an architecturally-designed, European-meets-Wabi-sabi-inspired family home featuring natural materials and nostalgic but subtle nods to the site’s former dwelling.

Located on an idyllic coastal lane on Queensland’s southern Gold Coast, Palmy Courtyard House is an architecturally-designed, European-meets-Wabi-sabi-inspired family home featuring natural materials and nostalgic but subtle nods to the site’s former dwelling, a rambling 1930s weatherboard purple beach shack.

The Purple Shack, as it was affectionately known, oozed character and attracted much attention from the steady stream of barefoot surfers, bike riders and locals passing by on their way to the beach or the local bars.

Owners – Sun House Studio founder and The Village Markers co-founder Marissa Bowden, her husband Rick, director of Bowden Welding, their two daughters Stevie, 12, and Pepper, 10, and beloved pooch, Tiger Rainbow - lived in their beloved shack for seven years and hoped to renovate her but, given the age of the home, a renovation was not possible.

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With the help of boutique architectural firm, Studio Workshop, the couple set about designing their dream house, whilst paying homage to the original shack.

The earthy home, built by Coakers Building Service, is described by architect Rory Spence as a ‘warm and light-filled design yet robust to be able to handle the weather of a coastal location.’

“The design is the nexus of Rick’s background in steel fabrication and Marissa’s interest in a more European style of architecture,” Spence tells Three Balls Red.

“It is an adaptive canvas for their family which has multiple usable spaces to explore and inhabit.”

The builders salvaged trusses and foundational timber from the original shack and had a local company de-nail it so they could repurpose it for the arbours and shelving in the new home.

When briefing the architect and builder, one non-negotiable for the couple was an abundance of natural light and no white. “We wanted our home to be a warm, light-filled space,” says Marissa. “There is no white used in our home at all."

“We wanted lots of natural light, textures such as render, walnut cabinetry, natural stone, sheer curtains and we didn’t want any white surfaces or furniture. Also, beautiful native landscaping (no palms or cacti) - and ensuring we had enough budget left over to fill it with some beautiful pieces we loved.

"Our home feels like a calm sanctuary away from our busy lives, where we can connect and spend time with each other and the people we love.”

The three-level abode boasts natural materials such as lime-based Tonachino render, timber, concrete and travertine sourced from Three Balls Red.

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Tapware is by Australian-made, sustainable brand Sussex, whilst the upper-level parents’ retreat features an Infrared sauna and balcony to watch the surfers on the local reef.

Marissa’s natural talent for interior styling and design meant the family didn’t need to use an interior designer with Marissa sourcing pieces from Australian artisans and designers such as Sarah Ellison, CLO Studios, Jai Vasicek, ceramics from The Village Markets and vintage pieces.

The Three Balls Red team was thrilled to supply the 400 x 600 Travertine tiles for all bathrooms in the home, including the luxurious master suite, which will no doubt be enjoyed by our valued clients for years to come.

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With thanks:

Architect: @studioworkshop

Interior design & styling: Marissa @sunhousestudio_

Builder: @coakersbuilding

Landscaping: @jswlandscapesanddesign

Travertine: @threeballsred

Tapware: @sussextaps

Cabinetry: @coakerscabinets

Balustrade and structural steel: @bowdenwelding

Images: @kristianvanderbeek

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