A beachside family apartment designed for easy living

Di Henshall Interior Design

Acclaimed Sunshine Coast-based designer Di Henshall and her team at Di Henshall Interior Design have executed a masterful transformation for this beachside home, with a complete renovation yielding a fresh new interior that is now just as sensational as the expansive ocean views outside. 

“Our clients wanted us to create a comfortable, easy-care family home that reflected their North American heritage, with all the classic details they love,” says Di of the project. “We designed a total reconfiguration of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, and meticulously selected all of the new furnishings to better suit their idyll of relaxed yet elegant coastal living, with a focus on purpose and practicality.”

 The kitchen has undergone the most radical reinvention, with a total overhaul of both space and style by Di Henshall Interior Design. “The kitchen was pivotal in the overall design and feel of the apartment,” says Di. “The original kitchen was closed off, lacklustre, and completely impractical for our clients. The old large benchtop was designed in a way that left the majority of it unusable, leaving the kitchen awkward to use and making you feel claustrophobic in what was a large space. It didn’t reflect our clients’ love for cooking, nor the comfortable and inviting family feel they wanted to have.”

Di Henshall Interior Design

Di Henshall Interior Design worked with their Resident Hero cabinetmakers and builders to open up the kitchen with an island and add functional features to create a bespoke living and cooking experience. These include the Laminex Carrara Marble sliding splashback doors on either side of the cooktop, with shallow glass shelves for condiments and spices, dividers in the drawer below the oven for all the baking trays, and above for their collection of cookbooks. Plus, plenty of smart storage solutions in the pantry and drawers. 

A neglected bar area has also undergone a makeover in the dining room, where Di created an entirely different look and feel. This welcoming nook is now the perfect place to enjoy afternoon drinks or entertain guests. “We took a bar that was never used and created a favourite spot of the owners to enjoy every day,” says Di. 

Di Henshall Interior Design

A black quartzite benchtop has been leathered to show off the stone’s beautiful texture and delivers a luxe, high-end feel to the bar zone, with the sophisticated and moody selections including Isola ceramic splashback tiles in the emerald-toned shade of ‘Molara’, and the depth of Resene ‘Timekeeper’, chosen in a low-sheen finish for the walls, doors and panels. The Vintec 50-bottle wine cabinet adds the finishing touch of class. 

“Customising the drawers to fit their favourite drinks and making a feature along the wall with the bold colour of the cabinetry and tiles instead of the old bi-folding doors hiding it away has completely transformed this space,” Di adds. 

Some cherished pieces were retained from the homeowner’s existing furniture, including the large round timber dining table — a family heirloom — which Di had refinished to give it a whole new lease on life. “Our clients also had artworks they had collected over the years from their travels, and pieces painted by close family members that they wanted to be considered during the designing process, so we now have those on display in their beautiful home,” the designer adds.

In the lounge room, the Landscape Pro Slim electric fireplace from Modern Flames, with its high-intensity LED lighting and hand-painted driftwood logs, was specifically requested by the homeowners, as they had seen it (and fallen in love with it!) while on holiday. Di Henshall Interior Design’s builder, GRJ Homes, then custom-built the surrounding mantle to match the room’s new custom inbuilt cabinetry and coffered ceiling.

Di Henshall Interior Design

Di Henshall Interior Design

The master ensuite connects to the bedroom’s palette of oceanic shades, with a play on texture thanks to the flooring laid with timber-look Carelia porcelain stoneware tiles in ‘Neve’ and the handmade and artisanal look of Piastrella subway tiles as a feature wall. 

It’s a similar tone and mood in the powder room, where walls are painted with Resene ‘Dusted Blue’ and offset by the textured lightness of matte-white subway tiles and the delicate ocean hues of the encaustic-look Revival ‘Penny Blu’ feature tiles, sourced from National Tiles.

 “Our clients have proudly told us about how much they have been enjoying showing off their new home to neighbours, family and friends,” says Di of the finished results. “Receiving glowing comments from their guests of how impressed they are with the change is a true testament of just how valuable this transformation by Di Henshall Interior Design has been for our clients’ lives, adding comfort and classic style, and affording them the relaxed easy-living they so desired.” 

Di Henshall Interior Design

Words: Natalie Bannister | Photography: Jennifer Oliphant 

On Trend

Related Stories