This Australian Retro Beachside Home Is Cute and Colorful
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Name: Annie Price, Jamie Paterson, Dot Paterson (age 9)
Location: Flinders — Victoria, Australia
Size: 2,368 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, owned
A few years ago we visited the eclectic, modernist Melbourne permanent home of Annie, Jamie, and Dot on Apartment Therapy. In their spare time since then, they have somehow managed to renovate a charming fibro shack as a holiday house—now affectionately known as The Flinders Nuthouse, situated in the seaside holiday town of Flinders, about one and a half hours from Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula.
While most people would have taken one look and demolished this run-down, termite-damaged shack to build new, Annie and Jamie saw the potential to restore a part of Australian beach culture and history—the modest Australian beach fibro shack.
They pulled up carpet, repaired the original floorboards, added a new plywood ceiling, and painted the shack inside and out. With their eye for spotting bargains at garage sales and flea markets, they have decorated The Nuthouse in their vintage, colorful, and eclectic style.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: We describe The Nuthouse as retro-eclectic. A mix of lots of eras, mainly mid-century with a bit of beach and a bit of granny thrown in! Our oldest piece is an 1800s Australian tallboy and our newest is an IKEA rug. So, it’s a bit hard to define.
Inspiration: We get our inspiration from so many places. Books, design sites like Apartment Therapy, our travels, and our collections.
To be honest, this house was a place to put all the things that wouldn’t fit in our regular home in Beaumaris, so the style sort of evolved organically.
Favorite Element: We love sitting on the deck and looking at the sprawling front lawn, listening to the distant waves (and wondering when we might get a tow bar for our vintage Sunliner caravan!). We don’t have a lawn at home so it’s lovely to have one here.
Biggest Challenge: Fixing the termite holes in the floorboards (they’d had quite a feast, which is really the only reason we could afford the house!)
What Friends Say: They love how eclectic and quirky it is. They love staying here. And they tell us how lucky we are. On that last point, we pinch ourselves every single time we pull up in the driveway… it really does feel like a dream come true owning The Nuthouse.
Biggest Embarrassment: Wondering why the open fire kept smoking out the whole house and finally realizing they need cleaning from time to time!
Proudest DIY: Repairing and painting the floors and rebuilding the front deck as it was rotten. Proudest moment still to come will be replacing the shed and lean-to roof and finishing off Dot’s cubby up on top.
Biggest Indulgence: The circular granny rug in the living room—I have always loved this carpet but felt it might be too much for a whole room. So, I finally decided to lash out and get a rug made in it. It wasn’t cheap but it makes the room I think.
Best Advice: Go with your gut, try things out even if you think they won’t go together. You’ll be surprised what can work with what if you give it a red hot go. And thrift—most of our belongings are from garage sales, op shops, or the side of the road! Why buy new when you can get so many wonderful things secondhand and save them from landfill.
Dream Sources: Palm Springs; Ventura (thrift shop heaven); Retro Renovation; Grandfathers Axe; Etsy; the next garage / yard sale, vintage shop, or hard garbage pile…
Blue Wall – Dulux, Pacific Storm
Pink Doors – Valspar / Wattyl, Australian Coral
White Floor – We used a concrete paint (brand unknown)
Reclaimed Front Door with Etched Squirrel Inlay (the inspiration for the name of the house) – Hughes Renovators Paradise
Gerard Doube Day Bed Reupholstered Using Annie’s Vintage Fabrics — Bought from an independent dealer
Yellow Cushions – IKEA
Flamingo Cushion – ALDI
Pink Cushions – Op shop
Sony Vintage Record Player — Bought from a garage sale
Vintage Room Divider — Found on eBay
Laser-cut Acrylic Customized Map of Flinders — By 3rdStone (on Etsy)
Replica Eames Hang-it-all – From a garage sale
Green Vintage Trunk – Garage sale
Gray Vintage Trunk – Annie’s parents when they first moved to Australia in the 1950s
4 x Arabia Finland Vintage Ceiling Lights (in dining room and kitchen) – Garage sale
Curtains – Rescued from the skip at Annie’s workplace
Cane Suite — From a garage sale. Upholstered by Ellie’s Upholstery, using leftover curtain fabric.
Cushions — IKEA (bought second hand from an op shop)
Axminster ‘Summer Bouquet’ Floral Rug — Carpet World
Black Vinyl MCM Sleigh Chair — Was Annie’s mum’s; reupholstered using vintage fabric bought in Palm Springs, California
Parker Teak Cupboard – Was Annie’s mum’s.
Artwork on Wall — Mainly Annie’s father, Ken Price who lived on the Mornington Peninsula and painted many local scenes around Flinders
Planet Lamp — Found on hard rubbish and restored by @thekraftsman
Rope Buoy – Garage sale
Laminate Side Table – Garage sale
Yellow Planet Lamp – Hard rubbish
Brass Pigeon – Tyabb Packing Shed
Macrame Plant Hanger – Garage sale
Macrame Owls (in hallway, too) – Australian op shops/garage sales and U.S. yard sales. Collection inspired by The Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, California
Parker Teak Dining Table – Was Annie’s mum’s
Moderntone Dining Chairs — eBay
Glass Shelving – Found in garage and spray painted frame
1980s Plant Pot – Handmade by friend of the family
Step Stool – Was Annie’s parents, re-upholstered with vintage fabric
Seagull Print Wallpaper — Spoonflower.com
Vintage Pennant Flags — Mitchel Rd Antiques NSW
Bar Stools – Found on Gumtree
Vintage IKEA Magnetic Clock – Garage sale
Vintage Embroidery – Found in a retro store in the States
Velvet Bedhead — Found on gumtree (pom-pom border made by Annie)
MCM Teak Side Tables – Revival Antiques, Milton NSW
Banana Wall Hanging – Kip & Co
Vintage Wallpaper – Various sources (eBay/Etsy/Annie’s folks/garage sales)
Velvet Chair and Footstool – Op shop
Cedar Tallboy – Antique shop
Red Hat Stand – Church fete
Sputnik Coat/Hat Stand – Sourced by @thekraftsman
Floor Rug — Adairs
Vintage Casala Chair – Found on hard rubbish (cushion made by Annie)
Deco Pendant Light – Chapel St Bazaar
Nudie Rudie Bath Mat — @sageandclare
Polaroid Loo Roll Holder – Vintage shed in Adelaide
Pears Vintage Advertising Poster – Garage sale
Deco Glass Vanity Cabinet – Bought from a friend
Bunk Beds – Gumtree
Vintage Wallpaper – Retro shop (no longer exists) Thirroul NSW
White Chest of Drawers – eBay (vintage knobs added by Annie and Jamie)
Brownie Downing Plates – Garage sale
Kartell Bedside – Bought from a friend
Book Stand – Garage sale
Saucer Chair – Gifted by a friend
CFA Red Trunk – Garage sale
Yellow Plastic Mirror – Garage sale
Honeycomb Collector Shelves – US eBay
Rug — IKEA
Lion’s Head – Garage sale
Vintage Prints – Garage sales and fetes
Orange Planet Lamp – Garage sale
Vintage Desk – Garage sale
Light Fitting – Fruit bowl from garage sale turned upside down!
Cane Laundry Basket – Garage sale
Boat Painting by a Friend — Kara DeJong
‘Sonny’ the Vintage Sunliner – Bought from a private seller in NSW. Our next ‘fixer upper’ project.
Thanks, Annie, Jamie and Dot!
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