HOME TOUR | COURTNEY ADAMO
Welcome to the beach home of Courtney Adamo, a creative entrepreneur and course creator who helps busy mums navigate motherhood. Most recently, she has launched Renovation Ready. A podcast and resource to help simplify the renovation process, and share what you really need to know to get your home renovation right.
SHOP THE LOOK
Glass carafe with copper band | Glass with copper band | Shearling lounge chair | Grid stripe cushion in sand & natural | Cotton hand-loomed throws | Vintage clay pot from Ukraine #16 | Vintage clay pot from Ukraine #17 | Market basket — Extra large | Small brass towel bar | Organic cotton + linen vintage check hand towel
Who lives here & what they do…
There’s me and my husband, Michael, and our five children – Easton, Quin, Ivy, Marlow and Wilkie. We also have a lazy, little French bulldog called Nocci. We spend our weekends and holidays here in this home by the ocean.
Wherever my family is. We really use the term home quite loosely in our family, probably because we have ties to so many places around the world. Michael and I both grew up in America and our families are still there, so that feels like home to me just as much as our actual home. We spent 12 years in London before moving to Australia, so that too feels like home for many reasons. And funnily, we spent 18 months travelling around the world seven years ago, and home became wherever we were – whether it was a campervan in NZ, a surf shack in Chile or a bungalow in Sri Lanka. As long as my family is there, it’s home to me.
My home story...
We had been looking for a holiday house close to the beach for a couple of years when we discovered the sale listing for this spot. By all sorts of luck and good fortune and definitely a bit of magic in the alignment of stars, we bought an old fishing shack on a beautiful bluff above the bay. The day we came to see the house, the humpback whales were playing in the bay below – literally waving to us!
The house was entirely asbestos and in such bad shape, the plumbing leaked, the timber posts had termites and the septic system needed replacing. We knew from the beginning we would need to demolish it and build a new house from scratch, something we had never done before. We were excited to create a new home that felt thoughtful in design and a bit more suitable for our family.
We spent the next two and a half years designing and building the house, a journey that took much longer (and cost far more!) than we had anticipated (eek!), but we are so happy with the result and hope it will be a really special home for our family to enjoy for generations to come.
What inspired the design of your home?
We were inspired by the surrounding nature and colours of the native trees and plants. I remember going for a bush walk and coming home with leaves and banksia cones and pebbles from the beach and creating a natural ‘mood board’ of colours.
I was also inspired by my family’s beach house in the Pacific Northwest of America. My great-grandparents built a beach house in the 1950s and it’s a really beautiful, original mid-century home – probably my favourite place on this planet! We really had that house in mind when it came to making design decisions for this home.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned while creating your home?
Oh my, where do I even begin?! There are so many lessons we learned, I could write an entire book on mistakes to avoid! We learned big lessons about taking more time to specify our brief from the start. I have a tendency to want to rush through things to reach the end goal more quickly, but rushing cost us lots of time and money in the end. I also wish we had spent more time exploring more eco and sustainable building materials at the very beginning because many of the products we wanted to use didn’t suit the designs and measurements once our foundations were down and the framing was up. (I will actually be teaming up with Natalie Walton to share lessons we’ve learned from our renovation projects – so stay tuned!)
What do you love about your home?
I keep joking that we could have built a really ugly house and it would still be a really special home simply because of this beautiful spot. The views from the house are incredible, and I could spend all day staring out at the ocean. There is something so calming and grounding about being near the ocean – I feel so connected to nature’s rhythms, the weather, the sun rising, the ebb and flow of the tides, etc. I can feel my energy levels calm the minute we arrive here.
In terms of the house, I love all the natural timber elements of the house. I love the kitchen and the front deck, I love reading a book on the living room bench seat and taking a bath in that green tiled bath!
What does simple living mean to you?
This is such a layered question to answer because I’m aware of how much time and effort and money went into building this home, and in many ways it really wasn’t so simple at all. But saying that, we do love how simple it feels to be here. I spent the entire summer in the same t-shirt and pair of denim shorts – I never thought to care about fashion or anything like that. There’s not a lot to do here other than the activities in nature – surfing, swimming, walking – so it inspires quite a simple and slow pace. We watch the sun come up in the mornings, we play lots of games, go on walks, enjoy long meals together, and then watch the skies go pink in the evenings. You really are constantly reminded of what is important in life when you’re able to be slow and present in the moment. So I suppose simple living is all about finding joy and meaning in those simple things.
If you were to have a spare free morning, how would you spend it?
I’d go surfing!
What are three words that best describe you?
I’m sure it would depend on who you ask! :)
But I think I am quite positive, mindful and a bit of a neat-freak. :)
What book can you recommend?
Well, just last night I finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and it was such a beautiful, heartbreaking book. I loved it so much.
My 3 favourite products from Imprint House...
All the simple, pretty brass hardware, the beautiful clay pots from Ukraine and the cotton hand-loomed throws.
Photography Lynden Foss