This old weatherboard cottage started life in Sweden, it now sits proudly overlooking the Spencer Gulf in picturesque Marion Bay.
In post-war South Australia pre-fabricated kit homes were rife, imported from Sweden by the South Australian government to help with the social housing crisis. That’s where this 1950s home originated, although it occupied a block in Adelaide for years before being relocated to the beautiful Marion Bay on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.
Seven years ago, it was then snapped up by renovating sisters Emma and Sarah, who have stripped it back, sanded, painted, restored and refurbished to create what is now an idyllic seaside getaway.
“It was in great structural condition when we bought it,” says Sarah. The renovations were therefore mostly cosmetic and completed ad-hoc during summer holidays, and on odd occasions when the girls could make it to the seaside town from the irrespective homes, just around the corner from each other in Willunga. “We would drive down with recycled materials like salvaged doors and windows and add them as we went along,” she says
The white-washed home was repainted throughout with Dulux Vivid White, while a large deck was added out the back, along with an indulgent out door bath. The garage was converted to a large rumpus room, thoughtfully decorated in a modern, eclectic style to compliment the rest of the house. The bones of the cottage (and the stunning location) were obviously a big part of the appeal for the co-owners when they purchased the property, but post-renovation it is now the impeccable styling that is the stand-out. The girls’ ability to pay homage to the original home while also injecting a decent dose of luxury with simple styling is a big part of its appeal.
The result is a space that is warm and inviting, incorporating a mix of modern and vintage. “We like to use what we have and source the perfect piece, but we will not compromise when it comes to French linen bedding, a good room scent and handmade ceramics”, says Emma.
Other non-negotiables are a generous sofa, the type that engulfs you, enveloping you as you sit – “comfortable seating is a part of creating an environment where you feel like you can rest, and that is important to us” – that and modern kitchen appliances.
The cottage is an original wooden shack, so while having a modern kitchen didn’ts eem like the right fit, the inclusion of high-end appliances was high on their list. Their solution was to work with the existing kitchen to maintain the authenticity of the space – they painted the cabinetry, added brass handles and exchanged the existing upper cabinets for open shelving so everything was in easy reach – while adding an induction worktop and a new oven perfect for holiday baking.
Other rooms that were given a quick cosmetic fix included the bathroom –“when we first bought the cottage, we considered that at some point we would renovate the bathroom, however over time we grew to love the authenticity of the room – the large windows, the layout, we even grew to love the mustard tiles,” laughs Sarah.
It’s the simplicity of it all – the earthy colour palette, the natural textures and the sprinkling of collected treasures and curiosities – that breathes life and love into this home away from home. The carefully curated interior has been executed to perfection, with each lick of paint, cosy nook and upcycled piece thoughtfully placed to evoke calm and beach holiday vibes.