Media – Magazine Feature in Great Ocean Road Magazine Autumn 2012

Media – Magazine Feature in Great Ocean Road Magazine Autumn 2012

Beauty and the Beach

Publication: Living Section, Great Ocean Road Magazine
Date: Autumn 2012
Pages: 138 – 145
Words: 1,071
Download: 1.2MB PDF

Beauty and the Beach Article in the Great Ocean Road Magazine
Beauty and the Beach article in the Great Ocean Road Magazine
Beauty and the Beach article in the Great Ocean Road Magazine
Beauty and the Beach article in the Great Ocean Road Magazine

Beauty and the Beach

A stunning coastal home provided the perfect canvas for interior designer Di Hendy to create a relaxing holiday house with a touch of the exotic.

Photography by Brian Usher
Architect Design Home by Bayden Goodard Design –

As an interior designer my passion is creating environments that people can escape to. I love imagining guests coming to one of my properties and experiencing the little ‘design moments’ that I have included.

Needless to say, when I received the brief to transform the stunning Casuarina beachfront home La Maison Pacifique into an exotic boutique holiday escape, my heart sang with joy! I could not have asked for a better platform for my creativitiy.

When I met the clients they had already sourced the lounges for the three living areas and the dining table was on order. Those pieces were factored into the design but we otherwise had a blank canvas.

The owners, a family of five from Brisbane, had bought the property as a weekend beach house but also wanted to make it available for holiday rental, so together we decided on a design theme that would be exotic but relaxing.

The lady of the house told me her favourite colour was red so we married that with some sea blues and other jewel colours with Moroccan influences – another continuing theme throughout the interior design.

As you move through La Maison Pacifique (which translates to the ‘The Peaceful House’), you experience a flow of different desgin styles.  Modernist-inspired chairs pay homage to the clean, structural lines of the house, while shutters, groove panelling, stripes and Hamptonesque timber crosses provide quintessential ‘beach style’ moments.

“As you move through La Maison Pacifique you experience a flow of different design styles.”

Exotic artisan-inspired fabrics, carved woods, lanterns, pendant lamps, mother of pearl inlay and the most exquisite set of imposing, washed grey floor candles juxtaposed against the sleek, clean, glossy lines of the ball chairs all work together to bring about the desired feeling…you have escaped.

Chairs play an important role in the design them, bringing interest and contrast. The two ball chairs and 16 Pantone chairs spread throughout the two levels are set against more ornate and detailed fabrics, woods and furnishings.

A red distressed Great Wall chair greets people as they enter the main hall. Towering more than two metres, it references, both in name and nature, the great wall of the house that leads uninterrupted from the ground level to the lofty heights of the ceiling above.

I was so excited when the client ‘got’ my vision for this chair and said, “Love it, let’s do it”.

Two white Raffles chairs beside the greying timber decks of the lap pool beckon for poolside sundowners. A swinging white woven pod chair juts provocatively from the poolside wall, suggesting a later rendezvous with a good book, and anchoring the dining and living area furnishings across the room.

The entry art piece creates an important first impression. Fasioned from recycled timber from old Indonesian fishing boats, the pieces are layered to form a large rectangle that we hung as a piece of art.

Serendipitously, the piece turned out to hold an emotional connection for the owner, whose father had a fishing boat at Kangaroo Island.  It had real meaning for her and she loved it immediately.

Its rough texture and distressed colours give a snippet of what is to come as the house unfolds. Heading back out of the property it becomes the focal piece at the end of the hall.  Hinged like a door and fitted with magnets, it also provides creative access to the switchboard behind.

The red theme is expressed in fabrics and accents that bring a touch of the exotic to the downstairs area. A conscious decision was made to drop the red and retain just blues and muted tones in the four bedrooms and third living area upstairs, aiding the transition to a more peaceful space designed for quiet family time and sleeping. Since spending time in the home, the family has commented on how they actually experience and appreciate that transition.

An evolving art gallery was created upstairs, allowing the owners and their guests to be inspired by faraway images. One of my favourite things about being on holidays is planning the next holiday and this gallery certainly delivers great inspiration.

The space is anchored with two larger black and white prints from one of my favourite Gold Coast stores, St Barts. Setting almost a Bahamas vibe, these larger pieces command attention as you reach the top of the stairs.

The owners have travelled the world extensively and the gallery offers a beautiful array of family memories featuring many global landmarks.

The inspiration for the master bedroom sprouted from a throwaway comment by the owner, who remarked that she would love a four-poster bed. While a traditional four-poster wouldn’t fit against the wall because of an existing bulkhead, we seized the opportunity to use the space to support a stone Buddha that would feature in the headboard frame.

The stunning timber king bed frame, with its beautifully hand-carved daisies (a favourite flower of the owner), again injects the artisan effect and impact into the space. With flowing white muslin draped from its rails, it truly is the bed daydreams are made of. It presides over an open luxury bathroom with free-standing bath, double shower and marble-topped double vanity.

The imposing white fibreglass Moroccan pendant lights on the bedside table were another treasure find, which I first spotted in a photo feature. We had to go direct to the warehouse after being assured they had sold out, but managed to secure the last two. They hold their own against the scale of the four-poster bed and by nightfall, the diamond cutouts deliver a stunning pattern of diffused light around the walls.

My life passions can be summed up in three easy words: people, property and places. Designing this property combined the best of all three. I had the opportunity to work with a beautiful family, prepare a stunning property and do it all in one of the prettiest and most relaxing places in the world.

Di Hendy operates Di 4 Interior Designs, phone 0411 052 759 or visit

La Maison Pacifique is available for holiday bookings – visit

The imposting white fibreglass Moroccan pendant lights on the bedside table were another treasure find.

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