Some people crave a sea-change for a change of pace; to pull back on long working hours, and swing that elusive work/life balancing act into less work, more life.
aren’t quite those sort of sea-changers. Whilst they relish proximity to the beach at home in Jan Juc, and haven’t exactly slowed down. This house is, in fact, both a relaxed beach house, and a place for creating art, hatching plans, and running their prints and homewares business.
The house is a classic Jan Juc early 1980s build, all weatherboard construction and robust, chunky timbers. ‘It was originally a “pole house” that has been filled in, added to and renovated all in a rather ad-hoc manner,’ recalls Rowena. ‘It had been a combination of family home as well as a share house at various stages… We often come across locals who “know the house” and have a story to go with it!’
Rowena and Geoffrey are colour-lovers, and are known for the bright, eye-popping palettes used in their work. SO, no surprises they’ve injected some serious colour into their much loved beachside home – with bold, almost-black exterior weatherboards (Dulux New Zealand colour ‘Taihapi’ – so perfect with ‘Vivid White’ on doorframes and accents!), and rich greens, blues, and red used in various rooms inside.
All up, the pair have painted the entire house inside and out, knocked out internal walls, built new balustrades, repaired staircases and built a new deck, removed carpet and refinished floorboards, installed new cabinetry, skylights and a new fireplace… not to mention landscaping outside! Now, they are slowly acquiring furnishings – a mix of vintage finds, contemporary pieces, and their own creations.
And of course.. there’s the ART. This home is a shrine to Rowena and Geoffrey’s own painting practices (Rowena’s works are the generally abstract, hyper-coloured canvases, whilst Geoffrey is known for his bird portraits, amongst other things!). Alongside these are treasured paintings collected on travels – an Indian tapestry, a Brooklyn brownstone painting bought in New York, as well as pieces by local painters Chloe Vallance, Kathryn Junor, and others.
‘This is a relaxed surf shack filled with our art, we have never had to be precious about it, we just have fun living here, and enjoy being at the beach’ Rowena says. ‘We love lighting the fire in winter, sitting out on the deck and in the garden… and we love that there is enough space for our house to be a relaxed shack, as well as a place of business.’