In 2015, Kate Dinon and husband Alex Ksugas were looking for a holiday home in the Balnarring area, and found themselves feeling a little dejected on one drive home after an unsuccessful scouting trip. On a whim, the estate agent suggested stopping off at a home that was soon to be listed, but wasn’t yet on the market. ‘Of course it was perfect for us’ Kate enthuses. ‘I didn’t even go inside – I saw her beauty immediately.’
As much as Kate loved the property, the home now bears little resemblance to the house the family initially purchased. Kate highlights, ‘you wouldn’t know it was the same house – in fact, many neighbours have said so!’ She turned to good friend and collaborator Chelsea Hing to mastermind the renovation – a process which involved cladding the original 70s Besser blocks with timber weatherboards, painting the exterior a crisp white, and relocating windows. The entire interior was also gutted and reconfigured, including relocating the kitchen and living room to the upstairs. Finally, custom joinery was installed to fully complete the transformation.
Kate is a passionate collector of Australian art and design, and her art collection holds a very special place in her heart. She highlights works by Miranda Skoczek, Eleanor Louise Butt and Del Kathryn Barton as ‘favourite favourites.’ Other treasured pieces include the sleek brass custom bookshelves in the library and playroom. These eye-catching displays were crafted by TDF ‘favourite favourite’ Gordon Johnson (!), and perform as an ever-shifting backdrop of current reads.
This is a home where detail is key. Kate’s eye-catching choice of bold colour and pattern, alongside a confident, eclectic collection of art, furniture and objects, have coalesced into a very special ‘home away from home’ for her young family. But it’s not all about the designer details – Kate explains that the proximity to the beach was a key drawcard of this property, and makes for plenty of sand and swim adventures, before ‘carrying the kids and all their gear back to the house for an outdoor shower, a lazy lunch, and then (fingers crossed) afternoon naps.’
When they’re not staying here, Kate’s beach house is available for holiday rental on Air BnB.