Coastal News


  • Written by Niall Hughes

How do you represent the beach and the bushland in one home? This was the challenge faced by Melissa Bonney, Director at multi-disciplinary design studio, the Designory, in creating a holiday-home-come-luxury-hotel.


“This project pushed my aesthetic to new plains,” says Bonney of the five bed, five bath Barefoot Bay Villa, set between Byron Bay’s beaches and the Arakwal national park. “I knew that there were key elements I would need to capture the surrounding look and feel,” she adds.


Connecting to the local environment is key to Melissa’s personal approach for ‘designing from the inside out’ and is evident as you enter. “I think the entryway is a great representation of the entire home. Every room has large expanses of glazing that create sightlines to the scenery, while allowing for cross ventilation.”


Here, automated Breezway Powerlouvres by Trend Windows & Doors run along the entire length of the space, flooding it with light and natural airflow. Throughout, glazing has been curated to create open spaces and private places, continues Melissa: “The home can sleep up to 14 people, so we needed a range of options that would suit guests’ varied needs. A good example of this is the use of the Quantum Cavity Stacking Doors between the dining area and garden, which can section off the interior when required, or ‘disappear’ to create one large space for gatherings and entertaining.”


This openness has been combined with privacy where needed. The living area features powered Quantum awning windows that are set high into the wall and can be opened with the touch of a button to let heat escape. This window placement also stops the occupants from being overlooked by neighbouring properties. The strong black frames tie into those used throughout the house, including those of the architectural style Aneeta sashless windows used in the upstairs bedrooms.


“Window and door frames provide a great opportunity to create continuity,” says Melissa of the Black Textura finish used in the home. “The matt, finely sandblasted appearance of our frames is a perfect reflection of the rock of the Byron coast and parkland,” she adds.


The dark tone of the window and external door frames, is seen throughout the home, from cabinet handles and chairs, to the Venette Cinder finish of the Stegbar Galleria wardrobes in one of the bedrooms. “Our dark wardrobes tie to the surrounding volcanic rock, but on a larger scale. The Natural Oak Ravine finish of some robes relates to our door choices, while a simple white in other robes and walk-ins ties to the homes palette. From there, we were able to mix and match handles and accessories from the three Galleria ranges to add more personality.”


“The robes also had to meet the needs of everyone from groups of friends, to families and couples. We worked with Stegbar to create bespoke configurations, with full length and shorter hanging rails, hampers, baskets, drawers, shoe racks and other options to provide individual experiences in every room,” adds Melissa.


One accessory that is set to delight guests is the Bluetooth enabled The Galleria LED Lighting system, which is hidden within the joinery and illuminates clothing in smaller and darker spaces.


Additionally, Stegbar joinery in the laundry has added stylish functionality to washing, drying and storing towels and beachwear. Hampers on soft close extendable arms offer easy access, while metal baskets provide storage for larger linen items and maintain visual access.


While the strong lines and monochromatic hues of the wardrobes and doors fit with Melissa’s modern Australian Lux aesthetic, she realised the look needed softening with subtle curves, to reflect the breezy Byron experience. Working with Stegbar, Melissa created bespoke mirrors in arch and circular designs, which relaxed the style while adding functionality.


“Every suite has a number of tall, full-length mirrors, so guests can view their outfits as they get ready for nights out, weddings and parties. They’re very useful and have been positioned to bounce light and create the illusion of space,” she adds.


The use of curves on frameless shower screens continues to smooth the aesthetic adds Melissa. “Rounded shapes were a necessity. The subtlety of the glass screens allows the lines to work subconsciously evoke the shoreline. This is balanced with the green eucalyptus and terracotta rock of the bushland.”


The quest for colour started with Corinthian Doors’ Moda White Oak and Moda Barn Door Collections, which offer solid constructed profiles based on the aesthetic principles of the Shakers.

“Consistent colour choices make a home feel cohesive and resolved. Our palette started when Corinthian Doors suggested their White American Oak veneer door designs.”


The doors have been used to suit different spaces and functions. Moda Barn Doors help transition between the downstairs bedrooms, ensuites and walk in robes. “Space is normally a consideration and barn doors provide space saving benefits, while adding an architectural element to rooms.


“To continue this material and colour choice, we’ve used Moda White Oak as our hinged interior doors and also within Platinum Cavity sliding pockets. Platinum Cavities are perfect in wet areas due to their durability and have the ability to create seamless spaces or act as a divider.”


The celebration of wood tones can be seen throughout the home, from the vanities through to the bathroom cabinets. The latter is where the colour palette comes into full force with two almost identical ensuites. Both feature Moda Barn Doors, which slide back on matt black hardware to reveal a single sink encased in wood with an arch-shaped Stegbar mirror, however in one, these back onto floor-to-ceiling light green tiles, the other dusty pink tiles.


“My daughter pushed me into using such large expanses of colour in the bathrooms. I’m glad she did as it’s now one of my favourite aspects of the home. The rooms combine the material and palette choices of the home, from the coastal rock-like matt black of the barn door hardware that is mirrored in the window frames, to the oak that is seen from the moment you open the front door, and inspired the hues of the home.”


By combining elements of the two, seemingly incongruous, Byron Bay landscapes, Melissa has stretched her modern, Australian Coastal Lux style to create a property that offers everything to the discerning traveller, that couldn’t have been made anywhere else, or by anyone else.


For information visit Stegbar (, Corinthian Doors ( or Trend Windows & Doors (


About Stegbar

Stegbar is recognised by architects, builders and homeowners as a leading Australian manufacturer of quality building products. With over 70 years of experience in producing high crafted windows, doors, shower screens, splashbacks and wardrobes, Stegbar’s reputation is built on its commitment to innovative design, outstanding craftsmanship and excellent customer service.


About Corinthian Doors

An innovator in the door industry, Corinthian's development of ground-breaking manufacturing technology has brought stylish doors within the price reach of the widest possible section of the consumer market. In creating outstanding products with the beauty of natural timbers, Corinthian is very mindful to ensure that environmental concerns are being met. As such, Corinthian only sources timber from countries that practice responsible forest management. Every door bearing the Corinthian name continues a long-established tradition of real value for money.


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