Today's EPIC-LY amazing home on Sydney's Northern Beaches is no stranger to the camera. She's been photographed MANY times, but... well... we just couldn't help but jump on the bandwagon. Because when a home is this special, and so very quintessentially 'Australian', well... we just have to get on board!
The home you see here, of course, belongs to Mark and Louella Tuckey of much loved Australian furniture and interiors brand MARK TUCKEY, and as you can see from their incredible interiors, its clear this prolific creative pair practice what they preach, aesthetically speaking! Their home, which enviably opens right onto the sand at sparkling Clareville beach on Sydney's Northern Beaches, is full to the brim of Mark's distinctive timber furniture, homewares and soft furnishings sourced by Louella, and artwork by many talented friends, including David Bromley, Rachel Castle, and the late David Band. Despite the immense photogenicism of these surroundings, there is something so effortless and truly relaxed about this space - at heart, it really is just a rambling Aussie beach shack. Albeit is a seriously stylish one!
Mark and Louella share their home with daughters Chilli (7) and Indigo (6). The family have been here for four years, having originally moved from Melbourne up to the Northern Beaches five years ago. 'We rented a house at Whale Beach for the year, and rented out our place in Fitzroy, while we made sure we'd made the right decision, which of course we had!' says Louella of the move. Orginially from the UK, Louella says she'd had a thing about Pittwater since her time working for Terence Conran in London, so when Mark suggested that they could possibly live up here, whilst still running their main business out of Melbourne, Louella didn't take much persuading! 'I ran upstairs and started packing!' she says.
After securing their incredible home, Mark and Louella set to work personalising the space. 'The first thing we did was take up all the carpet in the house, because we both have a basic aversion to carpet on any level, and because carpet at the beach just doesn't work!'. Sound advice from Louella!
After this, it was decided that the next big project to tackle was the front garden. 'The main access to the house and the front door are on the beach side, and there was no path from the front gate to the front door - it was a muddy walk across grotty semi-bare lawn' Louella explains. The lawn was levelled, fresh turf laid, and a wide 'deck-like' path installed from the front gate right up to the house. Louella and Mark also hand picked large sandstone boulders, and spread them roughly around the perimeter of the garden, 'like giant's stepping stones', which Chilli and Indigo still love to leap around! The final touch was the planting of various native grasses and grass trees to fill in the gaps.
Another excellent early addition was the widened front deck around the perimeter of the house - a relatively simple update which made a huge difference to the look and feel of the home, as well as allowing for a generous, functional outdoor dining area. 'There was a skinny deck all around the house when we moved in, so squeezing a table onto the front deck was quite the task' says Louella. 'When we doubled the width of the front deck it pulled the whole front of the house out towards the beach, and changed the feel of the front of the house so much - it was a really good move and had so much impact!'.
When asked if any extra-special favourite furniture pieces or artwork spring to mind, Louella has an understandably hard time narrowing things down! 'That's an impossible question, because we love all the furniture and artwork at home for different reasons' she says. However, there are, of course, a few front runners! - The MARK TUCKEY eggcup stool is a perennial favourite because with its solid timber and skilled turning, it has become such a hallmark for the MT brand. Another favourite from the MT range is the farmhouse dining table - Louella loves the sweet detail of the leg popping through the table top, and the simplicity of this design. Artworks by Australian artist David Bromley are treasured, 'because they're beautiful, and David is one of our closest friends and an inspiration and mentor'. Likewise, the work of the late David Band holds special appeal. 'And last but by no means least Rachel 'OMG i can't seriously believe you've left me til last' Castle' says Louella! 'Rachel Castle is my idiot friend who I love to death and back. I love her ability to hit the nail on the head every time! We have a screen print over our bed that says 'YOU BE PERFECTION ON 2 SEXY LEGS'. This was a comment that Mark apparently made in the first few weeks we were together - recorded and retold as only Rach could do'.
As with all creative spaces, it seems this home is forever a work in progress - there are plans for an extension at some point, but for now Mark and Louella seem truly content with their lot. 'The location speaks for itself, but the house is so pure beach shack, it really is a little old farmhouse by the water' says Louella affectionately of her eclectic family home. 'We love big modern spaces, but this little house has so much character, you just can't not love it.'
Huge thanks to Louella and Mark for sharing their beautiful home with us today! I'm now SUPER jealous of the idyllic beachside lifestyle the Tuckeys have created here... but, thrilled to have had the opportunity to document it! Hey, at least we get to look at the pictures!