A Coastal Oasis In Conneware, Victoria Designed + Built By The Owners

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When planning their dream home, building designer Lauren Patista-Trickey of Section Studio and her husband, builder Jonathon Patista had all the tools to create a house with all the bells and whistles. Instead, they opted for simplicity.

‘Simplicity in both layout and construction,’ explains Lauren. ‘We wanted to keep things aligned and simplified from a floor plan perspective to minimise wasted materials and unnecessary labour.’

It’s simplified, but in no way trite. Through clever material choice and thoughtful planning, Lauren and Jonathon have created a coastal oasis for their family of six, including eight-year-old twins Max and Winnie, one-year-old Johnny and blue heeler Skip. 

Their home is a new build on a previously empty block in Connewarre, Victoria (on the Bellarine Peninsula) surrounded by a golf course and open paddocks, and just a five-minute walk from the beach. 

‘We have a beautiful scenic vista of pine trees, rolling green hills, and four friendly cows we spot from our window that belong to a nearby farmer,’ says Lauren. 

With a landscape such as this, Lauren and Jonathon knew the best option for them was to create a home that celebrated their surroundings, and allowed for connection in communal areas, but also space to retreat. 

‘Orientation was so paramount to the design,’ says Lauren. ‘With a generous site we were able to create sunny, warm living spaces while protecting the pool and entertaining areas from the blistering winds that roll in from the paddocks nearby.’

Communal areas are located in the centre of the home, which also wraps around the plunge pool and outdoor living. At either end of the impressive adobe is a bedroom retreat for respite and relaxation. ‘We aligned the hallways that extend at either end to the private bedrooms and bathrooms, giving the flexibility to connect these spaces, or separate them by closing cleverly placed doors,’ Lauren explains.

Materials were also chosen to reflect the landscape, with limestone boulders dug up during the earthworks now sitting in the garden providing a point of reference to the interior. Inside, limestone-like tiles, rammed earth walls, an earthy colour palette and textured neutrals reign. 

Oversized commercially-framed windows installed along the northern wall of the main living room constantly connect the family to their inspiration. 

‘I love that I can be pottering around in the kitchen, and see the kids splashing in the pool, the dog lying in the sun on the deck, and the cows chewing grass on the nearby hill,’ says Lauren.

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