Ingrid and Clifton bought the block in 1998, working with architect Susan Petch over two years to create their home. Susan previously worked with architect Peter McIntyre, whose work Ingrid and Clifton were inspired to reference in the design. ‘Clif and I were both drawn to the warmth and contemporary aesthetic of Peter McIntyre’s Dinner Plain alpine village,’ explains Ingrid.
‘We loved Susan’s design of a split-level, two-storey home—like a village that spread out from the central living pod—that captured the spirit of a coastal bush, taking inspiration from the gable designed homes we loved.’
Seajoy adopts a similar form to McIntyre’s alpine village, with a series of dramatic gable roofs. It is grand and open in outward appearance, yet relaxed and understated within.
Ingrid and Clifton chose their Jan Juc block not only for its location, but its natural landscape, waiting to be regenerated. ‘The original block was virtually devoid of trees, yet a beautiful swamp gum was a feature next to the creek that we fell in love with,’ says Ingrid.
The couple have planted numerous plants over the past two decades (swamp gum, yellow gum, ironbark, blackwood, and silver banksia) creating a lush green screen of privacy, and a wealth of habitat for many species of birds and small mammals.
After 13 years in the home, the pair embarked on a major renovation to better accommodate their growing twin boys. Clifton designed the renovation himself, focusing on improving privacy, and creating a new bedroom wing.
A redesigned front entrance (designed with help from Toby Lachlan, partner at ClarkeHopkinsClarke) showcases the home’s dramatic volume, beneath soaring ceilings and across split levels.
Adding warmth to the newly-built rooms are a variety of different timbers (cedar, cypress pine, recycled ironbark, Tasmanian oak, and jarrah) set against Dulux Natural White walls. ‘I love the calm, light, softness and openness of a white interior,’ says Ingrid. ‘It feels like a gallery, or a blank canvas ready for life!’
The extended facade is contrastingly clad with cypress pine boards, painted black for a contemporary look that offsets the surrounding bush garden.
Ingrid and Clifton’s house is both their practical family home, and a platform for observing the environment. ‘Waking up or falling asleep to the sound of the bush and the distant roar of the ocean in the background is deeply calming,’ says Ingrid. ‘I love gazing out to the bush, watching the birds and possums…At night I’ll often wander into the living room and watch the night sky through the vaulted window.’
Needless to say, Ingrid and Clif couldn’t be happier they moved to the Surf Coast. ‘It has been such a joy to share our love of surfing with the boys,’ says Ingrid. ‘Watching them grow up here is very special.’