Photo Credit : Thomas Dalhoff Hindenburgdalhoff.com



Project Overview

Located on the sought after ocean front of NSW’s Pearl Beach, what was once an original 1950’s stilt cottage with a prior extremely unsympathetic, faux-beach renovation. It was our task to reintroduce some of the 50’s character while making the home liveable and comfortable for a family of six. The result is a home that sits comfortably within its 1950’s bones while giving a sophisticated, contemporary edge to a casual, comfortable beach retreat.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

Brett Mickan Interior Design


Brett Mickan - Principal
Nick English - Project Mgt

Project Brief

This home set in the beautiful beachfront location of Pearl Beach, bore the scars of previous unsympathetic attempts at renovation by previous owner who sought to conceal the original era of architecture. The clients wanted to restore their holiday home to its former midcentury glory - while remaining both contemporary and comfortable. They wanted their family and guests to feel comfortable enough to put their feet up, while also being stylish enough to feel pampered. It was important to the client that the beach house be stylish without being pretentious.

While overall aesthetics were important - there were also practical factors at play. We were required to resolve the structural issues of internally connecting the upper and lower floors and maximising the floor space.

Project Innovation/Need

Key to the success of this project was bringing the design and décor back in step with both the original architecture as well as the natural surroundings. The colour scheme was used to reflect the soft pastel tones of the 50’s and the natural hues of the surrounding coastal landscape. Dulux ‘Grand Piano’ was used for all living spaces, giving a soft sand tone as a backdrop for the colourful collection of vintage and contemporary pieces.

The master-suite was opened to the sound and breezes of the ocean by the addition of glass louver panels. Dulux ‘Silver Dollar’, a soft green/blue, was used for the walls. By applying wall batons and layering with luxurious fabric, the room became a little oasis.
A softer pale green, Dulux ‘Gentle Calm Quarter’ was used for the guest suite. Again, combined with a baton wall detail and layers of fabric and rug colours and textures, we created a casual, yet stylish retreat.

Key to the project was achieving balance between ‘casual luxury’. We accomplished this by combining heavy use of vintage items with injections of contemporary pieces in furniture, fabric and art.

Design Challenge

The main challenge in the project was creating a sense of history and lifelong curated-ness – when the home actually had none. This was resolved by the stripping-back of the trappings of the previous renovations that were unsympathetic to the midcentury era. We were then able to recreate the aesthetic that would have been expected of the time – with a contemporary twist.

Colour selections were used to reflect the soft pastel tones of the 50’s, combined with the heavy use of vintage items with injections of contemporary pieces in furniture, fabric and art.


As with all Brett Mickan Interior Design projects, we seek the avoidance of 'disposable' furniture and artefacts, with a firm preference for investing in pieces 'for life'. We do not like the short-term use of furniture that ends up as land fill, so we seek furnishings that will last even beyond the project for which they were procured. Additionally, as this project required the creation of a midcentury aesthetic, it was entirely suitable to incorporate pre-loved vintage furniture from Retro on Regent, Mitchel Road, Dirty Jane's and The Works Glebe.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes and aesthetic presentation. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.  


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