture has simply been re-upholstered to revitalise and give new life, and then incorporated into the new design.

Alternatively, they have been custom-made to fit individually into the space. The ornate mirror found in the bedroom is one such example and was originally created by a Sydney artist more than 20 years ago. It slots beautifully into its new artistic home, while the yellow–and-black-lacquered bedside tables found in the master bedroom have been custom-built to add drama to the room.

Of great importance to the design was the ornate mosaic column leading from the ground floor to the third floor. Once a cold and industrial space, the entryway was transformed through the beautiful natural elements that the pattern and sand-blasted handrail offer. Nyria Mckew was the mastermind behind the design of the column, while Conor Brannelly installed it. Pre-fabricated 400cm x 400cm slabs were designed, constructed and brought into the home, and then installed over a three-week period. The design of the column undoubtedly adds a distinctive and elegant touch, working to lighten the space.

With the help of a great team, John Croft Design has successfully rejuvenated this tired home, filling it with unparalleled and individual touches as well as life and vitality. It is now an exceptional space in both its exquisite design and its characteristic elements — a truly artistic masterpiece if ever there was one.


John Croft Design
07 3257 0633

Photography by Steve Ryan
From Home Design magazine Vol. 16 No. 2