Wabi Sabi-inspired coastal living

When Margaret and Ray Connellan decided to tear down their old house on the Gold Coast to build two new villas, they knew exactly who could ensure a successful project from the ground on up – their friend and renowned interior designer Suzie Beirne from Maison Jardin.

Maison Jardin kitchen dining

After commissioning a building designer to draw up the plans, Suzie Beirne from Maison Jardin worked with her clients to set out the perfect layout, finishes and décor for the two separate, spacious three bedroom villas – complete with a separate upstairs rumpus room and a study/office near the entry – that would take better advantage of the fabulous views and have a strong link between interior and exterior spaces and pools. Everything about the living was to be open and uncluttered, with the idea to have a sleek architectural take that would require only minimal décor.

With the footprint of neither villa needing more than the barest amount of design development, Suzie went about seeking out the finishes she perceived would echo Ray and Margaret’s vision. “We kept the differences between the villas to a minimum, “ explains the designer. “Basically two main floor colours which flow from inside to out gave us our different palettes, with slightly different layouts and quite different but complimentary window and exterior colours.” The main colour palette in both villas is moss grey, with paint throughout being Dulux White Duck (Suzie’s favourite because it is completely neutral, but also soft and moody).

The kitchens boast a mix of Marni Lini and polar white stone tops, which work beautifully with the petrol green tiles in villa one and a soft biscuit lappato floor in villa two. Touches of graphite and black used with crisp white allowed Suzie to introduce soft natural wood tones in accessories and occasional pieces, which helped to soften everything up and worked as a ploy with the clean modern lines of the villas. Timber was an important feature, with the striking staircases and carpet in soft ghost grey offering the perfect tone.

The inspiration for the softly spoken interiors came from Wabi Sabi – the Japanese obsession with keeping everything pristine but with that little touch of quirkiness and perfect imperfection. “We were all really happy with this – it’s a mélange of modern softened with a touch of Zen” says Suzie.

Maison Jardin stairs entry

Maison Jardin coastal style

Maison Jardin entryway

Maison Jardin kitchen dining design

Maison Jardin wabi sabi kitchen lounge

Maison Jardin master bedroom with views

Maison Jardin poolscape

Photography: John Downs