Contemporary Casual – Barwon Heads House by Emma O’Meara and ARDOR Design Build

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Photography by Nikole Ramsay
Interior Design by Emma O’Meara
Styling by Emma O’Meara

Retaining the essence of the original beach house, Barwon Heads House follows a similar flow and fluidity yet elevated with a contemporary touch. Together with ARDOR Design Build, Emma O’Meara proposes a home that responds to the casual and textured nature of coastal life whilst ensuring the old and new harmoniously coexist.

Creating a balance of warmth and lightness, Barwon Heads House brings together natural finishes with a clean and minimal restraint. As a fusing of old and new, elements of the existing floor plan inspire the renovation. By building an alternate form that better connects to both the residents and their lifestyle, and with a better understanding of how to connect to the idea of context, the home becomes a backdrop of an open and connected life. In its location, the structure calls for a clear natural connection, seeing Emma O’Meara and ARDOR Design Build combine strong openings together with textured elements to create the resulting residential retreat.

Timber, rattan and white-washed timber floorboards combine to ensure the home feels connected through common tones.

A collaboration of craft, the integration between inside and out was crucial. In creating an outdoor lifestyle focused on celebrating location, being able to move easily between in and out formed an important part of the brief. In optimising the orientation of the site, openings are directed to capture natural light and create views to the existing flora. A feature themselves, existing trees provide shade and changing dappled light throughout the day – an element the home takes advantage of.

A bright and animated palette is inspired by the original structure, together with a modern interpretation of what makes the ideal coastal home. As a place to gather, the kitchen is the centrepiece, showcasing an openness and an emphasised sense of scale. Retaining original timber-lined boards into the new allows the original materiality to carry over. Timber, rattan and white-washed timber floorboards combine to ensure the home feels connected through common tones.

A bright and animated palette is inspired by the original structure, together with a modern interpretation of what makes the ideal coastal home.

Reflecting the owners and their varying personalities, Barwon Heads House feels animated and youthful. Emma O’Meara and ARDOR Design Build have created an inviting and congenial residence that connects to both its past, its present and to its location.