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Todd SlaughterMedia Releases

The South Coast Register annual publication titled “Shoalhaven’s Amazing Homes” has featured some designs by Nest Residential Design......


Shane and Rachael Leach loved the classic beach homes they had seen during their holiday on the North Coast. When they approached Nest Residential Design to design their new home, they wanted it to capture the essence of the typical beach house.

The home would need to meld nicely with the streetscape of the established seaside town of Shoalhaven Heads.

"We didn't want anything too outlandish or wild that would look out of place, and we knew we needed open-plan living spaces to keep the family together as much as possible" said Shane, a local builder.

Shane and Rachael specifically requested a split level design, which posed an interesting challenge as the site was virtually flat. Nest managed to incorporate a split design into both the ground and first levels, which add definition and separation to each of the living spaces. A two-storey vaulted atrium in the entranceway and the ceiling of the first floor following the roofline, emphasise the sense of space.

Attracting the most comments from visitors is the recycled hardwood that features throughout the interior and exterior of the home. Shane had rescued the pieces of ironbark and blackbutt timber, which were destined for the scrap heap after being removed from local bridges at Jaspers Brush and Toolijooa, and incorporated them as posts and structural beams.

The hardwood gives the home a distinctly rustic feel. The kitchen, a main gathering point for the family, is sleek and ultra contemporary with stark clean white lines and frosted glass features. The clean white island bench is framed by three hardwood beams which transform it into the focus of this space. The rustic wood provides a contrast against the stark white planes and lines of the walls and ceilings. Window placement and louvers afford good cross-flow ventilation, and make use of the sea breezes. Rachael, a keen home decorator, has added her personal touches to the home. The master bedroom is simple and relaxing - recesses in the wall on either side of the bed house Moroccan lamps that soften the expanse of white.

Rachael's selection of clean white and neutral colours throughout the home complement the earthly tones and textures.


The home owners had a vision of what they wanted - a pre-built modular design with large living spaces. When it proved impossible to find a suitable pre-built design, they took the idea to a local architect.

"The architect developed conceptual designs that still considered the modular layout but introduced elements that were simply not possible to achieve within the prefabricated approach", explained the owner.

It was also out of the budget so the owners approached builders Preston and Sons and Nest Residential Design in search of a happy medium. Materials had to be suitable for fire and pest resistance and have minimalist aesthetic qualities. On the entry and master pods, silvertop ash cladding was chosen for fire resistance, while ironbark was chosen for the decking due to its fire resistance and ability to weather to a soft organic silver grey, which will contrast with the rich deep olive browns of other external painted walls. Entry into the home is through a long, wide boardwalk leading to a ramp which narrows towards the front entry through a "mud room". This leads to the 1.2m wide hallway or gallery, with full height and width doors that reinforce the open space and capture the northern view and winter sun.

Mindful of avoiding anything "too precise or sterile", the owners chose tallow wood flooring to bring warmth and character to the living areas. Internal doors have been set into plaster, eliminating the need for architraves and are virtually invisible from the view down the passageways. The kitchen is a favourite space for the owner and much time is spent there.

It has unique overhead lighting in pre-cast plaster and large skylights to allow maximum light and a full width window splashback which reinforces the visual link to the outside.

The owners love the waist height narrow window which runs the four-metre width of the master bedroom. The window is "best appreciated when sitting up in bed with a coffee during a weekend lie-in, watching the morning mist roll through the treetops".

We are commited to providing you with excellence in cost effective design to suit your needs.

Check out our photo gallery of some of our new residential projects >>