A Coastal Cottage to Call Home
A Coastal Cottage to Call Home
The Central Coast region of New South Wales is a special place, making it an aspirational area to live for some, and a gorgeous place to holiday for many others.
Davistown is a little town which sits amongst larger, more well-known towns in the area- with its own easy-going vibe, and only a small group of shops and an RSL for locals to congregate.
While much of the residential landscape is changing (goodbye fishing cottage, hello new development!), there is one family who was driven to build their home to respectfully sit within the historical built environment. To reflect the past stories of the town and its buildings, while bringing modern elements to the construction and style to suit their young family perfectly.
The owners of this ‘Coastal Cottage’ are Rachel and Andrew Gowling, also known as Lover Dreamer to their social media followers.
With a substantial online presence, viewers have travelled on the building journey with them, something which they love to share. Flooring Xtra was excited to be a major part of this project, along with designer James Treble who came along to view the finished result.
“It’s been a great pleasure visiting Rachael and Andrew during the construction of their beautiful coastal home and following their selection journey, and the final results WELL they speak for themselves! It’s a beautiful beach home that is so welcoming, and the well-considered finishes from the flooring, right through to their colour choices, cabinetry selections and accessories has resulted in a fully realised vision of their original concepts for their new Australian coastal home.” Said Treble.
Coming from New Zealand with larger home builds under their belt, the Gowlings were keen to simplify life. “We really wanted to downsize our home from previous houses we had built. We wanted to have a small home but didn’t want it to feel tiny or the space cramped. We wanted to simplify and minimalise our home life to have more time for each other and other things in life we love.”
This desire to live in a smaller, intimate space is somewhat unique in new home builds, with houses pushing block boundaries, making them some of the largest homes in the world.
There is much to be said for compact living, with carefully designed spaces combined with beautiful finishes and fixtures, the home can be a pleasure to live in while not being consumed by maintenance. “We wanted minimal upkeep and ease of living.” Said Rachael. Mission accomplished!
The home, while respectful of the neighbouring original cottages, is also striking in appearance.
With a dark exterior, it can be difficult to know what to expect from the interior.
In true Lover Dreamer style, the interiors are a blend of function and tasteful aesthetic. Each finish works with one-another, flowing throughout but providing surprises along the way.
“We chose the AquaLife flooring as it is waterproof, hardwearing and low maintenance, which is great for our young family.”
Living so close to the beach and having an active outdoor lifestyle, this flooring selection makes sense. Treble agrees the flooring was a well-considered choice. “The Aqua Life range from Flooring Xtra provides a wonderful rich timber texture which is so tactile, beautifully emulating the look of natural timber, but as it comes with a rubber backing it is completely water resistant whilst offering great acoustic benefits, resulting in another box ticked for this open room with its high vaulted ceilings as it greatly reduces the echo effect.”
There’s a real focus on finding a balance between functionality and beauty in the coastal cottage and the evidence on this can be found throughout.
The natural palette of warm timbers, concrete-look bench tops and wool carpets ooze textural warmth while being practical and low-maintenance.
There’s an abundance of storage for a small home and a handful of bespoke items too, such as hand-carved door hardware. These details are what makes the home feel effortlessly homely and inviting while being tailored to the block, the environment and the family.
The transition from hard to soft flooring is another selection made with thought, providing visual stimulation through the contrast of colour.
“We wanted a strong colour and texture contrast from our hard floor surface to our soft, textural and comfy carpet in the bedrooms. We wanted the bedrooms to feel relaxing.” Said Rachael.
The Stockholm carpet in Kalmar is the height of luxury underfoot, with 100% pure wool hard to beat. Luxury aside, the loop pile brings warmth to the beachside bedrooms which is so welcome all year round.
The sun pours into the living area in the morning, a purposeful design to position the space to capture the eastern and northern rays during the cooler months.
Environmental considerations were important to the duo, who also note their carpet underlay has serious sustainability credentials. Made from 90% recycled material and 100% recyclable, Envirotred from Dunlop flooring through Flooring Xtra is also proud to be supporters of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week and to demonstrate the commitment $1 is donated from every Envirotred roll sold.
From the anchor door knocker on the front door through to the effortless indoor/outdoor feel of the interior, this home nails the coastal casual vibe.
Rachael reflects it was a project with many collaborators which allowed for its success.
“For us, every build has had its moments along the way which can either throw you off or bring new inspiration. We loved watching the trades get behind and embrace our design ideas and the process of watching your vision come to life is always exciting and memorable. We had a great time working with Flooring Xtra and James Treble on this build.
It was great to share our journey with them and we enjoyed them being a part of the journey for the initial plan stage to the completed home.” The Flooring Xtra team loved every moment too!