Who lives hereRenovator powerhouse couple, Kyal and Kara Demmrich, three-year-old Ziya and two-year-old Vada, and their kelpie.
LocationBateau Bay, Central Coast of NSW
Decor styleAustralian coastal meets Mediterranean villa
Favourite room"The kitchen! It’s always the heart of the home for me and where everyone congregates. I love nothing more than entertaining and preparing food together with family and friends."
Favourite pieces"Our Mud bead pendants from African Trading Port and Vintage Pot from Water Tiger. We have a few sentimental pieces also like a coffee table that Kyal (and our kids) have learnt to walk around."
Biggest Splurge"The stonemason labour was a big expense that we underestimated. Hours and hours of work went into each wall, and there are five large walls! It’s time-consuming, but we don’t regret the outlay, it adds so much character and beauty! And the Livistona palms we had craned in were a great investment in our opinion – they add so much to the overall aesthetic, and really help to bring the coastal vibe together."
In an idyllic spot on the Central Coast of New South Wales, a weathered beach shack caught the attention of renovation powerhouse couple Kyal and Kara Demmrich. Enamoured by Bateau Bay, a seaside neighbourhood that’s closely entwined with community and coastal living, the couple held on to the property for some six years with the plan to one day create their version of the Aussie beach house. Now, with two young children, Ziya and Vada, it was time to knock down the old shack to make way for their ultimate family home.
“We purchased the little shack in 2014, and we lived in it for six months before renting it out and moving on to other renovation projects. We didn’t have a family yet, and felt like we wanted to wait and really get a feel for what we were after in a family home,” explains Kara.
After years of dreaming and planning, Kyal and Kara tore down the original shack in May 2019 and started on one of their most personal projects yet. Having been involved in over 25 renovation projects and two reality television shows (The Block and Reno Rumble), Kyal and Kara had firm ideas about what they wanted in a project that has become known as Blue Lagoon.
“We’re inspired by the colours of the beautiful Australian coastline and love the simplicity of the classic white weatherboard beach homes,” says Kara. “We wanted to create a family home that had a good connection between the kitchen, living, dining and the backyard. We wanted to be able to cook in the kitchen and watch the kids play outside. Thinking about how we would live in the home not only now, but in years to come really helped to shape our floor plan.”
In an Australian coastal meets Mediterranean villa, the playful shadows of overarching Livistona palms dance along the curved rendered walls, crisp white weatherboards, sandstone walling, and the Blackbutt timber. All of which hints at what lies beyond; a four-bedroom home and guesthouse filled with sensual curves, sandy tones and natural textures.
LIVING, KITCHEN & DINING
High ceilings, exposed timber beams and large voids with skylights flood the interiors with natural light, and the sculptural helical staircase is an unexpected feature of the open plan living area. A sandstone wall and fireplace in the living room sits harmoniously with the custom kitchen design of American oak and stone island benchtop, and the large pendant lighting above the dining table.
“It was a priority for us that we had a really good flow from the outdoors to the inside. One of our first decisions internally was that we would use the same sandstone walling in the living area as we have outside. We’ve then used these tones and textures as inspiration for other decisions we’ve made.
Kara continues, “The internal helical staircase is a big feature. The open floorplan means that you can see it from so many vantage points in the home. It’s such a statement! We’ve painted it with a lime wash paint which is subtle in colour but has a really beautiful texture. Most people walk straight up to the stairs to touch them.”
The second living space, the rumpus room, flows off the main living area on an angle to the rest of the home, a calm, yet playful space that frames the outside courtyard. With its custom-built mezzanine with netting and soft furnishings, this is an area that the family hangs out in a lot.
“Exposed beams are a big part of the design and continues from the main kitchen, living and dining and into the rumpus room. I thought that the beams would be the main feature here, but the loft-style mezzanine is definitely it.”
For the main bathroom, Kyal and Kara went with a soothing day spa feel. Large format tiles, stone benchtop, oak cabinetry and brush nickel tapware, deep-set bathtub and loads of natural sunlight.
Upstairs the master bedroom is a parent retreat that overlooks a canopy of trees—lush furnishings, wool carpet underfoot and the curve theme continues with a beautiful arched entryway into a walk-in wardrobe, ensuite, and joinery. In a nod to the original beach shack, Kyal used timber from the demolished house to custom build a bespoke bedframe. While across the hall, the kids’ bedroom also has a custom-built bunk bed and bespoke detailing.
Sitting separate to the main house, at the front of the property, is the guesthouse, a one-bedroom studio with a private courtyard garden. The curved theme continues in the courtyard, and a feature archway separates the living room and bedroom. While the sliding doors seamlessly connect the inside out living.
THE VILLA-STYLE GARDEN
Linking all these spaces together is the villa-style garden with its vertical Blackbutt timber panelling and a pool of reflective blue. But when it comes to her favourite area in the house, Kara looks straight to the kitchen.
“I’m always so grateful for those moments when you look around and realise the home is being utilised exactly how you imagined and intended it to be,” says Kara. “Now that it’s complete, we love the relaxed vibe of the home. We honestly feel like we’re on holidays!”
One of Central Coast’s lesser-known beachside suburbs, Bateau Bay is one local’s have kept under wraps. An hour and a half from Sydney, this seaside neighbourhood’s biggest drawcards are its community vibes and stunning coastline. Positioned between two headlands, and bordered by national parkland, Bateau Bay Beach and the rockpools is a water wonderland. Forming part of the coastal walk, there are plenty of vantage points for whale watching, while fishing, snorkelling and diving spots are in abundance.
“We love the community, the beach, the tree-lined streets, the rockpools and feel it’s the perfect place to raise children,” says Kara.
KYAL AND KARA’S FAVOURITE BATEAU BAY HANGOUTS
For breakfast and coffee
Flour & Co at Toowoon Bay for coffee and a breaky burrito.
Modern Organic at Long Jetty is a café and yoga studio.
The Savoy in Long Jetty is not only a great spot for drinks and a bite to eat, but they also feature classic movies on the big screen.
The one thing you love
Exploring in the rocks with the kids at Blue Lagoon.
GET THE LOOK
“I source quite a bit through wholesalers and sell through our online store at kyalandkara.com. Locally, I love Loughlin Furniture Designs, and I’ve used a lot of Globe West pieces over the years. For homewares, I love local stores such as Blackbird in Bateau Bay and Drift at Forresters Beach,” says Kara.
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