Alex McCabe grew up just five minutes from where her newly built home in Merricks North is located. The vineyard the house is situated on was owned by her parents for more than 30 years until they recently decided to sell, and much to Alex’s surprise, she decided to buy it from them! ‘When I was younger I couldn’t wait to move away from the sleepy Mornington Peninsula (a lot sleepier back then!) and now I can’t wait to move back,’ she says ‘Times have changed!’
Apart from vines covering two thirds of the block, there was only half a shed on the site, so Alex and her husband Bobby set out to build a weekender from scratch. The couple worked with McManus Lew on the design (the same architect who designed their St Kilda house – check out our feature on that here!) and CVS Construction on the build.
As the co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co, Alex is known for her love of colour, but this house is all about texture. ‘That is the overall, unifying theme and the driving force behind the design,’ she says. Setting the tone for this look is the corten steel front door framed with century-old, recycled timber beams from Gippsland. The interior walls throughout feature various textures including stucco, render and seagrass wallpaper. ‘I think all that texture makes it feel really warm and welcoming and calm,’ says Alex.
Windows have been installed at strategic points in order to frame aspects of the land. Alex loves watching the sunrise from her bed, and the sunset from the living room picture window. ‘Oh and there’s a window for you to watch the sunset from the bath too,’ she says. ‘Did I mention I am into windows?! Ha!’
It wouldn’t be an Alex home without some colour, but the shades used here have been strategically selected to reflect the surrounding landscape. ‘The red bathroom is inspired by the red soil, and the amazing tricoloured island bench fits with the colours of the nearby beaches’ she says. Homewares from the new Kip&Co Heartland collection adds another layer of colour throughout!
Despite not originally intending to return to the Peninsula, after pouring so much love into this weekender, Alex and her family now plans to live here full time. ‘I love that we get to live among the beautiful vines, the red clay and undulating land of this unique part of the world, where wineries and beaches are equally accessible (and equally important!)’ Alex says. ‘I love that my parents chose this block of land together 30-plus years ago to start their dream of a vineyard, and now Bobby and I are living out our dream of raising our little rugrats on the same very spot.’
Kip&Co just released their latest homewares and apparel collections this week! Heartland is available from kipandco.com.au. now. So much good stuff.
Also…our supremely talented art director Annie Portelli made this sweet little 1-minute video snapshot below of Alex and Bobby’s home – check it out below!