Jesse Bennett and Anne-Marie Campagnolo

We’re thrilled today to share something a little different!  This incredible new home nestled amongst tropical treetops in Cairns belongs to architect and builder Jesse Bennett, and his wife, interior designer Anne-Marie Campagnolo.

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

The incredible home of  Jesse Bennett and Anne-Marie Campagnolo. The gabion rock retaining wall took Jesse over one month to build, each rock placed by hand in the tropical heat! Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Dining nook. Jesse’s favourite place in the house, he designed and built the booth, the light is Verner Panton. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Jesse Bennett and Anne-Marie Campagnolo at home. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Open space living featuring Kai Kristiansen chairs from Angelucci, chandelier by Jonathan Adler, Dining table and kitchen island benches designed/built by Jesse, and rug designed by Anne-Marie through The Bespoke Rug Company. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Looking from the courtyard through the house, this photo illustrates Jesse’s vision of embracing the landscape. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Living room details. The pink curved couch was designed by Anne-Marie, and the coffee table designed and built by Jesse. The plant stands are from Lightly. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Entry details featuring a tropical green wall, print by Lisa Lapointe and tea towel art by Rachel Castle. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Kitchen details including Verner Panton lights, Kitchen Mixer: KWC ono highflex, and Marc Newson for Smeg in pistachio oven. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Main bedroom details. Vintage lamp by Wizard of Clay potters, New York sourced via Etsy. Sidetables West Elm. Upholstery Fabric by Chistian Lacroix. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Looking out of the bedroom and onto the lush green surroundings of the property. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Main bedroom details. The robe features mainly custom elements designed and built by Jesse & Anne-Marie. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

The bath tub was built by Jesse with dot tiles from Academy tiles. Planters & bath mixer are ‘Goccia’ by Gessi. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Bathroom details featuring fittings by ‘Goccia’ by Gessi. The timber vanity and mirror cabinet was built by Jesse and designed by Anne-Marie.
Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Extreme Gardening! Anne-Marie wore a harness to plant the garden, as there is four metre drop below! Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Epic views across the hinterland in far North Queensland. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Lucy Feagins
8th of July 2015

This incredible home has been a very personal project for husband and wife design team Jesse Bennett (an architect and builder) and Anne-Marie Campagnolo (an interior designer). The pair officially moved in just 6 months ago, though they also camped on site during the build. (Needless to say, they’re not planning any camping trips in the near future!).

Jesse and Anne-Marie run their own small design studio in Cairns, offering both architectural and interior design services, as well as selling their own range of handcrafted timber fixtures, and soon, their own range of handmade furniture. The design and build of their own home was the ultimate all-consuming creative collaboration for this talented duo.

The home was built from scratch on a sloping site, which presented significant challenges during the build. Both Jesse and Anne-Marie were closely involved in much of the construction process, employing sub-contractors where necessary. ‘It was an extremely hands-on approach, which was tiresome but allowed us complete control over design and outcome’ says Jesse.

As the house is constructed from robust materials including concrete and glass, the pair were keen from the outset to complement these elements with a layered and colourful interior scheme to add warmth and personality. A mix of custom built and vintage furniture, carefully selected textiles and playful art pieces form a striking contrast to the serene landscape beyond the windows. ‘We call our aesthetic ‘Tropical Bizzaro’ says Jesse!

Adopting a highly personal approach in both the design and construction of their home allowed Jesse and Anne-Marie to develop various custom finishes, fixtures and bespoke furniture. One particularly treasured piece is the pink curved couch, which wraps elegantly around the perimeter of the TV room, providing generous seating with an unusually delicate, streamlined silhouette. ‘It’s our favourite piece of furniture, as we designed and built it ourselves’ says Jesse. ‘The shape allows for different vistas out through the landscape, as well forming a great conversation pit’.

For Jesse, without a doubt the best part of living here is the way this house  integrates with the surrounding landscape, and embraces the tropical climate, rather than fighting it. ‘We hear the rainforest sounds and see the changing growth of the forest through the seasons’ Jesse explains. ‘It’s really beautiful and serene – and makes us feel both inspired and thankful everyday’

Bookcase with operable door, designed and built by Jesse. Artwork is a Christian Chaize print from 20×200. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

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