Coastal retreat

Coastal retreat


Queensland’s Hervey Bay became the setting for a new home that inspired a contemporary finish for a coastal retreat.

contemporary homes 

“I first noticed John Croft Design’s distinctive, quirky and fun sense of style in magazines and decided I wanted something like that for my new home,” says the owner. Senior interior designer, Renee Burgess of John Croft Design, worked closely with the clients, providing a home that was practical for family living, stylish and full of colour. Renee was involved from the very beginning before the house was built, from selecting and specifying paint colours, cabinetry finishes, sanitaryware and tiles to designing cabinetry, selecting and supplying furniture, window treatments and accessories. “For the clients, it had to look good but also have that practical element,” says Renee.

The clients said, “We wanted a contemporary family home that allowed our teenagers to have their own individual space and us our own.” The swimming pool came first, which inspired the design of this coastal home. The pool and water feature were the central point, with the home designed to wrap around three sides of the pool, giving a wonderful courtyard feel and total privacy. This low-set U-shaped house with raked ceilings has two wings, if you can call them that. The first wing is home to the garage, guest bedroom, workshop, gym and master bedroom. Two other bedrooms, study, formal living and adjoining media room are part of the second, while the open-plan dining, living and kitchen areas are the heart of this home, linking both wings together. As you first enter the home, a seven-metrelong custom-designed hall runner greets you in glorious colours of red, olive green and browns.

At the end of this hallway, your eyes are drawn to a dramatic custom-made pedestal and circular sculpture which forms a wonderful focal point here, together with the lamps and artworks, which welcome you through to the next room with great anticipation. For the owners, the central hub of this home is the family room. “There’s a lot of seating here and it’s a central area where we all gather,” they say of one of their favourite rooms. The colour scheme throughout the home is made up of blue and green hues, representing a fresh, fun and relaxed environment, in keeping with the home’s coastal feel. The clients liked Renee’s idea of using neutral colours as a base surrounded by brighter shades as an accent. To complement the contemporary, clean look, a mocha colour was chosen for the lounges in the living area. Two bright aqua chairs and green footstools sit opposite an aqua feature wall. Livened up through the use of colour, this space has a playful element, designed to be a place the entire family can enjoy. Colour was also used in the custom-made rug and accessories. For the family, comfort was also a big issue. Renee ensured the lounges and chairs were practical, featuring hard-wearing fabrics such as suede.

Renee used different textures and surfaces throughout this home to make it interesting. A marble table sits at one end of the living area, while at the other end of the room, a stone benchtop in the kitchen works to connect the space. A glass mosaic splashback is a key feature in the kitchen. The TV cabinet in the living area was custom-designed to maximise storage and complement the kitchen finishes. The media room is positioned off the central hallway. A red-leather U-shaped modular sofa provides a huge amount of seating and comfort, and is the perfect space to entertain. The formal dining area joins the media room and as the formal dining setting is quite traditional, this room can be completely closed off so as not to deflect from the contemporary feel of the rest of the home. Red was the main colour used in this room, although a splash of olive green runs through the chair fabric and can also be seen in the media room, repeated on the ottomans. This clever design element was used to connect the two spaces. In the master bedroom, teal, lime and brown tones were used in the furnishings. An upholstered bedhead and bedend box that acts as a storage unit and seat provides a practical yet fresh look. On one side of this same room, a chair, round side table and lamp offer the perfect space to relax or read. “Renee created a sanctuary and found the most comfortable teal chair that we just love,” say the owners of this master bedroom.

An original artwork by Rebecca Wilke is a standout feature in this room. The bed linen and sheer fabric curtains featured embroidery, adding to the timeless look of the bedroom. For the ensuite, a glass mosaic feature and unusual basins add dimension and style. The furniture in the home follows a contemporary style. Most of the furniture and furnishings were supplied by John Croft Design but there were a few pre-owned and loved pieces that Renee easily worked into the interior. This is where your interior decorator is worth their weight in gold, in being able to successfully plan and work in your existing pieces of furniture with the new, so that the end result flows and harmonises. All that the clients’ existing billiard table needed was to be re-felted and refinished and the couple’s inherited Queen Anne dining setting reupholstered in a contemporary, chenille stripe. One of the couple’s teenage children has a talent for art with some of her works incorporated into the home’s interior. Other oil paintings and prints supplied by John Croft Design were framed and positioned throughout the home. 

Colours and patterns brighten the rumpus room, creating an interesting space for the teenagers’ retreat. To complete the look of this modern home, olive green, orange and brown patterned fabrics have been utilised to complement the billiard table. For the outside, chocolate woven sofas and armchairs with bright striped lumber, cushions were selected to connect the exterior with the interior spaces. The dining, living and rumpus room feature similar colours, and Renee wanted to create a running theme that joined the inside of the home with the outside. She also discussed colour schemes with both teenage children before planning their bedrooms. The end result was an orange scheme for one and hot pink for the other, which they both love. Clever use of space has allowed this large coastal retreat to serve both the adults and teenagers. 

John Croft Design’s distinctive use of colours and patterns brings this home to life, and that’s exactly what the owners were after.

John Croft Design,
63 Amelia Street, Fortitude Valley Brisbane Qld 4006.
07 3257 0633