Building a Cape Cod-style home by the sea

With a nod to Cape Cod, sea-changers Jay and Roger have created a classic-coastal family retreat on Brisbane’s bayside

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Sometimes, a sea change is closer than you think. When Jay and Roger began daydreaming about a change of pace from their bustling inner Brisbane suburb, their minds were cast across town to the coastal enclave of Wynnum. Specifically, to a prized hilltop block. “We were looking to relocate for a more relaxed lifestyle but still wanted to be close to the city, and had seen the land a couple of years prior,” says Roger. “It was the only block on the ridge still available – and perfectly suited the house style we planned to build.”

Kissed by Moreton Bay breezes, with water views to the east and the city skyline to the west, it was the ideal spot to drop anchor. As well as capturing the idyllic outlook, the new abode needed to be cosy enough for two while still offering space to relax and entertain. “Roger and I have a blended family so between us we open the doors, a lot, to our four children (Ali, Miki, Emma and James) and our large extended families,” explains Jay. “We wouldn’t have it any other way because I believe that’s what makes a home.”

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

While the seaside elegance of the Hamptons held obvious appeal, the couple decided to broaden the brief. “We love the Cape Cod (Hamptons) style but wanted it to suit the Queensland lifestyle,” says Jay. “We had been living in a renovated Queenslander for 12 years and loved the extra-high ceilings and open-plan living. So, inviting, relaxed, breezy and light were our main driving forces… and of course, a nice street appeal.”

With more than luck on their side – Roger is a carpenter by trade and owner of Invision Homes – the couple were able to move deftly through the design process, helped invaluably by architect Simon Hughes. While not on the tools himself this time, Roger brought his keen eye for detail to the build before handing over to nephew Brad, construction manager at Invision Homes.

The finished home pairs classic good looks with the airy charm of a Queenslander. A facade of James Hardie Linear weatherboard and gleaming glass cuts a stately profile on the street, softened with a wash of Dulux Silver Service and quarter-strength Lexicon. It hints at the beauty beyond, with interior designer Sarah McCarthy-James from Greenwood’s Home coming on board to help to create the welcoming sanctuary of coastal cool and comfort inside. “Sarah was the backbone of our interior design,” says Jay. “She encouraged us to keep the palette white, light and classic, and to bring colours in through our soft furnishings. This gave us longevity in the style.”

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Timeless accents of rich indigo, navy and marine blue lend themselves beautifully to the home’s bayside position – and also carry sentimental meaning for Jay. “My mum’s favourite colours were blue and green, so I guess it’s genetic,” she explains. “I love the calming effect blues bring. Mum never got to see the house, but I know she would have loved it.”

And there’s certainly a lot to love. The entry level houses two beautifully appointed guest bedrooms, a stylish laundry, outdoor terrace, and a living/media room, which is already in high demand for family movie nights. Up the stairs (under a glittering Belle crystal pendant from Chic Chandeliers) a soaring void reveals the expansive bay views of the upper level, which are elegantly framed through large windows and bifold doors.

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Crisp white walls are warmed by dashes of timber and brass and a fuss-free floor of Premium Floors Nature’s Oak engineered timber in Everest. Fresh florals and hits of greenery abound, while a stunning two-way fireplace draws the eye. Crafted in split-face silver travertine from Adba Stone, it separates the dining zone from the living room where an inviting Plush sofa, ‘Perry’ hand-knotted wool rug from Bayliss Rugs, and two artworks from St Barts (Indigo Summer 1 & 2) strike all the right notes. “This room has such a relaxing feel,” says Roger.

The neighbouring kitchen is a haven of Hamptons-inspired form and function, featuring Shaker-style cabinetry, grey subway tiles from Beenleigh Tiles and even a stylish office nook. Upholstered stools with rattan and brass detailing from Style My Home lend warmth and texture while a window seat dressed in bespoke cushions in Mokum fabrics from Tahn Interiors beckons.

Related article: A stunning beachside Gold Coast home inspired by plantation style

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

“We chose Roman blinds (through Greenwood’s Home) for the kitchen because most of the time they are up for the view, but they also tend to soften the look a little,” notes Jay. “This is my favourite space. Not only because it’s where I spend a lot of time, but it seems to be the focal gathering area of the home. It also has such pretty views of the bay, especially when the yachts are out sailing.”

Over on the entry side, the remaining two bedrooms are each served by their own balcony. In the couple’s elegant master suite, deeper tones give way to duck egg blue, chic neutrals and silver grey. Cascading curtains soften the mood and lend a touch of formality to the bedroom while sleek white shutters filter sunlight into the tranquil ensuite. A wooden stool picked up at the Peregian Markets brings an earthy touch to the marble feature tiles from Adba Stone and decadent Akemi bath.

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

The laidback luxury of the home’s interior segues through custom bifold doors (from Brisbane Timber Doors & Windows) onto the perfectly positioned upper deck, which is tiled in Bluestone Grigio Lappato from Beenleigh Tiles. A spiral staircase leads to the pièce de résistance (and last-minute addition by Roger): a rooftop terrace. “Once we started to get some height on the build, we were surprised at how much we could see and how stunning the views were,” he explains. Bay vistas stretch to infinity and beyond here, while a pair of Adirondack loungers from Temple & Webster and indigo cushions and a hand-loomed throw from St Barts play on the seaside mood. There’s also a glimpse of the home’s final drawcard: a shimmering aquamarine pool by Environ Pools.

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

While many builds can be peppered with unwelcome “surprises”, this one benefitted from Roger’s meticulous preparation and a trusted team of suppliers and specialists. “Thankfully, apart from a few tweaks along the way, everything turned out as we had planned,” says Jay. With the hard work done and a schedule of yacht-spotting and sundowners in full swing, the couple has completed their picture of bayside bliss by welcoming a Cavoodle puppy.

Now all that’s left to do is relax and enjoy the view.

Cape Cod home in Brisbane Queensland

Words: Nicole Deuble  | Photography: Mindi Cooke | Styling: Tahn Scoon