This Eclectic Beach House Is An Ode To The Australian Summer

Every summer, it feels like all of Melbourne flocks to the holiday homes dotted across the Mornington Peninsula. The region is known for its multimillion-dollar cliffside mansions and all-white coastal homes, but this particular Portsea retreat offers something a little bit different.

The weatherboard beach house has been refreshed by interior architect Edwina Glenn, who worked with the owners to bring a more ‘low-key’ kind of luxury to the family escape.

Original woven seagrass floors are now layered with patterned wallpapers, textural furniture, and soft minty walls to create an eclectic home inspired by the warmth of the quintessential Australian summer!

Christina Karras

In the living room. Custom wool rug designed by Edwina Glenn from Carpets by Design.

Gubi Grace Lounge Chair from In Good Company. Trefle Mirror by India Mahdavi from Studio ALM. UFO classic pendant light from Tigmi Trading. Wilson Relax Sofa by Made Studio. Vessel on mantel by Joseph Turrin from Modern Times. Natural Bamboo Double Wall Light by Lighting Collective. Ceramics on table from Jardan.

Gubi Grace Lounge Chair from In Good Company. Bzippy Dot Vase from Jardan.

Vintage bar stools. Natural Bamboo Double Wall Light by Lighting Collective. Restored original solid pine timber beams and bar top.

Venetian plaster table by The Organic Ceramics Company. Japanese Shigaraki pottery jar by Kazari Ziguzagu. Oblong Pot by Kersten Perry from Modern Times.

Original seagrass matting. Grace Dining Chair by Rachel Donath. UFO classic pendant light from Tigmi Trading. Venetian plaster table by The Organic Ceramics Company.

Ottoline Double-Check Yellow Wallpaper from Elliot Clarke. Natural Rattan Wall Light by Lighting Collective. Honed Cararra marble stone from Fumi. Astra Walker Icon Basin Mixer in aged brass from Mary Noall. Catalano Zero undercounter basin 60 from Rogerseller.

The original white tiled bathrooms have been transformed with pattern and colour.

The blue-toned bathroom. Natural Rattan Wall Light by Lighting Collective.

The sunny main bedroom. Striped cushions by CLO Studios. Ria Green painting from Modern Times. Custom-made bed by Heatherley Design. Pepe side tables by SARAH ELLISON. Iris Lamp by McMullin & co. Classic Round pendant by Oi Soi Oi from Tigmi Trading.

The old weatherboard was re-stumped to straighten up the floors before launching into any painting or decorative works.

Ottoline Happy People Wallpaper from Elliot Clarke. Custom bunk beds designed by Edwina Glenn, made by Savvy Interiors. Saarde throw blanket from Nest Homewares.

Christina Karras
21st of December 2023
Interior designer

Portsea, VIC/Boonwurrung Country

There’s nothing quite like a classic Australian summer. Long days at the beach, backyard barbecues, and the warm, happy glow the sun casts on everything and everyone.

This was the energy interior architect Edwina Glenn wanted to bring into a recent renovation of a Portsea beach shack, located near Point Nepean National Park right at the end of the Mornington Peninsula.

‘The owners of the house are very old friends of mine,’ she says.

Edwina and the owners had ‘enjoyed the ultimate weekend’ together at Satellite Island in Tasmania just before embarking on the project. ‘They were keen to recreate some of the understated low-key luxury and comfort from that magical experience down on the Mornington Peninsula,’ she adds.

The weatherboard home was already a ‘little beauty’, featuring timeless details in the original seagrass matting on the floors and solid pine timber beams that were able to be retained and restored.

‘I wanted to move away from the typical Portsea weatherboard white-wall interiors and bring more ambience and joy into the family house,’ Edwina says.

They took a light touch to the renovation, refreshing each room without altering the existing floorplan. Aged brass details, sisal mats, and tones of yellow and blue were layered alongside joyful wallpapers and Carrara marble to warm up the ‘very basic’ white tiled bathrooms.

Edwina also introduced stripes, cane furniture, and a custom checked wool rug to bring a bit of a ’60s aesthetic to the living room, grounded by the original limestone fireplace.

All these eclectic details are tied together by the new soft minty green walls. ‘The colour reminded me of the velvety Lamb’s Ears leaves I grew up stroking in our family garden,’ Edwina says.

‘It sits as such a quiet, but somehow invigorating, background to the other elements and connects the house to the garden. White walls just felt too glaring for an Australian summer.’

Beyond the sun-soaked interiors, there’s a tennis court and swimming pool on the property. When the owners aren’t enjoying the getaway, it’s also available for short-stay bookings — and who wouldn’t want to escape to this dreamy, nostalgic beach retreat?

Book a stay at Portsea Paradise here.

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