Making architectural references to the Hamptons design style, the couple worked very closely with Craig Steere Architects to achieve a synergy between the casual relaxed vision of the husband and the more classic, sophisticated elegance that the wife had planned so meticulously in vision boards and scrapbooks.
The 490sqm site has a steep, 7m slope from east to west, with dual street frontage that allows each entry treatment to be distinct. Tiered landscaping and deep-set verandahs add interest to and break down the mass of the home, while the eastern side welcomes guests with an intimate approach.
To ensure the home wasn’t too imposing on the street, the beach-facing facade was broken down into layers. Composite timber was used for its durability in the harsh coastal conditions.
“A lot of the new houses in the area are solid masonry and rendered structures,” says architect Craig Steere. “This design is unique in that it reintroduces a more lightweight, timber-clad form that used to be quite comfortable in Cottesloe.”
It was important for the clients that Craig design a home suitable for their
two young children to grow up in, with areas for entertaining that take full advantage of the 180-degree views out to Rottnest Island.
Craig describes the home as “easy-living”, with communal areas capable of being opened up to become part of the surrounds. The open-plan kitchen, living and dining area is the hub of the home, and flows on to the balcony.
The luxuriously appointed galley kitchen opens out to the outdoor dining area with stackable doors from Halliday & Baillie. The honed marble and cement benchtop in Statuario was installed by The Marble Man, and the Moroccan-style pendants are from Trilogy.
However, the balmy summer sunsets synonymous with this exclusive coastal backdrop come hand-in-hand with harsh western sun and wild sea breezes. Having designed many houses in Cottesloe, Craig is well-versed in taming the elements, and incorporated a cantilevered roof to offer relief not only from the wind, but also from the sun until it hits the horizon. Stackable doors, shutters and perforated decorative steel screening provide a welcome retreat without compromising the views, allowing the family to enjoy an indoor-outdoor lifestyle all year round.
“The alfresco kitchen, for example, has a simple slatted polycarbonate roof which, apart from disguising structural elements above, also filters light and creates a permanently sheltered outdoor dining area,” says Craig.
The alfresco dining area enjoys dappled light filtered through simple polycarbonate slats that disguise structural elements above. The dining table is from Restoration Hardware, and rattan Helena armchairs from Trilogy.
Depending on the weather, the focus of the living areas and the couple’s bedroom can be directed outward to the ocean or inward to the north-facing plunge pool.
The resort-style bay window, resonant of the iconic Australian slatted lean-to, serves as a casual meals area, with seating that widens towards one end so family and friends can crash out on a lazy day.
“When we were searching for inspiration for the screening, which also extends along the boundary for privacy, the client presented a treasured Moroccan lantern with a delicate pattern and detail that we used as a template,” says Craig. “At dusk, the bay window lights up and creates a romantic and evocative atmosphere.”
The Chesterfield lounge and coffee table hail from Restoration Hardware, while the custom white polyurethane cabinets are by Histonium Furniture.
Striving throughout the design and building process to create a harmonious balance between quintessentially Australian coastal architecture and the ‘so hot right now’ Hamptons style, Craig attributes its success to the tight collaboration between architect and client, neither of whom strayed from the original vision.
“Like most of my projects, the whole process is about getting the clients’ direction, and guiding and leading them to a functional, practical and aesthetic solution.”
Opening the protective shutters and French doors provides access to the extensive upper verandah.
Craig Steere Architects (08) 9380 4662, craigsteerearchitects.com.au
Anodisers WA (08) 9337 7644, anodiserswa.com.au (laser-cut screening)
Attica (08) 9382 4666, attica.net.au
Coco Republic (02) 9318 1442, cocorepublic.com.au (verandah sofas)
Halliday & Baillie (02) 9699 3330, hallidaybaillie.com (stackable kitchen doors)
Histonium Furniture (08) 9446 9066 (living room cabinets)
Katsui Design (08) 9385 3005 (dining chairs)
Origin Landscapes 0439 095 247, originlandscapes.com.au
Restoration Hardware, restorationhardware.com (outdoor dining table, mirror, Chesterfield lounge)
Terra Verde Landscape Architecture terraverde.com.au
The Marble Man 0433 234 417, marbleman.com.au (kitchen benchtop)
Trilogy Concept (08) 9383 4712, trilogyfurniture.com.au (rattan armchairs, kitchen pendants)
Veranda (08) 9385 6533, veranda.com.au (chandelier).