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’