It’s a familiar story. ‘We’ll just renovate the kitchen and the bathroom’ we said. That was twelve months ago, and it’s safe to say, we got a little carried away.
My husband Gordon and I had been vaguely looking for a doer-upper somewhere near the beach, and when this place came up, my heart skipped a beat. I don’t know why – it just felt right from the moment I saw it. It was in very basic condition, but it was also immediately functional – and that was a big part of the appeal. We wanted a place we could put our stamp on, and with Gordy’s skills (he’s a cabinetmaker/furniture designer) we felt confident we could make this place pretty cute.
We started out re-designing the internal layout — the bedrooms have remained more or less intact, but the kitchen and bathroom were pokey and not very functional, so had to be reworked. Once we had mapped out a new floorplan, it made sense to replace all the floorboards too (we went with Wood Coat Australia oak boards — love them!), and since we were moving a few walls, we ended up rebuilding almost all the internal walls aswell.
Our first priority was the kitchen. The previous one was just so tiny, with no space for a modern fridge or dishwasher. I had some general ideas (a contemporary, minimalist ‘shaker’ style design), but in the end, it all came down to Gordy. He designed and built the kitchen cabinets in American Oak, and honestly, he did such a good job! It’s the most perfect kitchen for the space — relaxed and minimal, yet extremely practical and a joy to cook in. Go Gordy!
Then there’s the bathroom. My favourite room in the house! I was determined to be decisive in my selections here, I didn’t have time to go around visiting countless showrooms, so I settled on just two key suppliers. I found all the tiles (both wall and floor) at Artedomus, using ‘in stock’ as my main selection criteria. The floor-to-ceiling tiling was a bit of a splurge I must admit, but we felt an all-over ‘wet room’ made a lot of sense for a beach shack. For all the tapware, sinks and the bath, I went to Reece. They were honestly amazing, and I was just grateful to get everything in one place! The finishing touch in this room is the ‘Pinch’ wall light by Kate Stokes for Artedomus — it emits such a lovely glow and just feels like the perfect textural statement piece.
Another highlight of the renovation is the wood fire — Gordy’s pride and joy! The house already had an old Coonara wood fire when we got it, but as the renovation progressed we felt the need to upgrade to a more contemporary design (see ‘getting carried away’, above!). We chose the Siena 750 from Living Fire because its 4-sided design works so well in the open-plan layout, it looks great from every angle, and heats the whole house so effectively. It really is the heart of the home!
What hasn’t changed is the cute scale of this place. It’s small! We didn’t want to extend or add any extra rooms, because the modest footprint (its around 90 square metres) is a big part of its charm. Bigger is not always better!
Aside from the renovations, of course, there’s the styling — the easy bit! Over the past few weeks I have tried to inject a little ‘TDF-flavour’ into the place with a smattering of art and objects by some of our favourite local artists and creatives, including May Wokka Chapman (via Martumili artists), Lucy Roleff, Susan Simonini, Tais Rose Wae, Gemma Leslie, Marina Rolfe, Tantri Mustika and Ella Reweti, Sophie Harle and Belinda Wiltshire.
Finally, the garden. We were lucky to work with Mornington Peninsula-based landscape designer Jo Ferguson on our front garden — she has the magic touch! It’s still in its early stages, but the garden will grow into a layered, textural space over the next year or so. One day, we’ll landscape the back garden too, but for now, it’s a kids wonderland, a big lawn complete with cubby house, sandpit and swing set set amongst the bendy moonah trees.
Building this place with Gordy and whole host of talented helpers (Huw, Nick, Adam, Simon, Jo – THANKYOU!) has been the most rewarding project, and now it’s time to share it around a bit. We’re excited to open it up for short term stays, from today! Silvermoon now has it’s own fancy website (thankyou so much Annie Portelli, Eve Wilson and Kate Shanasy for the beautiful photos) and we’re accepting bookings from July 1. We can’t wait to share it with you!
You can book to stay at Silvermoon here!