Affectionately referred to as ‘The Beach Hutt,’ Australian media personality Deborah Hutton has just completed a dramatic Hamptons style renovation of her Sydney home with rather fabulous results. “My home has been a passion project for the last 10 months and I have created the beach house of my dreams, not just a house at the beach. When I look at it I see elements of my grandparents’ traditional weatherboard Queenslander, a beach house I used to own, the Hamptons style I’ve fallen in love with and so much more. I’ve really poured my heart and soul into it,” says Deborah of the two storey abode located in the city’s eastern suburbs.
The transformation is evident immediately from the outside where the previously unremarkable brick and tile property is now clad in all-white weatherboard. “One of my first big decisions was choosing Linea Weatherboard. I had this vision of the light and shadow effect you see in coastal and Hamptons houses, so when I saw the Scyon Walls Linea weatherboards at the Sydney Home Show and found out they were more durable than timber and needed fewer touch ups I knew I wanted them for my home,” says Deborah of the product that was an integral part of the renovation.
“I’ve added stone cladding in soft greys to the front and the natural shapes and texture of the rock contrasts against the uniform straight lines of the weatherboard really well. It’s a look that runs through the home, creating a flow from the outside in,” says Deborah referencing the new statement fireplace that is the centrepiece of the home’s fabulous new lounge and dining area.
“The house feels more like home than it ever did because I’ve had so much input. The layout of the fireplace, windows and furniture comes from a beach house I used to own. It’s the space I had laid out in my mind first and I ordered my oversized three seat sofas from America a year in advance, and even though everyone warned me it would be a nightmare, it was fine. The same goes for the Ralph Lauren lights that hang over the kitchen bench – the wait was worth it,” says Deborah who was lucky enough to live next door during the renovation allowing her to be very hands-on throughout.
“I still can’t believe I did all this in nine months. It helped that I had a defined understanding of what the house was and what it needed to be. I could visualise the space, how the light hit it through the day, which parts of the house are visible from outside and so on,” says Deborah who developed a close working relationship with her builders throughout the project.
“I’m actually going to miss my builders now the reno is done. I must have spoken to them every day. I think this was possibly the most important part of keeping a project on track. Every build is full of last minute decisions, so you need to be on call to see the issue and make a decision. You can also nip any problems in the bud before they get out of control,” says Deborah who briefed them on aesthetics too. “I found showing the builders images was extremely helpful. Apparently some renovators don’t do this. I showed my guys images of my old beach house, Hamptons homes and many, many others to get the look right,” says Deborah.
“I think I’ve made more than a pretty house. While I love how it looks, it’s the way the home is tailor made to my memories, my interests and my lifestyle, even down to the name, that makes it special to me. From the moment I see the weatherboards gleaming in the sun and the palm trees moving in the wind I know it’s the home I want to come home to.”