A holiday home is a place to escape from the everyday, slow down and reconnect — something Lucy Fenton, owner of interiors store and gallery Fenton & Fenton, had at the forefront of her mind when she first started her search for a family beach house.
‘The way we use a beach house is different to home,’ she explains. ‘We entertain more, we chill out more, and we really wanted the interiors to be relaxed and inviting. Nothing is precious or uptight.’
Seeking this laidback feel, Lucy bought an ‘80s house with her husband Josh Markey and their two children Pepa and Woody (6 and 8) in Anglesea, after years holidaying in the Victorian beachside town.
‘Over summer 20/21, after spending the best part of the year in lockdown, we made the decision we were going to take the plunge, so the hunt began!’ Lucy says. ‘There were very few properties coming on the market, but when this one came up for sale we were instantly drawn to it. We drove down, inspected it the next day, and had put in an offer later the same day!’
Lucy and Josh were most attracted to the home’s retro features, including high ceilings, exposed beams, timber paneling, and exposed brick. ‘We knew we could work with the original features to make it into something that was unique. We embraced its quirks,’ she says. ‘The floor plan was also really appealing. With two separate living areas and all the bedrooms upstairs, we knew it would function really well.’
The family have made only cosmetic updates since moving in, such as painting the exposed brick throughout the home (Dulux Natural White), and painting the facade (Porter’s Paints Atlantic), and replacing the living room carpet with a cork floor. ‘We’ve done lots of little repairs to make it comfortable, but making sure it still feels like an original ‘80s beach house,’ Lucy says.
Lucy’s styling here is suitably relaxed, and is heavily inspired by the home’s original features and their warm, earthy colours – a distinct departure from her bright Melbourne home. ‘I incorporated lots of colour into the interiors that really pop against the brown tones,’ she says of the beach house. ‘I used lots of orange and some reds, drawing on inspiration from the ‘70s’.
The result is a ‘relaxed retro’ home that is casual, colourful, and cosy in every season. ‘In the cooler months you can light the fire and bunker down for the weekend — you almost feel like you’re in a ski lodge,’ says Lucy. ‘In summer, we entertain on the deck. There are always heaps of kids racing around, eating Zooper Doopers, and enjoying a quintessential Australian summer.’ Living the dream!