In an age where many clients build or renovate homes to flip and sell, the recently-completed Tahiti House at Palm Beach was a very special project for the client, builder and architect.

Habitat Studio Architects and premium building company, Wave Developments, were entrusted to design and build the ‘forever home’ of their client Marieke Spence and her beloved pooch, Alby, using money left to her by her late brother.

"A few years ago, I saw the For Sale sign up when I was walking my puppy around the lake, and I thought ‘Gee, that’d be a great place to live!’ says Marieke.

"Later that day, I found out my brother had left me some money. Three days after, I made the offer. It really was meant to be.”

The 1950s cottage on the 508m2 block, located in a coveted waterfront pocket at Palm Beach, was knocked down and Habitat Studio Architects set about designing a contemporary ‘private sanctuary’ with an abundance of natural light and windows and indoor/outdoor flow.

“It was important to me that I made this my forever home, and that it was exactly what I wanted,” she says.

“Non-negotiable for me were a bath with a view, a private pool/courtyard, and the amazing dog bath for Alby.”

Adam Mullins, director of Wave Developments, says he has never been on a project where the client, architect and builder have worked so harmoniously together.“We all had input and trusted each other enough to listen to different points of view,” says Mullins. “We think the result speaks for itself.”

The main area of the lower level is designed in a U-shape around the landscaped pool courtyard on the north. The courtyard can be viewed through large glass doors and louvers from the home gym, main walkway, lounge, dining, and kitchen, bringing light to all areas of the lower level at all times of the day and creating connection between different wings of the home.

“The home includes a large void over the stairs and lower walkway,” says Mullins. “The two-story void not only connects the spaces visually, but it also allows light to transfer into the upper area.” The upper-level features include the detailed timber stairs, custom aluminium balustrade, oak timber flooring, a timber study nook, custom walk-in robe joinery and views of the lake from all bedrooms and the master ensuite.

“Everyone wanted this project to be perfect, and that is what makes it even more special,” says Marieke. “Everyone cared. I’m completely blown away by my home, and by the whole experience. I still pinch myself every day that I wake up here.”

Three Balls Red was thrilled to supply white travertine tiles for the main floors, Pietra Lombarda and 100 x 100 Lu Daylight tiles for the first-floor bathroom, Ter Bianco and 100 x 100 Lu Daylight tiles for the ensuite, Pietra Lombarda external tiles for the balcony, Metro white tiles for the powder wall and the Corsia Toscana Terrazzo tiles for the benchtop.

Images: Kristian van der Beek
Architect: Habitat Studio Architects
Builder: Wave developments
Landscape Architect: Scott Wegener, Project Landscape
Landscaping: Living for Landscapes
Tiles: Three Balls Red

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