After looking for a new home in Point Lonsdale or Barwon Heads to accommodate their growing family, Kate Heppell () and partner Mal (owner of ) realised that purchasing again in the same area was not viable. Through some unlikely real estate manoeuvring and financial planning, the family decided to stay put, and get themselves a beach shack instead!
The 1970s shack in Sorrento was built and owned by a group of ‘best-friend-families’ who kept hold of the shared weekender until they sold it to Kate and Mal three years ago. There was no need for major structural changes, but small interventions and updates have made a significant impact on the feel and liveability of the place. Kate highlights that they replaced all of the windows to bring more light into the home, added a backdoor, shingled the exterior, painted everything, and re-tiled the kitchen, pantry, and bathroom. The garden also had a massive overhaul.
The idea behind that shack was ‘no wifi, no tv’…and while a television HAS made it into the home for family movie nights, the overall feel here is relaxed and no fuss. Kate explains ‘we keep in pretty simple in Sorrento, comfy and relaxed.’ The home is filled with beloved vintage treasures, collected on travels and from vintage markets. Framed images taken by Mal’s parents in Borneo in the 70s are peppered through the house, and hold a special family significance.
Kate’s design decisions here have been loose and intuitive. She describes her decorative approach as informed by ‘Nordic beach house vibes, with a decent dose of colour…’ While she isn’t sure that the end result quite reflects this initial vision, she IS confident that she and Mal have created something pretty special here, for her young family to cherish for years to come.
Rent Kate’s dream beach shack !