A perfect getaway

A perfect getaway


Striking shapes, lines and colours unite to give this modern home its edge.


By the mangroves of the Barwon Heads River, a wedge-shaped block of land became the setting for this far-from-average project. The homeowners wanted a home that had all the components — entertaining, visually appealing and spacious. Enter award-winning builder CJ Henderson, who joined forces with the owners and the AJE Building Design draftsman to design and construct the owner’s dream getaway. The company was already known to the client after it previously completed a renovation on another home they owned.

With this project, however, the challenges unfolded early on. The restriction of the land and constant battle to excavate sand, and avoid the shallow water, required CJ Henderson to carefully plan and design. From the moment you enter this luxury home, a six-metre ceiling in the foyer, followed by a feature wall of travertine marble tiles and an exposed staircase immediately grab your attention. The focus to gently merge the indoor and outdoor living spaces was successful. The open-plan interconnecting layout which was home to the kitchen, meals, family, entertaining, alfresco and barbecue area provided the owners with the perfect space to entertain. The triangular raw granite benchtop, doubled as a bar, dominates the kitchen’s relaxed café-style eating space. It’s further enhanced by a stainless-steel cone that can be used as a vase or fruit bowl. The benchtop remains the focal point here. The name of the house, Umi Uchi, derives from the Japanese language, meaning beach house. Step further into home, into the main bedroom, and be captivated by the stunning Shoji Japanese screens, Asian-inspired furniture and throw rugs. The adjoining ensuite that looks out to the breathtaking views is fitted with frameless shower screens, ladder towel rails and a luxurious spa bath.

The ground floor is home to two fully functional hotel-style bedrooms, a spacious European-style laundry, store room and a large retreat-inspired bathroom that’s fitted with a freestanding bath and frameless shower screen. A stand-out feature, the courtyard, has a built-in spa, water feature and many garden beds that follow in the modern theme. The façade is the most dramatic feature of the home, setting the standard which extends into the interior. The two massive charcoal feature pillars highlighting the concealed entry stand out against the stark white rendered house. The galvanised beams linking the pillars are carried through to the gate, entry door, house name plate and internal stairs, which all use this industrial theme. The upside-down T-shaped window, softened by the curved wall, is vital in making this house unique. The clients wanted to incorporate the ideas they sourced from overseas, drawing inspiration from the many photos, artworks and sculptures they’d collected over the years. This home needed to reflect not only their personality, it also had to be their perfect and multi-function private getaway. Some of the home’s environmental aspects include the 4500-litre bladder under the rear deck, double glazing and energyefficient glass and insulation. 

The house was designed to maximise the ocean breezes so airconditioning could be kept to a minimum

Contact AJE Design today,
PO Box 2056, East Grovedale, Victoria, 3216.
03 5241 8932

Contact CJ Henderson Builders,

50 – 56 Moorabool St, Geelong VIC 3220.
03 5224 2144