Heavily influenced by minimalism, Japanese architecture and brutalism, the new home of VALLEY Eyewear founders Michael and Tenielle Crawley is a true representation of the couple’s personal artistic tastes, passion for quality design and materials and art.
The creative couple behind the Gold Coast-based global luxury eyewear brand and their two children, Dash and Seylah, recently moved into their beautifully curated four-bedroom, three-bathroom hotel-inspired dream home, built by their best friend and VALLEY business partner, Matt Grippo.
Three Balls Red was thrilled to be part of this truly remarkable project and caught up with the Crawleys to chat about their design process, inspirations and their favourite architectural features.
“The Three Balls Red team were brilliant in assisting us with tile selections, and also assisted us in getting the black stairwell pendant made and curated to Michael’s drawing design. For us, Three Balls Red was a one-stop shop for sourcing what pieces we need to create an iconic build. They really embrace each client’s individual direction.”
Can you tell us a little bit about the beginnings of Our Sabbath Home. When did you purchase the block at Palm Beach and what was your vision?
When we initially came up with the concept of building our first home, Our Sabbath Home, we actually lived next door to the block we ended up building on.
We had bought and lived in a duplex next door for 14 years and the old beach shack became available and we jumped at the opportunity to get it.
I was actually in Sydney for work selling VALLEY and Michael rang me and said, “Guess what? I bought the house next door!”
I freaked out and cried but now looking back, it was probably one of the best days of our lives and the best decision we have made. We had been looking for the perfect block but we kept missing out. We also were really picky and selective on where we wanted to be and for us, South Palm Beach is it. The journey began of us curating a project that quickly snowballed into a realisation that we had free reign to actually build and design a house that would be made for our lifestyle and to the style that represents our artistic taste.
Who built the home and what architect did you use?
The house is actually built by our best friend and VALLEY business partner, Matt Grippo. He works at VALLEY full-time but is a builder by trade. He knows us better than anyone and knew that using someone else to do this project for us was not even an option. He did this project as a one-off and as a favour to us.
We will be forever grateful to him for that, and the amazing job that he has done. His attention to detail is just astounding. He is a true master craftsman and an incredible builder. Initially, we called upon John Wilson from Dust Temple who is a NZ-born architect by trade to sketch us up a concept. Following the design talks and ideas we had discussed with him, he concepted some sketches which was initially three to four big pages of sketch ideas. We then took the base design and concept to an amazing draftsman, Travis Quennell of QUBD, in Currumbin Valley. Michael and I then worked on it collectively with Matt and Travis to make the space functional and evolve and develop the concept’s flow whilst achieving the design aesthetics we wanted. We didn’t use an architectural design firm and worked closely with Travis to bring us what we really wanted. With Grippo’s building knowledge and keen eye for design, I feel like this collaboration all worked quite perfectly. John’s concept was an amazing building block to start with and evolve from so we are forever grateful to him for helping start the foundations for us for Our Sabbath Home.
Did you use an interior designer?
No, we didn’t get any interior designers or design firms on board. We curated this ourselves, along with our art and furniture choices. We have our own style and are pretty particular with what we do and don’t like. We did use Renee Britton from The Design Hookup to assist us in our tile selections and some key layout and design features with our bathrooms. Renee has one of the best eyes and just totally understands and gets our style. She was a great help in giving us the confidence to green light what we were thinking and we are very grateful that she threw us some great ideas, also. The whole Three Balls Red team were brilliant in assisting us with tile selections, and also assisted us in getting the black stairwell pendant light made and curated to Michael’s drawing design.
For us, Three Balls was a one-stop shop for sourcing what pieces you need to create an iconic build. They really embrace each client’s individual direction.
What are your favourite design features and why?
There are so many but our above ground pool in the back yard allows you to swim up to the side and talk to people in the house, and when the front door is open you look straight down the hall to the blue water. The placement of the red tip Pandanus tree in the centre of the yard really gives you the sense of hotel and resort-style living. Our concrete planter boxes deliver the softness of greenery that not only have some of the plants growing up so they can be viewed through the glass voids, but others are cascading down. Our ensuite delivers a true hotel experience yet has been well thought out so there is plenty of space when there is two of you showering and getting ready for work at the same time.
Whom or what were some of the inspirations when dreaming up this home?
Michael and I have always had such a love for concrete. We have always found concrete and black together can deliver a timeless and chic aesthetic whilst allowing other textures and materials used throughout the home to also compliment and pop. Our main objective was to build a home that is warm and inviting yet delivers the feeling of hotel living. Some of our favourite design places we have visited like the Rick Owen’s store in NYC have also inspired key elements with our Sabbath Home. Michael has travelled through eastern Europe a lot shooting some of our VALLEY campaigns and developed a great love for brutalist architecture. He is always inspired by accentuated concrete structures.
Where there any challenges with the build?
The dreaded C word - Covid! Delays, delays and more delays.
What constitutes a great home for you?
A home that can be enjoyed each and every day, whilst utilising all spaces.
What were some non-negotiables when you were designing your space?
Wide hallways, high ceilings, block out blinds, a laundry shoot [laughs], and wide-open living spaces that allow indoor and outdoor living.
Finally, any trades or brands you used to bring Our Sabbath Home to life?
Three Balls Red, AC Curtains and Blinds, Ash Dowthwaite from FPOV, Boss Concreting, Dawson Contractors, Lee Brennan Designs, Txture Co, ABI Interiors, Living 4 Landscapes and Soktas.