A neutral canvas

A neutral canvas
A neutral canvas
Universal Magazines

A simplistic approach has had outstanding results in this inspiring residence, which is not the normal white house by the sea.


With their new home overlooking the ocean, it was only fitting that the clients wanted the residence to incorporate the elements of the surrounding seaside. The home was architecturally designed from three cubes set on angles pointing out to the sea, taking full advantage of the view. Department of Interiors was commissioned to develop the style of the home’s interior which has also been incorporated in the landscaping.

The clients’ expectations were clear and easy: they wanted a light yet practical home as there were three young adult males living at home. Interior designer, Noela Coffey, envisioned a neutral palette with texture and lighting as the core design features and was fortunate that the lady of the house perceived a similar vision. Inspiration came from the thought of white houses by the sea, such as those seen around Europe, but with a contemporary approach. The home has an almost retro feel to the architecture, which gave Noela a great shell to play with. Using Dulux White on White paint on both the inside and outside of the home gave Noela her blank canvas. Italian retro wallpaper painted in the White on White created subtle texture to the design.

Detail was given to the lighting, which enhanced the ambience of the white. All the furniture and furnishings were custom made, while colour and warmth were brought in, with the addition of bespoke artworks, scatter cushions and other such accessories. The practicality of the simple design for the family becomes evident when perusing the different zones within the house. Down in the basement level is a gym for the young boys and a large entertainment area for future functions and parties. Each of the four bedrooms has its own ensuite and each level has its own bathroom. While there is of course a formal lounge and dining area for the family to spend time together, the parents have been given the added benefit of a separate TV retreat room. Upstairs on the roof level is an inviting swimming pool as well as kitchenette for alfresco entertaining. A bathroom has also been included up on the roof to avoid wet feet trampling through the home. A stunning and unique feature of this retro residence is the lift and water feature combination.

The lift was installed for the convenience of older family members and has access to all levels, especially to the roof-top pool area. The unique aspect of this lift are the three glass panels curved at the front. Water runs down the surface of these panels into a pond below, where hand-blown glass lilies light up with LED lights. Although this lift was one of the most difficult aspects to design and construct, the end result is truly breathtaking. Although this stylish beachside home has many great features, Noela believes that overall, each different focal point brings the design together as a whole. “There is not one focal point but a series of design elements that make up this project,” says Noela. “Everything on this project has been custom-designed to intertwine with the key aspects of white, with texture, light clean lines and simplicity designed with the same approach in mind.” The simplistic approach used, combined with the subtle retro theme, have created an end result, both inside and out, of a stylish and functional seaside home. Working with a design where it was possible for features to be overstated, Department of Interiors went with a “less is more” ideal to successfully complete a beautiful home that was just what the clients ordered.

Publish at: , last modify at: 30/06/2013

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