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Lucy Fenton’s Relaxed Retro Beach House

Homes

After 10 years of renting houses for family holidays in Anglesea, Lucy Fenton, owner of Fenton & Fenton, and Josh Markey decided to buy one of their own. There wasn’t much on the market at the time, but when they stumbled across this ’80s gem with bucketloads of character and untapped potential, they knew it was the one!

Through cosmetic updates alone, Lucy and Josh have enhanced this property’s ‘80s bones for an overall ‘relaxed retro’ feel. It remains a classic Australian beach house — a place where nothing is too fancy or precious.

23rd March, 2022

Vintage Barsony lady sculptures. Leather Strapping Dining Chair from Fenton & Fenton. Leather Strapping Bar Stool from Fenton & Fenton. Checkerboard Dhurrie from Fenton & Fenton. Vintage poster from @vintagepostersonly. Vintage floor lamp. Photo– Eve Wilson

Lucy Fenton inside her beautiful home! Smooth Console from Nicole Lawrence (pictured on upstairs landing). Photo– Eve Wilson

Leather Strapping Dining Chair from Fenton & Fenton. Checkerboard Dhurrie from Fenton & Fenton. Vintage poster from @vintagepostersonly. 1950s Tahitian painting. Photo– Eve Wilson

Artwork by Daniel Bean. Vintage sofa from Curated Spaces. Moroccan carpet Lucy sourced in Marrakesh. Vintage lamps and vases collected over the years from secondhand shops, auction houses, op-shops and markets. Coffee table from Fenton & Fenton (sample). Velvet Cushion in Mango from Fenton & Fenton. Photo– Eve Wilson

1950s Pretzel Chairs. Various cushions from Fenton & Fenton. Vintage acrylic lamp. Photo– Eve Wilson

Artwork by Daniel Bean. Vintage sofa from Curated Spaces. Moroccan carpet Lucy sourced in Marrakesh. Moon Throw from Fenton & Fenton. Photo– Eve Wilson

Vintage rattan bedhead. Artwork by Sophie Witter. Bed linen from Bedouin Society. Zulta Silk Velvet Cushion from Fenton & Fenton. Photo– Eve Wilson

A quiet corner featuring a built-in bunk bed. Bed linen from Ikea. Photo– Eve Wilson

Artwork by Whitney Spicer. Vintage lipstick mirror. Bone Inlay Bedside from Fenton & Fenton. Okina Lamp from Fenton & Fenton. Photo– Eve Wilson

Unknown artworks purchased at auction house. Bed linen from Bedouin Society. Vintage ceramic lamp with a raffia shade handmade by Lucy’s mum. Zulta Cushion from Fenton & Fenton. Photo– Eve Wilson

On right: Work on paper by Peter D Cole. On left: Photograph by Tara Pearce. Vintage rattan sofa and coffee table. Navy Tartan Dhurrie from Fenton & Fenton. Various cushions from Fenton & Fenton. Ceramic lamp by Jai Vasicek. Photo– Eve Wilson

‘I have collected vintage pieces my whole life, so I was excited to have a place to house some of the pieces I have collected over the years that didn’t really have a place in our house in Melbourne,’ says Lucy. Photo– Eve Wilson

Original built-in bench seat. Gingham Mineral Outdoor Cushion from Basil Bangs. Photo– Eve Wilson

Embroidered tablecloth purchased in Mexico. Vintage tooth stool. Photo– Eve Wilson

‘It’s set amongst the trees and feels like a little oasis in summer,’ says Lucy of her home. Photo– Eve Wilson

Beach towel is old season Fenton & Fenton. Vintage tooth stool. Photo– Eve Wilson

‘I have also really enjoyed working in the rambling garden. There is still lots to do, but we’ve planted lots of new trees and plants and I find it a nice way to unwind after a long week at the office,’ says Lucy. Photo– Eve Wilson

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd March 2022

‘There are always heaps of kids racing around, eating Zooper Doopers, and enjoying a quintessential Australian summer.’ – Lucy Fenton

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!

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First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net