This week we take you to the light-filled Talm beach house in Anna Bay, Port Stephens. Designed and built by creative couple Jenn & Ry Bliss — the home acts as a coastal getaway and features floor to ceiling windows connecting the airy inside spaces to the ocean just beyond to create a truly immersive experience.
Our home story ...
We bought this block of land back in 2018 just after we got married and fell pregnant with our first born, little Noah! The home is a brand new build that started in 2019 and was finally completed in 2021. Due to covid restrictions and delays in building supplies, the build took a bit longer. However, we enjoyed the slower pace this time around as it allowed us to take the time to put more design detail in all the spaces if the property.
When we first saw the block of land that Talm is now nestled upon, the connection was instant. It was where Ryley grew up surfing and swimming with his friends. He made many childhood memories in this area of Port Stephens so naturally, this pulled on our heartstrings as we want the same memories to be made for and with our children. A popular reef (a local gem) also sits right in front of the property, so that was another deciding factor for us when buying the property. It is rich in ocean marine life, dolphins and the most perfect spot for whale watching!
What inspired the design of Talm Beach house?
Our main vision and inspiration for Talm was to create a space that felt highly luxurious and relaxing, but in the same breath, still welcoming and family friendly. As a family that loves to travel, explore new places and stay in accommodations that make us feel like we are in a home away from home our aim was to try and bottle this emotion and bring it to life in Talm. We wanted a space that had lots of natural light, soft textures and warm tones to make the property feel inviting! Ultimately, we want it to be your home away from home.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learnt while creating it?
That you need to dream within your budget! I am naturally a big dreamer in all aspects of life and my husband, Ryley is the realist! Together, we do make the perfect team! You have to set your budget and dream within it. Otherwise, you could end up paying way more than you bargained for and it is quite a costly lesson.
Take your time on the design phase of it all. Do not rush. Design it and keep going back over it, walking through the property in your head and envisioning all the corners, walls and rooms. If you do this, you will pick up on so many things you might want to make changes to. The earlier you make these changes the more time, effort and money you can save on the overall build.
What do you love about the design?
The fact that the ocean is at our doorstep, it was important for us to that the lines of the indoor and outdoor living spaces were blurred. The grand 8 meter void living space, the beautiful glass windows and extra large sliding doors allow this to feel seamless and it embraces our ocean living lifestyle. The alfresco leads to sprawling lawns that meet the rock pools in front of the property and the timber deck that wraps the property has a lovely outdoor shower where you can wash off the beach sand after your late afternoon dip. The design suits how we love to live out our day to day life and I think this is why we love it so much. It is an extension of who we are.
What drew you to Anna Bay?
We fell in love with the area. There is just so much to love and so much to do in this laid back coastal town. We are a stone throw away from gorgeous rock pools and beaches and only a stroll away from the iconic Stockton Sand Dunes! Whether you feel like being super adventurous or just want a quiet place to recharge and relax, there really is something here for everyone. The neighbourhood is also filled with lovely young families, so that definitely was another attracting attribute for us.
What does simple living mean to you?
It means just living with what you need in your every day. Do not clutter in every aspect of your life. Fill your home with only the items you need and use and what brings you happiness. I always like to remind myself that having a cluttered home will lead to a cluttered mind. The less you have, the more you have, if that makes sense?! When designing and styling Talm, we tried to let the space speak for itself and not over style the rooms and spaces. I want guests to feel like they can breathe when they are cozying up in all the corners of the property. To me simple living is all about finding the beauty in less and prioritising quality over quantity.
If you were to have a spare free morning, how would you spend it?
The fact that the ocean is literally on our doorstep plays a huge part in our day to day life. As soon as the sunrises, the children wake up and the day starts. Noah (the nearly 3 year old) will usually peak through the curtains on the daybed in the master bedroom to get a glimpse on what the day is looking like. I then raise the large blinds and the ocean view appears in front of us. We try and see who is the first to spot a dolphin or sailing yacht out on the water. Then we all make our way downstairs, make a much needed cup of coffee and sit on the alfresco eating breakfast and watching the surfers brave the reef waves. Noah will already be making his way down to the rock pools and Ry and I will be running after him! We spend most of the day downstairs and outside and then only make our way upstairs again at the very end of the day, unless I sneak up there to sit in the master bedroom for a quiet moment to myself whilst watching the children through the floor to ceiling windows play downstairs.
What are three words that best describe you?
Dreamer. Soulful. Brave.
What book are you reading right now?
I am guilty of not picking up a book in years, but I have made it one of my goals for 2022 to read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
What are your favourite wares from Imprint House?
I am pretty sure I nearly bought everything I possibly could online that was in stock and that I needed! I loved the black wired baskets as I use them everywhere and for everything. I also love my millet broom and wool duster. Practical, but still beautiful. It is evident that all the products are made with quality and the overall brand that Imprint House stands for aligns with what we wanted in Talm.