Darren has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.

'A diamond in the rough’ is the only way to describe the Hyams Beach hideaway that we
purchased many moons ago. Surrounded by rugged nature and the sea, the two-story, half brick and half fibro house was not your typical beach shack and lacked the character of its charming weatherboard beach house counterparts. While the original facade featured an inconsistent palette, we chose to prioritise the renovation of the interior within our budget and create a quintessential Australian beach feel.

In recent years, we found the time and money to do a deep clean of the exterior, spray paint the house white and tidy up the gardens, yet the interior remains the hero. Our chosen colour scheme complements the surrounding outlook of the home; with an inclusion of white for the sand and caps of the waves, eucalypt green doors reflecting the gum trees and deep indigo blues throughout soft furnishings, art, and decor to complement the landscape. The Laneway vinyl planks in Natural Oak also play a role in tying the exterior landscape into the interior colour scheme, while also opening the house outward, creating an expansive feel that’s connected to the environment.

Once we removed select walls, obstructions and rearranged several rooms, the views became more visible and we were able to enjoy one large, open-plan living space upstairs. We were able to create zones in the living space using large rugs in both the lounge and dining areas, as well as track lighting above the dining table and a large black fan to anchor the living area. For the lounge area, we used a rug from Carpet Court’s Evoke range in Peacock Ivory.

The entire east-facing wall opens out to the expansive view providing ample brightness within the space. We of course included appropriate blind solutions to keep the rooms private by night and block out light during the day where required. In the living space, our Austere Block Out blinds in Blanco span across the entire sliding glass doors, and with just the touch of a button you can open any or all three separate roller blind panels.

The bedrooms feature Indoor Plantation Shutters in White which aren’t just appropriate for a beach house interior, they also provide a light and privacy filtering option. The shutters elevate the tired metal window frames, concealing them beautifully behind classic yet contemporary window treatments.

Through reconfiguring the layout, we were able to create a bushland-facing fireplace room downstairs, the perfect place to cosy up in winter. The rug used in this room is an outdoor rug from the Terrace range as it offers a little more resilience to ash as well as general holiday home wear and tear, whilst still uniting the room and providing something soft underfoot.

If you’re planning on reimagining your own home, whether it be a holiday home or otherwise, the challenge is always to identify the obstacles in the floor plan. To access views, you must keep an open mind when it comes to moving living spaces or relocating bedrooms to more quiet and private parts of the house. You might have to carve up larger rooms into smaller ones, whilst simultaneously combining smaller rooms to provide large, open-plan living areas.

The challenges will differ for each home, but you will reap the benefits when you crack the code for the perfect layout. It will allow you to make the most of its available space, outlooks, and light. It’s worth labouring over the details so that when you’ve completed your refurbishment, your home looks, feels and functions to its highest potential.


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