Michael and Carlene Duffy have kept busy since their stint on Nine’s TV mega-hit ‘The Block: Glasshouse’, putting their sought-after skills to work for clients of their burgeoning interior design and renovation business, Cedar and Suede. Here, Carlene creates a contemporary Gold Coast beach house, minus all the seaside styling stereotypes. The home was so eye-catching it made it to our front cover!
“Even though this house is actually located a street back from the beach, I still really wanted
the coastal aesthetic to be subtle here,” says Carlene, who made her styling choices for the new build based around the homeowners – a young family of five, including four-year-old twin boys and a baby girl.
“Cedar and Suede is a small business, located on the Gold Coast, in what is technically a regional town with fewer opportunities than the capital cities, so supporting other small local businesses is more important to us than ever,” says Carlene. “Logistically too, it just makes sense to stay local. It’s nice to be able to show the rest of Australia what the Gold Coast can deliver. We have so much talent here that can compete on a national level with ease and I’m proud to showcase that.”
Many of the larger pieces were custom made by Gold Coast furniture makers, Kira & Kira, including a striking four-metre-long black credenza with rattan doors which takes pride of place in the TV/loungeroom, providing smart storage and a dash of coastal aesthetic. A sumptuous sectional couch and velvet ottoman from King Living anchor this family-friendly space.
Carlene also sourced bold artwork inspired by coastal flora from well-known Coolangatta painter, Leah Bartholomew, as well as the striking Jungle Fever canvas by Gold Coast artist and Tania Blanchard which hangs at the home’s entrance. Injecting colour into a space is one of Carlene’s signature design moves. “I champion colour in interiors regardless of a location,” she says. “I’m not scared of it and I think confidence is key to a successful interior, no matter what your aesthetic.”
Carlene says she aimed to create “a sophisticated, refined and relaxed interior with subtle, contemporary-coastal accents,” for her clients. But there’s also plenty of pizzazz too, brought to the forefront in the open plan dining area, with its Tropicana-inspired feature wall. The Welcome to the Jungle wallpaper by Scandinavian Wallpaper & Decor is “just the right amount of fun,” says Carlene. “The tan leather of the banquet seat is the ultimate complementing colour against the green.” The contrasting black rattan dining chairs and statement pendant by HK Living are from Kira & Kira, who also designed the stunning Foundation dining table.
This is a family home where relaxed sophistication is the order of the day – it’s pure, modern, contemporary coastal style.