The Burrows in Swansea was built as a stone cottage with a timber shingle roof in the 1860s, and remained in the same family until 2017! Over the years, add-ons were made to the cottage – and when Bek Burrows and Paul DeRuyter became its custodians, they embarked upon their own updates and additions, with the building work completed entirely by Paul.
‘The sea and sky feel so big here’, says Bek of the spectacular views stretching out over Great Oyster Bay. Optimal access to these views were at the heart of every design decision made when bringing The Burrows to life. ‘The colours and textures of the surrounding landscape, the sea, granite formations of the Hazards and ever changing sky all informed and inspired our choice of colour palette and how we applied it to The Burrows’, says Bek.
Although the aesthetic of The Burrows appears effortlessly cosy and charming, it took a lot of thought and many deliberate design choices to make it this way! ‘The use of deeper colour within the smaller rooms, bedrooms, foyer and bathhouse create a sense of intimacy’ says Bek. In contrast the larger spaces such as the kitchen and living space are lighter and more open. Staying away from shiny new things, salvaged and secondhand materials were used alongside natural fibres such as jute, wool and wood to give The Burrows a perfectly lived-in feel.
Growing up in a family who appreciated the integrity of special inherited furniture, Bek has a love for secondhand pieces. Many of the furniture and fittings in The Burrows have been collected by Bek and Paul over the years, in anticipation of someday owning the coastal home they always dreamed of. ‘The windows in our living room were found at the salvage yard years ago, and have been waiting under our house in town for the right place’, says Bek. Meanwhile, the armchairs in front of the fireplace in the living room once belonged to Bek’s grandparents. Antiques dealer Ian Joyrce helped the couple source some pieces, and others were lucky finds from Gumtree.
Along with the incredible views, peaceful sense of seclusion and thoughtful details throughout the home, The Burrows is imbued with the feeling of a labour of love. Many of Bek and Paul’s friends helped them along the way, including Carolyn Imlach of The Village Store and Est Australia; close friend Felix Blackman who worked with the couple on architectural additions that retained the integrity of the existing cottage; Miriam Shevland of Playstreet Studio who provided creative advice on the coastal inspired yet rambling garden; and photographer Adam Gibson, who has honestly captured the essence of the The Burrows.
The eclectic mix of personal, family and vintage details and furniture evoke an instant sense of calm and relaxation for guests, according to Bek. ‘Guests have commented on the warm and familiar feel, much like parts of their childhood, their grandparent’s house, or the best of their holidays when they were younger’.
You can book The Burrows in Swansea for your own special stay here.