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Home tour: Australian coastal home in Blue Lagoon beach

With the use of carefully selected quality building materials and a strong design vision, Kyal and Kara have created a beautiful beachside sanctuary, designed to last a lifetime.

Expert renovators Kyal and Kara Demmrich have wrapped up their latest project – a three-bedroom family home and studio just metres from Blue Lagoon beach on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

Photo credit: Kyal & Kara – Blue Lagoon. CSR Gyprock

Curved lines and organic forms are a feature of the home starting with the round pavers out front. “The curved features continue inside with arched doorways, rounded walls and a showstopper curved Helical Stairs made smooth with Gyprock plaster compounds, taking centre stage in the living room,” says Kara.

Photo credit: Kyal & Kara – Blue Lagoon. CSR Gyprock

An open-plan kitchen, living and dining area is the true heart of the home, perfect for a family that enjoys entertaining.

One of the couples’ favourite rooms is the master bedroom and there are a few key features that make it special. “Throughout the home, we’ve used curves as a design element,” says Kyal, “and we wanted to do the same and add that architectural feature in the master bedroom.”

Photo credit: Kyal & Kara – Blue Lagoon. CSR Gyprock

The curved wall that leads from the entrance of the bedroom around to the walk-in robe is a stand out feature and really softens the look of the space, and feels luxurious.

“Gyprock Flexible was the perfect plasterboard to see our vision come to life. Versatile and easy to install, the thinner-than-usual boards can be layered on top of one another to create unique shapes whilst maintaining strength,” adds Kyal.

Photo credit: Kyal & Kara – Blue Lagoon. CSR Gyprock

The ensuite bathroom is a great example of using varying textures with similar colour tones to create a room that’s interesting.

Photo credit: Kyal & Kara – Blue Lagoon. CSR Gyprock

The guest studio offers a retreat for family visits and guest accommodation and also acts as a way to create a ‘villa’ style yard for the main house, creating plenty of privacy from the front.

Photo credit: Kyal & Kara – Blue Lagoon. CSR Gyprock

The crowning glory of the home is the outdoor entertaining space featuring a gorgeous mosaic-tiled pool, alongside lush greenery and a stunning stone wall.

Photo credit: Kyal & Kara – Blue Lagoon. CSR Gyprock

10 stunning ways to style a room in 2020

The Block’s Neale Whitaker certainly knows a thing or two about styling a room. We talk to the designer to find out how to elevate a space in 2020. 

Interior designer and Luxaflex Brand Ambassador Neale Whitaker was a recent attendee at one of the industry’s most notable events, Maison & Objet, Paris.

From big-picture trends shaking up the industry, to new thinking on sustainability, Whitaker shares all the insider tips and trends emerging in the interior design world.

Macro and micro trends

“I approach trends as macro and micro,” says Whitaker. “Macro are those around for extended periods of time, with no view of going anywhere anytime soon, like sustainability.”

Micro trends can come and go more quickly, he explains. “Bricolage would fall under micro trends, as would other current themes like artisan-made, natural fibres including rattan, jute and wicker, and global-nomad with influences of the Middle East and Asia.”

Make it about you

When it comes to styling, Whitaker’s first piece of advice is to make your home your own, and don’t feel pressure to fit into certain trends.

“When it comes to the home, it’s always good to know what the trends are and why they are, but I do believe your home is all about you.” 

Start with a feeling

One key question to ask yourself when styling a space is, how does it make you feel?

“It’s easy to open a catalogue and simply pick out a theme to replicate, but if your space doesn’t suit that theme, it simply won’t feel right,” explains Whitaker. “Your home is yours, so make it your own.”

Mix and match

Malene Birger’s Lake Como home embraces the designer’s quirky style

Part of personalising a space is picking the trends and styles you like the most.

“Merge trends, and don’t be afraid to mix and match styles within your room,” says Whitaker.

Neale suggests you go slowly and take confidence in your own taste and style. 

Know how to work with neutral

Lots of today’s interior design trends are quite neutral, which means they can be easily added into existing decor themes.

“Like the inclusion of a rattan-backed chair, or a group of ceramic vessels, similar in shape or colours,” he says. “My favourite interiors are always the ones that blend different styles, different tones, different periods, different colours.”

Embrace natural light

By maximising natural light, you can open up spaces in new ways. This can instantly elevate a mood and have a big impact on the way a room looks and feels.

The Luxaflex® LumiShade® is a great option in terms of a classic window covering, combining the versatility of a vertical blind with the elegant appeal of a soft window furnishing,” he says. “This lets light in whilst balancing style, durability and practicality, he says.”

Add warmth with the right tones

A bright room with lots of light is the perfect starting point to creating warmth in a home, explains Whitaker. 

Shading with a soft finish can blend to “create a warm light that allows for privacy without compromising on the warmth of the natural outdoor light.”

Use layering for extra comfort

Soft rugs and furnishings can create a wonderful feeling for warmth and elevate a space.

Play around with different decorative items, like art, photographs, mementos and books to add a personal touch.

“The things that tell your story will add depth and turn a house into a home,” says Whitaker.

Get smart about technology

Designing rooms that are future-ready means embracing all the ways technology and design work together, says Whitaker.

“There will be a growing emphasis on sustainability, incorporating products into your home that contribute to energy efficiency and regulate home temperatures,” he says.

Don’t be afraid to break some rules

Whitaker’s final piece of advice is to trust your instincts, even if that means breaking some interior design rules.

“I’m a great believer in creating homes with spirit, soul and individuality, and that, to me, is as important as comfort and functionality,” he says.

“Don’t be afraid to mix things up a little and remember that things you love are more important than things that are on trend.”