Charming holiday home celebrates the best of Coastal Living

20 September 2023

Located on the Illawarra coastline in New South Wales’s South Coast, ‘The Bach’ is a one-story home that showcases coastal living at its best. Transformed from a dark and outdated space to a spectacular coastal holiday home, The Bach effortlessly combines coastal charm and contemporary influences to create a space that feels relaxed yet inviting.

Designed by interior designer and SOUL Home founder, Simone Mathews and built by local construction company, Southern Edge Building, the goal for The Bach was to create a home where the clients could literally open the doors and feel like they were instantly on holiday.

“It needed to cater to their young family now and for years to come while also demonstrating its own unique style. The success of this project came down to the updated floor plan, changing the layout allowed the once dark closed rooms to come to life,” Simone says.

“Working with the existing layout, what is now the bright-filled kitchen was once the garage and the calming master bedroom was once a covered unused outdoor walkway to the laundry. The biggest impact was the pitched roof in the living area which instantly draws you in from the moment you open the door, allowing the space to feel open and expansive.”

Upon entering the home an open living, dining and kitchen area invites you in. A skylight shaft above the kitchen and abundant glass windows and doors help to create a bright and airy feel, while a fireplace makes the space feel warm and cosy. A key element in creating a coastal design was timber flooring specialists’, Big River Group’s oak timber flooring.

Simone says he selected the flooring for the tones and the texture, being a perfect choice for a coastal interior, and he always works from the floor up when selecting finishes for the interiors, which is why the oak flooring was the foundation of all the selections. Having used this flooring previously, Simone was also drawn to how it feels underfoot stating: “A beach house is one where you wear very few shoes, so how it feels was just as important as how it looks.”

Grey and silver tones tie the coastal theme together throughout the home and can be seen in the furniture and décor as well as using striking louvre doors. These themes were used to compliment the kitchen in a gorgeous blue tone and en-masse in the master bedroom, allowing the wardrobe to become a feature rather than solely for practical purposes, while the original louvre door from the home, which became the inspiration, is featured on the linen press using a simple yet statement door can truly influence the style of a home, according to Simone.

Outside, the outdoor entertaining space is a place where the family can truly connect with nature and unwind thanks to Southern Edge Building director Luke Rogers who brought the exterior of the home to life.

“From the curved timber boardwalks with coastal plants to the circular firepit area, every aspect of the landscape was chosen with coastal living in mind. To achieve a cohesive coastal design, Big River Group’s Turpentine Decking was used in the front and rear decks, boardwalks and fireplace seating,” Luke says.

Simone adds that turpentine also ages well, creating nice silver tones and evoking the feeling of a timber boardwalk you see at the beach.  It also comes as low maintenance when left to age which is what you want in a holiday home, blending the coastal design from the inside out and allowing the curved features to shine through and become a statement piece on their own.

In addition to the curved boardwalk and fireplace area, curved features became a key design element in the front facade. These weren’t part of the original design, according to Simone, but were thought upon noticing a lack of a focal point after the front deck was constructed. This led to the concept of softening the connection of the driveway to the deck being investigated and the curved wall connected to the built-in garden boxes being created. 

Simone explains this created a focal point when viewed from the street, a sense of privacy for the family and then once on the deck or in the kitchen, a built-in seat creates an inviting space to observe and enjoy the sunshine:  “Sometimes you have to finesse those final details once the build has been completed.”

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