A Soulful, Mid-Century-Inspired Renovation Of A Coastal Family Home

A Soulful, Mid-Century-Inspired Renovation Of A Coastal Family Home


by Bea Taylor

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Kate Harry of Fabrikate worked with owner-builder Cameron Keen on the renovation of his South Australian home.

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‘I love the kitchen,’ says Kate. ‘It’s central to the home with its washed painted cabinetry, suspended storage and it has an incredible outlook.’


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The new design nods to the home’s mid-century beginnings.

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An impressive floating staircase leads to the second storey. Living room artwork by Barbara Napangarti Reid.

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The ‘outdoor’ room.

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The upstairs bedroom ‘retreat’.

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Upstairs, the warm, earthy colour palette continues into the en suite.

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‘Warm oaks and tans, terracotta earthen tones dominate the palette against the greys of the concrete flooring,’ says Kate.

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Keen Construct and Adelaide’s Garden Mate collaborated on the landscaping.

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The ‘vista’ from the home.

Vista House in Seacliff Park, South Australia, is the sum of trust and collaboration between friends who simply ‘get it’.

Owner-builder Cameron Keen of Keen Construct and his wife Georgy engaged their friend Kate Harry, designer and director of Fabrikate, for the renovation of their ‘run-down mid-century home with termite-eaten floorboards and asbestos in the roof’.

‘Cam had worked on projects with us in the past, and recognised the value of engaging an interior designer. [He and Georgy] were both very trusting of the process and keen to see what we could create without too much direction,’ explains Kate.

The brief was simple; work within the original mid-century design, utliise as many re-purposed building materials as possible, and create a home for a young family. The rest was up to Kate and her team at Fabrikate.

Her vision was ‘an approachable design that nodded to mid-century, but gave off relaxed soulful vibes too.’

The bones of the house are nearly all that remain of the original structure, although Kate and Cam have been careful not to strip away the character.

The locally sourced stone wall, which formed the backbone of the house and its history, was retained and re-pointed in the open-plan living area. They’ve also re-used the original breeze blocks, created outdoor furniture from the old roof rafters and used repurposed timber from a building that was being demolished to create the internal feature walls.

Cam and his team worked with the home’s north facing aspect and cross flow ventilation to employ passive and sustainable design. With 13kw solar panels and rainwater tanks, they enjoy ‘semi off-grid living’.

The home’s palette was inspired by the ‘vista’ framed in the floor-to-ceiling doors and windows in the living areas; from the gullies, hills and greeneries to the right, and the stunning coastline to the left.

‘Warm oaks and tans, terracotta earthen tones dominate the palette against the greys of the concrete flooring with the green-blue cabinetry of the kitchen creating contrast,’ explains Kate.

Of the renovation Cam says it’s been ‘truly life changing… The importance of a well-designed house will become apparent every day you live in it.’

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