Tonia & Gregory’s Warm Coastal Home
Upon walking into this home, you immediately feel its warm embrace. The sandstone walls, terra cotta floor tiles, lofty straw-lined ceilings, and roaring fire all come together to remind you that it’s now time to shake off those city blues and relax in one of the most beautiful parts of Western Australia, home to highly-acclaimed wineries and some of the best surf in the world. Gregory built this home 20 years ago, and although he added many beautiful handmade textured elements, it was stylist Tonia who made this place the family home it is today.
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Tonia, who not surprisingly has a busy career in Styling and Events Management, loves to add as many personalized touches to the home as she can. Not a believer in just following what is trendy at the time, she has custom-made pieces dotted throughout the home. In the dining room, the table is a commissioned piece by artisan Pete Smith using Marri, a local hardwood that was found near the family’s vineyard, plus pieces of Margaret River Jarrah and Sheoak. Tonia also had the chandelier that’s hanging over the dining room made by another local artist. It glistens in the warm afternoon light that comes streaming in from the kitchen windows, and really makes you want to sit just a little while longer.
Tonia works from home a lot of the time, so having a dedicated space to manage her business and the day-to-day running of the home was a top priority before her sons came along. Her office is tucked just off the main dining area and ties in beautifully with the rest of the home: custom-made joinery with a slight burst of color, and still heavy on the texture. The beautiful dusty pink Chesterfield leather sofa adds to the sense of understated elegance that you can feel in every space.
Of course, we are in Margaret River so there has to be a space dedicated to outdoor living as well. The family’s home is only seconds from the beach and Tonia has carved out a space at the back of the house that can cater to kids and adults alike. After a big day at the beach, the boys love nothing more than having dad stoke up the pizza oven while Tonia and Gregory, a Vigneron and owner of Preveli Wines, entertain whichever friends have decided to pop their heads in and join in on the fun after a day at the local surf break.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: We want our family and friends sitting around the dining room table to feel like they are in a bistro – think weekend broadsheets, music blaring, endless cups of tea with baked treats or glasses of wine, bentwoods always offering an extra seat, honest food cooked with heart inspired from our plethora of incredible local produce, with lots of lively banter!
Inspiration: A trip to the wine region Saint Emilion in Bordeaux really resonated for us, showing wonderful use of craftsmanship and local limestone and terra cotta for a rustic, weathered feel with generous hospitality around a shared table. Owning a vineyard, there is so much in grace and knowledge to gain from their heritage.
Favorite Element: We turned a fishpond in our covered courtyard into a wood-fired pizza oven and not only does it warm us on cool alfresco evenings but allows us to feed all of our boys’ little friends en masse and watch them relish in the pizza-making process!
Biggest Challenge: Making children harmonious within your household. Rustic hard floors certainly help and treating it like a beach house helps relax the expectations! Sandy feet welcome…
What Friends Say: They often comment how relaxed they feel, I think it is the airy, soaring, A-frame, straw-lined ceilings. Oh, and that they are on holidays, but that is possibly because we live in a wine region, so they are! Guests that stay always seem to sleep well, nothing like the sound of the ocean swell and the fresh air from an opened window.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our garden is a bit haphazard in how it was planted with an unruly, incongruent mix but we’re trying to encourage coastal-tolerant plants like succulents, lavender, hibiscus, olive trees, and magnolias with a few hidden gems like frangipani and avocado trees that surprisingly thrive!
Proudest DIY: Gregory created curved copper walls in the upstairs loft master bedroom that screen the dressing room and en suite whilst providing built-in light panels and amazing depth of matt greens and bronzes where the copper has been rubbed with salt and wax, forging an aged patina.
Biggest Indulgence: When we had our first baby we commissioned an artisan craftsman friend to make a huge copper and crystal chandelier to fill the ceiling space above our bespoke dining room table. The semi-precious stones amongst it look lovely with the afternoon natural light shining through from a window above and when illuminated in the evenings, it gives a whole other moody feel to the space, making the exposed limestone walls appear cave-like.
Best Advice: Seek out what makes your heart beat faster rather than trends, if you really adore something you will eventually find a home for it, and keep rearranging things to remain engaged!
Dream Sources: Would be a shopping holiday to the antique shops of rural France! Some of my favorite treasures are tablecloths from Burgundy, cake plates from Bordeaux, and the tactile little things that can be used everyday reminding you of the thrill of discovering them. Oh, and if Ralph Lauren delivered to Margaret River…
PAINT & COLORS
- Bedroom: Dulux Design Metallic Range Pewter Illusion
- All other painted walls: Dulux Fremantle Sails
- All other walls: locally-sourced sandstone
- Cream leather couch and black leather ottoman: Natuzzi
- Pillar candles: Empire Homewares in Dunsborough
- Off-white juju hat: Soul Styling in Gracetown
- Designed built-in joinery: made from Margaret River Marri hardwood
- Blooms: Zest Flowers in Dunsborough
- Occasional chair: Empire Homewares in Dunsborough
- Moroccan wedding blanket cushion: Soul Styling in Gracetown
- Moroccan tea table: Kenyon Trading in Margaret River
- Wool Berber rug: Freedom
- Oil on wood painting: by Dean Home (Gregory’s cousin)
- Bespoke chandelier: commissioned piece by Margaret River artisan Rick Snyder from copper, vintage cut crystal, and semi-precious stones from South America
- Bentwood chairs: bought from a restaurant closing its doors
- Cowhide: Soul Styling in Gracetown
- Bespoke table: commissioned piece by artisan Pete Smith using local hardwood Marri (from near their vineyard) plus Margaret River Jarrah and Sheoak.
- Collection of green vases on dining table: Dinosaur Designs in Paddington Sydney and Kosta Boda
- Candles: Empire Homewares in Dunsborough
- Art Deco candlesticks: Preloved Goods in Margaret River
- Walls: sandstone
- Green milk glass cake stand: Donna Hay Store in Sydney
- Appliances: KitchenAid in almond, Miele
- Bread box: Nigella Lawson range
- Vintage hanging wire food cover: The Flying Wardrobe in Witchcliffe
- Framed seascape sketch on paper: Margaret River artist Sam Broadhurst.
- Copper sheet partition wall in loft treated with copper sulphate and salt to create patina: made by Gregory
- Wood paneling paint color: Dulux Fremantle Sails
- Perspex photo frames: Country Road
- French flax linen and Moroccan wedding blanket: Soul Styling in Gracetown
- Missoni hand towel: Beach Life in Dunsborough
- Wooden stool: Beach Life in Dunsborough
- Sponges: purchased from beaches in Greek islands
- Wooden back scrubber: Remedy Store in Leederville Perth
- Natural skincare from Aesop and Kiehl’s
- Sisal rug: Ikea
- Pigeon hole display shelf: Empire Homewares in Dunsborough
- Vintage sea chest: from Gregory’s great-aunty’s journey from the UK
- Leather satchel: Etsy via Ethiopia
- Leather notebook: gift from Stellar and The Chief in Margaret River
- Grey teacup: gift from Mud
- On shelves green storage boxes: Kikki-K
- Family of bird ceramics: Margaret River Galleries
- Under-desk storage wooden wine boxes: the family winery
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