Home Tour: Sophisticated Beauty on the South Coast
A family home with a retreat-like feel is setting the new standard in coastal luxe.
Who lives here
Dane and Zoe Cartwright, co-owners of Projection Build
Mangerton, Wollongong, NSW
Sophisticated coastal luxe
The Master Retreat, which consumes the third level of our home. It honestly feels like a hotel room or day spa. Overlooking Wollongong, the views are spectacular, especially at night with all of the lights. It's heaven!
Our marble. It was my very first purchase for the home and has been the key influence and direction of the colour pallet and interior selections.
Ocean swells, lush rainforests and a city centre that's buzzing with a renewed energy, Wollongong's zest for life play out in the natural wonderland surrounding this beachside city. It's little wonder that co-owners of Projection Build, Dane and Zoe Cartwright, chose Wollongong as the backdrop to their glamorous family home.
Perfectly positioned an hour and a half south of Sydney, for the Cartwright family, Mangerton, in Wollongong's inner west, ticked all the right boxes; location, neighbourhood vibe and the expansive views across Wollongong's city skyline and beyond.
Nestled at the end of a driveway, the distinct architectural design of what has become known as Lumiére House disrupts Mangerton's suburban aesthetic. Driven by a desire to create something unique, this sophisticated beauty feels like a luxurious retreat within the trees.
Inspired by lustful getaways, Raes on Wategos in Byron Bay and The Calile Hotel in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, Dane and Zoe collaborated with interior designer, Lee Talbot of mavenHOME, and Sherson Architecture, to build their family home.
"We wanted the home to be refined, elegant, soft and something a little bit different," says Lee. "Embracing entertainment savvy interiors and celebrating our Australian alfresco lifestyle with style and flair."
Flooded with natural light, the home's playful lines are a nod to the Art Deco period – sweeping curves, fluted detailing and archways – a theme that continues in the furnishing, styling and decorative lighting. Intricate marbles, brushed brasses, bold shapes and vessels, rich cut velvets, natural linens and terrazzo were inspired by various character-rich hospitality interiors and many on-trend sculptural dresses and gowns.
"Pretty tone on tone detailing, fresh greenery and brilliant whites combined with muted earthy textured hues offset the more decorative and glamorous feminine finishes perfectly," says Lee. "Renowned Australian makers and artisans such as Grazia & Co, Sarah Ellison and Dina Broadhurst were also inspiring with their edgy and iconic pieces."
The kitchen (designed by Jono Goode at McGee Projects), is defined by the custom-made Carrara marble flutes, individually laid around the face of the island bench. And with views to the pool, the kitchen's double-height ceiling and open-plan living flow effortlessly between various entertaining zones.
"The marble was my very first purchase for the home, and has been the key influence and direction of the colour palette and interior selections," explains Zoe.
A bespoke double-sided fireplace, featuring a suspended concrete hearth divides the living room from the dining room. A discrete, north-facing pop-out space sits off the dining room and overlooks the pool. And from the living room, the library has an original fireplace that's been restored to feature the Carrara fluting that's echoed throughout the home.
A glass walkway connects the library to the outdoor entertaining area, where a curved, Vigo Lena Marble kitchen island bench and custom, handmade dining table, created using Porta Timber awaits. Completing the space are bi-fold doors that extend out onto a curved concrete balcony.
"In the living area, our interior designer, Lee Talbot designed a custom lounge that reflected the fluted detail, working with Heartwood and Upholstery Stitches to bring the vision to life," says Zoe. "Another of my favourite features is the staircase, custom-designed by Projection Build and brought to life by Coastal Stairs."
A dedicated kids level features three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a rumpus room, complete with floor to ceiling pivot doors out to the large lush garden. And the Guest Wing, echoes the Carrara marble, with floor to ceiling tiles and a walk-through bedroom to en-suite."
MASTER BEDROOM RETREAT
On the third, (and top) level of the home is Lumiére's jewel – the Master Retreat. High ceilings and skylights flood the room with natural light, a bespoke curved walk-in robe, a day spa-inspired en-suite, and floor to ceiling windows and bi-fold doors open out to a private balcony.
"Our Master Retreat honestly feels like a hotel room or day spa. Overlooking Wollongong, the views are spectacular, especially at night with all of the lights. It's heaven!"
Zoe continues, "It's my dream home. We always have visitors, and we love entertaining. There are so many areas to discover and relax in - it feels like our own secluded resort."
The Pacific Ocean to one side and Illawarra Escarpment to the other, Wollongong is a haven for those who love to play in the great outdoors. Its ever-evolving foodie scene, beautiful coastline and an impressive line-up of heart-pumping activities is only just the beginning. Once a working-class industrial town, Wollongong is an urban hub with world-class facilities, educational institutions and a thriving sporting and arts culture that bonds the coastal community.
ZOE CARTWRIGHT'S FAVOURITE WOLLONGONG HANGOUTS
Brown Sugar Espresso Bar. By far, the best coffee in town, with a delicious selection of yummy treats!
Harbour Front is a fantastic fresh seafood restaurant with views of Wollongong's harbour. My husband, Dane, and I love the seafood platter and frosty fruit cocktails.
Baby Face Kitchen do delicious modern Australian cuisine, including sharing plates and a great selection of wines.
The Throsby has a great selection of wines and cheeses.
Go-to local boutique
Luca Luna is our local florist and homewares in Thirroul, they have a stunning selection of trinkets and pieces to complement any home, and create some incredible floral arrangements.
Best kept secret
Mt Kembla Pub is tucked up in the escarpment, just 10 minutes from Wollongong CBD. This hidden heritage hotel is mostly known for its food offering, craft beers, and live entertainment. We love to visit on weekends and relax in the leafy green surrounds.
I'd love to live near