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The Bach by SOUL Home an exemplar in coastal living design

The Bach by SOUL Home an exemplar in coastal living design


New South Wales’ south coast based interior design practice, SOUL Home, specialises in holiday properties and has created a calming and enviable coastal sanctuary in ‘The Bach.’

Interior designer and founder of SOUL Home Simone Matthews was determined to design a coastal holiday home on the Illawarra coastline in New South Wales’ south coast that seamlessly fuses the indoor and the outdoor and achieves a tranquil holiday feeling through simply opening the doors.

Matthews and the SOUL Home team restored the formerly overshadowed and outdated space into a home that promotes both relaxation and outdoor socialisation. 

The design blends elements of coastal charm with contemporary chic, yet without neglecting the necessity of future-proofing the space through sustainably mindful practices.

“It needed to cater to their young family now and for years to come, whilst also demonstrating its own unique style,” says Matthews.

Upending former layout 

SOUL Home joined forces with GUD Studios and Southern Edge Building in unlocking the key to the success of ‘The Bach’ – completely reversing the layout of the home. 

The team was committed to rid the house of the dark and cloistered feeling by transforming the garage into a kitchen that now bears witness to generous amounts of light, and re-enlivening an outdoor walkway to the laundry into a master bedroom.

An expansive living, dining and kitchen area is the first point of call upon entry, which exudes a vibrant and airy feeling due to the skylight shaft above the kitchen and glass windows and doors. Cosyness and comfort is also met through a fireplace.

“The biggest impact was the pitched roof in the living area which instantly draws you in from the moment you open the door, allowing the space to feel open,” says Matthews. 

How it feels just as important as how it looks

Matthews speaks of how opting for oak timber flooring was a design choice that also achieved optimum coastal comfort. When selecting finishes for interiors, she starts from the floor and works her way up. 

“The oak flooring was the foundation of all the selections – I was also drawn to how it feels underfoot. A beach house is one where you wear very few shoes, so how it feels was just as important as how it looks,” says Matthews. 

Tones mirror coastal colours 

Hues of grey and silver allow for a recurring coastal theme throughout the house, appearing on furniture, decor and the notable louvre doors retained from the former space. 

“We have used grey and silver tones to compliment the kitchen in a gorgeous blue tone and en-masse in the master bedroom – allowing the wardrobe to become a feature rather than just for practical purposes,” says Matthews. 

The outdoor space not only encourages immersion in the stunning natural surroundings, yet the coastal design theme was also met via curved turpentine timber boardwalks, coastal plants and a circular fireplace. 

“Turpentine decking was used in the front and rear decks, boardwalks and fireplace seating to achieve a cohesive coastal design, as when Turpentine ages it creates silver tones similar to those inside the home,” says director at Southern Edge Building Luke Rogers. 

Rogers also hints at turpentine’s sustainability and future-proofing properties, as when it is left to age it requires low maintenance and its durability does not falter. 

Harnessing benefits of curved exterior

The design also derived inspiration from the curved boardwalk and fireplace area in designing the front facade. 

Matthews reflects on the team overcoming the obstacle of the front deck missing a focal point. 

“We softened the connection of the driveway to the deck and created the curved wall connected to the built-in garden boxes, creating a focal point when viewed from the street,” says Matthews. 

This decision incidentally enabled a sense of privacy for the family and the built-in seat functions as a space to simply sit, be and enjoy the glorious sunshine. 

Photography by The Palm Co.

Read about Alex Morrison’s design of a relaxing and empowering beauty salon, The Parlour Room.


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