If Jacinta Platt’s name sounds familiar, you might remember the interior designer’s previous home – an irresistible “modern-day beach shack” that graced the cover of our Summer 2018/19 issue. Her new coastal abode showcases the same effortless mastery of eclectic themes and textural layers. The change-up? This time, the designer has put a sophisticated spin on what you might expect from classic beach style.
Jacinta and her husband were seeking more space when they laid eyes on this contemporary two-storey home in their beloved idyll of Kingscliff in northern NSW. While it was well-placed to soak up the town’s relaxed beach vibe, life by the sea had already taken a toll on the 16-year-old property. “The home was in good condition but a lot of items had been affected by the salt air so we felt it best to renovate while replacing, and create our dream home,” explains Jacinta. “We are both huge homebodies and just love pottering around the house.”
Cue a serious revamp by the designer and her Design Scout studio, including a new kitchen, redefined living spaces, bathroom makeovers and an identity overhaul for the four bedrooms. “We wanted to open everything up and create a free-flowing home with large spaces as opposed to multiple spaces and rooms that felt tight,” explains Jacinta. “Our previous home was neutral and warm with lots of timbers and natural colours. This time we wanted to create something a little more bold and striking, yet allow the space to still feel coastal.”
This assured approach paid dividends in a home that radiates warmth, strength and interest. Honeyed oak floors and a clean slate of Dulux ‘Vivid White’ underpin a refined palette overlaid with tactile, organic textures and plenty of personality. Deeply luxurious natural stone is a highlight throughout the home, while an accent of black brings a crisp modernity. “Just because we’re located in a seaside town doesn’t mean we had to shy away from blacks, greys and some jewel-tone pops of colour,” notes Jacinta, who selected emerald and oxblood for key cushions and artworks to offset the earthy tones. “Originally, I was working with some beautiful fabric I had acquired that had purples and mauves, but we pushed more into the deeper tones for more depth and impact.”
Design themes are brought together with Jacinta’s signature Design Scout ease and aplomb – a touch of tribal here, a dash of deco there – with the designer also keen to tackle new challenges. “I wanted to use finishes and textures I had not yet used,” she says. “We added timber battens and used a lot of natural stone, gunmetal and brass fixtures, along with incorporating a stucco product into the palette.” A standout selection of tiles from Hutchisons Tiles in nearby Murwillumbah define the three bathrooms, each with their own gorgeous profile.
If one room captures the spirit of Jacinta’s bold, modern-coastal vision, it’s the showstopper kitchen with its hunk of marble serving as the island bench. “The Super White Marble from Finestone is such a statement,” she says.
“The colours and patterns in it are incredible. I strongly encourage clients to look at natural stones because the beauty in each slab is mesmerising. I also love the streamlined look, using all integrated appliances and full-height cabinetry.”
An expansive servery window off the kitchen creates an instant indoor-outdoor connection, ushering in sea breezes and inviting friends to gather. Similar materials and colourways have been brought through to the outdoor terrace, creating a restful consistency punctuated by sculptural greenery and the turquoise pop of the home’s pool – a wink to the ocean waves beyond.
While playing client and designer might seem like a dream scenario, Jacinta is typically candid. “I was the most difficult client I have dealt with yet,” she laughs, citing an ever-expanding scope of works. “We had allowed eight to 12 weeks for the renovation but as we kept adding to the project it blew out to six months. Our gorgeous builder, Michael from Sharp Edge Constructions, was so patient with us as we continued to add to his workload. I also obviously would have loved an infinite budget and to add a few more details to the space, but reality had to kick in at some stage.”
You’d never suspect the finished project is anything less than perfectly resolved. Elegant and open yet serene and cosy, a feeling of home is firmly established by the artworks and curios – each with a story to tell. “They may have been purchased on an overseas trip, found at an antiques store or leftover from a project,” says Jacinta. “It’s an eclectic mix of memories and designer splurges, such as the Jonathan Adler solid iodised iron head on the coffee table.”
Individual pieces draw the eye, such as the ‘Ballerina’ wire wall sculpture from LuMu Interiors that floats above the master bed and the glorious rug from The Rug Establishment, which anchors the living room. “It’s made from recycled Indian wedding saris so you have incredible variations of colour such as aqua, fuchsia – even gold.”.
Setting the scene for many a memorable dinner party, an oval dining table from GlobeWest and custom chairs from Melbourne’s Casa Mia are flanked by a prized Zuster console. “The quality and workmanship are insane,” says Jacinta. “The entire thing is solid American oak, stained, with hand-blown glass handles.”
And if the kitchen is Jacinta’s favourite place, the study is her sanctuary – with the Ralph Lauren Home grassweave wallpaper holding a happy memory. “I was fortunate enough to visit the Ralph Lauren store on Rodeo Drive last year,” she explains. “While selecting accessories for a client I spotted this wallpaper and ordered a random quantity, hoping I would be able to use it somewhere. It works in the study so beautifully and feels very warm and comforting.”
Comfort is key right now with the couple welcoming a very special addition: baby Oliver! But this creative soul isn’t slowing down; plans are in the pipeline for phase two. “We’ve been here 10 months and have already discussed further changes,” Jacinta says. Perhaps, as designer John Wheatman put it, “a good house is never done.”
Words: Nicole Deuble | Photography: Tanika Blair