A Cosy ‘80s House Where Beach Meets Bush

The family home of Miles and Rachael White is full of surprises. Behind its relatively unassuming 1980s facade, the home contains cosy and intimate spaces under timber ceilings, before a sprawling garden and bush reserve outlook.

Cosmetic renovations have slightly modernised the home, while very much retaining the soul that the family first fell in love with.

Lucy Feagins
Editorial styling

Annie Portelli

Supported by Dulux

Custom made table by Mandaleigh Furniture. Vintage chairs bought from Facebook Marketplace. Bowl on table by Merrie Tomkins. Falmec rangehood. Tile Cloud Coogee Antique Pink Kit Kat Mosaic tiles.

Tile Cloud Coogee Antique Pink Kit Kat Mosaic tiles were selected to match the original pink benchtops. Falmec rangehood.

The original timber cabinetry has been updated with matte white handles from ABI interiors.

Bowl on table by Merrie Tomkins. Dulux Natural White paint colour. Vintage Alrob buffet. Vintage Fondue coffee table. Camel print from Coastal Living.

The ‘fire room.’ Vintage Playpen sofa in rust velvet bought from Facebook Marketplace. Kip&Co cushions. Tribe Home rug.

Custom Lucie table by Bieëmele. Vintage Playpen sofa in rust velvet bought from Facebook Marketplace. Kip&Co cushions. Tribe Home rug.

Vintage bookshelf and print. Studio Lixx light.

Modular sofa designed by Eldon and produced by Handley and Gorman, purchased from The Vintage Cartel. Beach print from Coastal Living. Vintage rug bought from Facebook Marketplace.

Vintage 1970s bedhead bought from Facebook Marketplace. Print from Coastal Living. Lamp from Freedom. Bedding and cushions by Sage and Clare.

Goldie’s bedroom. Dulux Pink Dust paint colour. Olli Ella Rattan Casa Clutch. Incy Interiors cot. IKEA modular wardrobe. Kiin Baby bedding.

Van’s bedroom. Mocka bed. Adairs bed linen. Qtoys sail boat.

The view of the garden from the back deck through to Hopetoun Norfolk Flora and Fauna Reserve.

Lucy Feagins
Editorial styling

Annie Portelli

20th of March 2024

Miles and Rachael White own a 1980s house that feels completely immersed in bushland, despite its location on a suburban street in Mount Martha, Victoria.

The couple have always lived on the Mornington Peninsula, and are particularly drawn to 1970s-1980s homes in the area established by renowned builders Fasham Johnson.

The exact builder of Miles and Rachael’s house is unknown, but if not an original Fasham Johnson, it retains many of the same features in its exposed timber beam ceiling, besser brick walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The planning of the home appealed to Miles and Rachael, who have two young children Van White (4) and Goldie (18 months), and two dogs.

The bedrooms are tucked in their own wing, separated from the communal areas by a split level. It’s at this point the home reveals views of the rambling garden in the backyard, set before the remarkable bush landscape of Hopetoun Norfolk Flora & Fauna Reserve.

‘There’s not a neighbour in sight,’ says Rachael. ‘Being out the back and seeing the beautiful reserve and listening to the variety of birds and sounds is really special. People are always so surprised once they come out and see the outlook.’

Rachael and Miles have made a handful of cosmetic renovations since moving into the home, doing most of the work themselves, with the help of their handy uncle Ian!

Some rooms just needed a small update, such as the addition of kit kat tiles on the kitchen splashback that match the original pink benchtops.

The main bathroom had a more comprehensive makeover, featuring a pastel pink basin countertop basin and marshmallow terrazzo tiles that echo the colours of the kitchen.

The original timber bathroom cabinetry remains (restored with a good clean and oil), and the cream benchtops were modified. Rachael explains, ‘To get the basins to work we had to remove the original cream bench tops which were actually nice, so we decided to tile the tops as a solution and in the end we loved this look!’

A materials palette of walnut timber flooring, wool carpets, and Dulux Natural White paint throughout the home provides consistency, and a timeless base for the family’s eclectic furniture and artwork collections.

‘I think if you try to copy too many other things you have seen it doesn’t always work out right,’ says Rachael. ‘Rather, if you adapt ideas or styles to yourself and your home in a meaningful way, then it truly reflects you and suits your family.’

If not cosied up by the fire in winter, you’ll likely find Rachael and Miles at Bunnings picking up gardening supplies, tending to vegetables in the backyard, or entertaining friends on their huge outdoor deck.

‘The best thing about this home is the feeling. There’s something about the space which invites a sense of warmth and family,’ says Rachael.

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