Ultimate water playground

22 Jun 2021

Humphrey Homes Coogee architect residence

A home that embodies the breezily simple lifestyle of North Coogee canal living, this custom build by Humphrey Homes makes use of its location’s best attributes – natural sunlight and sparkling water views.

Humphrey Homes Owner and Director Dean Humphrey said the property was built to suit an active lifestyle right on the water.

“It is a forever home for a retired couple who loves the water,” he said. “The inspiration was to build a water playground for a couple who were debunking the norm that retiring is about slowing down.”

Nailing the coastal white-on-white palette, the innovative design and build was carefully considered to withstand the requirements of canal living and proximity to the water.

“In addition to a solar-passive design, the home’s windows are built to an N2 wind rating, meaning the home can withstand winds of up to 26m per second and gusts of up to 40m per second,” Mr Humphrey said.

“The home has been built using a combination of brick, stone and timber – with stainless steel fixings and components used throughout.”

The elevation is something to marvel at.

With 100mm-thick Baw Baw loose wall stone and solid timber weatherboard cladding, the coastal influence is evident.

An array of white-framed windows embraces the sea breeze, while a low-care garden adds the perfect touch of sustainability, with carefully selected plants that require minimal watering.

Inside, the playful mix of a nautical and textural design influences continues, spanning three vast levels.

“The ground floor invites active and connected living, with an open-plan design flowing from the canal all the way to the street some 50m away,” Mr Humphrey said.

“A key design consideration was the inclusion of a long central courtyard which offers a sanctuary away from the harsh winds, visual relief and permeability from one end of the home to the other.”

The view captured from the kitchen and dining generates a natural calm within. An array of gold-accented bell pendant lights hovers heartily above the bright kitchen, while white-flecked stone benchtops, American oak timber veneer cabinetry and engineered timber floors with a custom stain suit the owner’s personal aesthetic.

The seaside interiors are all about evoking a sense of tranquility. The creamy whites and shades of vanilla provide the base, while pops of ocean blue and gold-tinged accents are a nod to luxury.

“The interiors take their cue from the architecture, with lashings of light, white and timber influences, reminiscent of a modern-day boathouse,” Mr Humphrey said.

The white weatherboards and vertical posts with wire balustrading add to the simplicity and minimalistic functionality of the home, favouring a neutral palette.

Built to cater to every form of entertaining and relaxation, multiple areas optimise private and public zones.

"This is an entertainer’s home,” Mr Humphrey said. “The entire rear of the home engages with the water, offering incredible views from all levels inside and out.

“The ground floor, basement and private jetty offer direct water access, with a floating pontoon for a boat and other transportable water toys.

“It operates much like a private boat house, with glass stacker doors that can be opened-up or closed as needed.”

To make the most of easy living, a private five-person Easy Glide elevator provides access to all levels, while the main staircase presents a stylish alternative, with feature-grade blackbutt timber flooring.

“Quiet and private living is enjoyed on the upper floor, with the master suite and study overlooking the canals, and the second and third bedrooms enjoy an oversized proportion to accommodate extended family when they choose to stay,” Mr Humphrey said.

The home features an array of sustainable extras, including 6.4-kilowatt solar roof panels, a water storage tank, a minimal-water native garden and a focus on air tightness for all wall, window and ceiling junctions.

According to the clients, the resulting home met their expectations and then some.

“We both looked forward to receiving the keys, which has unlocked the next stage of our lives,” the couple said.

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This story first appeared in The West Australian's New Homes liftout on 10 May 2021.