Australian Homes

Jen Stumbles and Ben Kerr

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 11th December 2013

The home of Jen Stumbles, Ben Kerr and family in Copacapana on NSW’s central coast.  Sofa by Timothy Oulton for Coco Republic, Bauhaus inspired chair by Coco Republic, reclaimed wine press made into coffee table.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Loungeroom.  Directors chair from Eco Outdoor, Pinwheel rug from Armadillo & Co
Sofa by Timothy Oulton for Coco Republic, Bauhau style chair from Coco Republic, Boffi fan from Eco Outdoor.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen, with views across the garden to the beach.  Kitchen cabinets made locally, butchers block sourced at vintage industrial auction.  The exposed joints throughout the home are painted roughly in bright white and add to the relaxed, beachy feel of this family home.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Ben’s prized Eames lounge chair, with spectacular views to the beach.  Barney Rubble light by Mance Design. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Sean Fennessy and I recently had a pretty awesome trip to NSW to shoot a bunch of fabulous homes and I today’s amazing family home was one of the highlights!  Perched up high overlooking Copacabana surf beach on the NSW central coast, its panoramic views coupled with a distinctly relaxed, holiday feel really give this home a uniquely Australian appeal.

This impressive beachside home belongs to Jen Stumbles and Ben Kerr – owners of outdoor furniture retailer Eco Outdoor.  Together with their three young boys, Jen and Ben divide their time between this house in sleepy Copacabana, and a second home a little closer to Sydney. ‘We lived here full-time for a brief period and really loved it. Copa is such a beautiful surf town with a really strong sense of community, but unfortunately the commute was too much and we just couldn’t make it work as our primary residence’ explains Jen.

Jen and Ben bought the home in 2009, and first started renovating in 2010. ‘It’s been a bit of a labour of love for the past few years’ explains Jen. ‘We basically took the old house and gutted it completely’.  The layout was reconfigured and opened up to given every room an ocean view.  The deck on the ocean side was also extended ‘so that we can do some serious outdoor living out there’ says Jen! ‘For about 8 months of the year we eat out there most nights, and there’s plenty of space for guests and entertaining’.  A second deck was also built on the other side of the home, facing into the valley, which allows for easy ventilation through the house and also creates a space to relax in the winter sun when the ocean side becomes too cold. ‘That was probably one of the best things we did with the house’ sys Jen, adding ‘it also means that the house never gets too hot.  Although we have air conditioning, we never use it because the sea breeze flowing from one side of the loungeroom to the other means that the whole house gets cooled naturally’.

Jen and Ben opted to leave all the ceiling joists exposed, using a very rough limewash on the ceiling and floor to lighten and brighten the space.  The kitchen was rebuilt by a fantastic Sydney based cabinetmaker who works with reclaimed timber. ‘We found this guy Anthony who works out of an auction yard’ says Jen.  ‘He is incredibly talented but more than that, he’s really passionate. He would ring us on a Sunday to tell us excitedly that he’d found some terrific timber for some part of the kitchen or some painted boards he was saving for the cubby holes!  Every time I look at that kitchen, I think about how much effort went into it, and its stories like that which make a house feel like your home’.

As proprietors of fantastically successful Australian outdoor lifestyle / furniture brand Eco Outdoor, it’s no surprise Jen and Ben love the great outdoors, and spent a lot time considering the exterior spaces when designing their home.  The garden was designed by Michael Cooke Garden Design, and the landscape was built by Adam Eurell of Natures Vision – both are close friends of Jen and Ben’s who live locally. ‘We talked about what sort of spaces we wanted to create outside, and then basically let them do their thing’ recalls Jen. ‘Michael Cooke is a big fan of native planting and he encouraged us to keep all the casuarinas you can see in the front ocean-facing yard. Most people tend to clear the whole front so they can just see ocean, but Michael was very insistent that we keep them to provide some context to the view. You can still see a lot of ocean but this way you really get a beautiful framed view which is something we now really appreciate’.

If Jen and Ben’s relaxed outdoor aesthetic appeals to you, do check out their business, Eco Outdoor.  As an industrious husband and wife team (with three young kids!) its pretty incredible what they have achieved over the past few years – they now have eight stores across Australia and one in Los Angeles…. ummm that seems seriously amazing to me – I met these people, they do not appear to be over 40!  Epic work Jen and Ben!  Very inspiring stuff.  Thankyou for sharing your home with us today!

Kitchen.  Butchers block sourced at vintage industrial auction.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from deck into kitchen.  Industrial style Mimosa stools by Eco Outdoor, LPG fruit bowl by Industria.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room.  Light weave chair in background is a Kenneth Cobonpue ‘Pigalle’ chair. beach feel.  ‘Hedgehog’ pendant light by Mance Design.  Vintage industrial table bought at auction, Eco Outdoor director’s chairs.  Small Daisy rug in background and Yellow pinwheel rug in foreground are both by Armadillo and Co.  3 artworks hanging on side of timber kitchen are David Bromley tapestries – the children’s series.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom.  Pendant lamps created from actual beehives (!!) – sourced from The Country Trader. Ceiling fan – Boffi Fan from Eco Outdoor.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Boys’ room.  Mini white ‘Hedgehog’ light by Mance Design, Blue pinwheel rug by Armadillo & Co, embroidered cushion made by Ben’s mum.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom.  Copper statue in background sourced and brought back from Java. Bath & sinks sourced ourselves from local stone suppliers. Wall lights from Cast Light, but  aged with acid to create a worn look.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

 Children’s playroom in the cooler ground floor level.  Ceiling joists exposed throughout to give a low key, relaxed beach feel.  Chair in background is an Eco Outdoor prototype. ‘Quite a bit of road testing gets done at our place’ says Jen!  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Burleigh easy chair & side table by Eco Outdoor, view to Copacabana beach below.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 11th December 2013


  • Nat 3 years ago

    Beautiful coastal home. I assume the travertine tiles on the ground floor are also from Eco Outdoor. If so, which range? I’m currently trying to choose one from Eco Outdoor and these are perfect! I just love them in the ashlar pattern also. Just stunning.

  • Gaz 3 years ago

    Beautiful. Love the view and understated relaxed feel. How lucky to holiday here!

  • Carlos Letelier 3 years ago

    Nice Photos!
    the Pigalle Lounger Chair is from KEZU,

  • Meaghan 3 years ago

    The view. The cliffs. Surf. The light. Exposed ceiling joists, reclaimed timber kitchen and one of the best bathrooms I have ever seen. It would be terribly hard to leave this house…

  • Amanda 3 years ago

    Sublime, love every photo.

  • Mary Murphy 3 years ago

    love it! the timber finishes, the furniture, the white bedlinen, the louvre windows, the stonework, and then there’s the view!!!! what a beautiful home. the owners have drawn it together so well. what a joy it must be to live there

  • Indra 3 years ago

    I could only dream of this life. This is the perfect beach home.

  • Barbara 3 years ago

    I won’t list what I like about this house, as it is in fact everything! What a shame they can’t live there full time, but I’m betting their other place is just as perfect.

  • kate 3 years ago

    Lucky ducks!

  • Corinne 3 years ago

    would love to know where the bunks and trundle are from

  • Dave 3 years ago

    Hi Nat,

    The tiles on the floor are Jericho Limestone in a modular pattern from Eco Outdoor –

  • kelly gilbert 3 years ago

    i think this is my favourite of all the beautiful homes you have featured this year.

  • Jade McKenna 3 years ago

    One of the nicest houses I’ve seen in a long time.

  • LisaG 3 years ago

    I’d also love to know where the bunks are from…

  • Cotton & Rust Jewelry 3 years ago

    The best part of this space is quite literally the open space its incredible! I love the large windows too especially the one that perfectly frames itself in the kitchen. Its great to live in a climate you have the ability to take advantage of that all year! All the exposed wood beams are pretty nice too.

  • Jen Stumbles 3 years ago

    Hi guys,
    Thanks for all your lovely comments.

    To those who were wondering, the bunks are actually from Bunkers in Parramatta road I think (got these quite a few years ago) but I think thats where we got them from.

    Jen x

  • Gabrielle 3 years ago

    Amazing house! Love the kitchen!

  • Mendo 3 years ago

    Very cool place. Talk about leaving your mark. Well done Jen & Ben :o)

  • Hazel 3 years ago

    So refreshing! What a great find that Butchers Block is, very jealous. I also like the simplicity of the “milk bottle” lights in the kitchen, very cute.

  • Rebecca 3 years ago

    It is absolutely breath-taking, especially the bedroom. It almost brings me the whiff of the sea breeze, just by watching it. You have done a marvelous job!

  • jen w 3 years ago

    I love all the homes Lucy features but this is my absolute favourite!! Perfection. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Marmalade 3 years ago

    Wow, the ceiling and the bathtub, and the whole house! Dreamtime :)

  • 2moiselles 3 years ago

    Wow, beautiful house. Love it!

  • Emma F 3 years ago

    Soooooooo Jealous,such a beauty.

  • Lily 3 years ago

    Wowers! Amazing! Love the exposed beams.

  • John 3 years ago

    Beautiful home ! Can you tell me what you clad your fireplace with ?

  • Jessie 3 years ago

    I’d love to know more details for the cabinetmaker, Anthony?

  • Jo 3 years ago

    Beautiful home! I just love the kitchen cabinets and would like to know what type of wood they are made of? They have this nice ‘used’ wood look.

  • arizonadustbunny 2 years ago

    it’s the kitchen windows !!!! this is a similar look to some i’ve seen before. Do you know where to get them ?

  • Penny Thornton 1 year ago

    Love love love your home.
    Especially the ceilings…… no…… especially everything !
    I have similar timber ceilings but they were sealed with polyurethane over 20 years ago.
    Am totally over the yellow pine and oregon.
    Am going to attempt that look myself.
    Any tips ?

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