Easy BREEZY
Home Beautiful|October 2021
AWASH WITH TEXTURE AND AN INSTANTLY FRESH FEEL, THIS NEW BUILD IN SYDNEY IS A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ONE LUCKY FAMILY OF FIVE
JESSICA BELLEF

COASTAL CALM

Natural textures imbue this relaxing family retreat with a sense of serenity; the quiet palette and open, airy feel helping to balance the activity of three little ones under the age of eight. “Their energy and all of their stuff can make a room feel full just by them being in it!” says homeowner Rachel (pictured, opposite, with husband Adam and their brood, baby Isla, Jed, and Zali). “The kitchen flows into the living area, where we share meals and relax or play – and this dining table is one piece of furniture I don’t mind getting covered in crayon. The more worn-in it becomes, the more I love it.” For a similar dining table and chair set, try Temple & Webster. The timber decking and detail (opposite) is spotted gum hardwood and the front door painted in Dulux Black is complemented by a ‘Chelsea’ outdoor wall light in weathered bronze from Dunlin.

Feeling connected to your neighbourhood is important for a happy home life – and for Rachel, the affinity she has with the street on Sydney’s Northern Beaches where she was born and raised goes back to her childhood. “I would walk down this street as a teenager and take photos of the houses and would think how beautiful it would be to live there,” she shares.

Rachel, with her husband Adam and their children, Jed, seven, Zali, five, and Isla, nearly two, feels so blessed to now living in their newly built four-bedroom home on that very same tree-lined avenue. “When the property came on the market in 2017, we were not planning to move at all,” says Rachel, “but my husband and I looked at each other and said we had to do it. We moved heaven and earth to make it happen, and we are so glad we did.”

The compact block contained a tired 1970s two-bedroom house, a tight squeeze for the then family of four. It wasn’t long until thoughts turned to a new build. “We wanted to make it sustainable for us to live here for the long term,” says Rachel. “I was pregnant with Isla, so we needed to find a way to make the amount of space we had work.”

She and Adam turned to local firm Du Plessis + Du Plessis Architects. “They really understand what families need,” explains Rachel, who had worked with them on previous renovations. Interior architect Sally Rhys-Jones was brought on board to detail the interiors and fine-tune the layout. The brief was clear. “They wanted a classic, relaxed beach house style that was light and bright, natural and textural,” says Sally. Not quite a minimalist, but with a preference for uncluttered surfaces, Rachel’s wishlist included maximized storage and a layout that allowed her to close a door on the kids’ mess and creative projects. “We stole every little bit of space and used every nook we could,” notes Sally.

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