Home Tour: Beach House Gerroa, A Coastal Escape
This luxury beach house on the South Coast of NSW is putting the sleepy town of Gerroa on the map.
Who lives here
Beach House Gerroa is a luxury holiday home.
Gerroa, South Coast of NSW
Hamptons Coastal Style
The main dining room which opens out on to the deck. We all gather there for meals or to work or sit and gaze at the ocean. When all the doors are opened up, you feel like you are on the ocean. Another favourite is sitting on the deck at sunset. The sunsets in Gerroa are incredible, and it's one of the few places on the East Coast of Australia where the shape of the bay means that you get to watch the sunset over the water.
The big beautiful wooden dining table in the main room of the house. Natascha from Amara Home sourced it specifically for the room.
Where rolling green hills of lush farmland meet beaches fringed by national parkland, Gerroa, in all its natural beauty is quiet, yet utterly alluring. Ocean swells to scenic trails to charming beachside abodes, it's the perfect blend of country and seaside living. And amidst all of this, poised along the headland of the sleepy beachside town, sits Beach House Gerroa, a coastal getaway built for all seasons.
THE BEACH HOUSE
With sweeping ocean views from every room, it was the beach house that Greg and Bernadette Cooper had been waiting for. Alongside their daughter, they set about transforming what was a traditional style beach cottage into a year-round coastal retreat with a classic Hamptons style feel. Stripping it right back to its original shell, they updated all electrics and plumbing, and reconfigured the interiors to open up the home, making space for multiple living zones. Then it became about filling the house with beautiful natural pieces of high quality.
"We wanted to emphasis the beachside nature of the house and the fantastic views that its position gave from every room. We also wanted to create a unique space for a large family, or multiple families, to entertain and enjoy," explains Bernadette. "We like the idea of multiple large entertaining areas, with the winter cosiness of open-fireplaces. But, mostly it was about capturing the views."
THE LIVING ROOMS
Steps away from the beach, the home's barefoot luxe vibes flow effortlessly throughout. From the open plan kitchen with its 50s retro style SMEG appliances to the living area and its feature sandstone fireplace to the large dining room – every which way you turn, there are uninterrupted views of the coastline.
"I love the main dining room with the big beautiful wooden dining table that Natascha from Amara Home sourced for us. The space opens out on to the deck, so we gather there for meals or to work or to sit and gaze at the ocean. When all the doors are opened up, you feel like you're on the ocean," Bernadette says.
Having spent summer holidays in the Maldives, the Pacific Islands and the Mediterranean, it was important to the Cooper family that the beach house reflected their travels while being just as beautiful to be in in the winter as well as the summer.
"There is something powerful about the ocean when its calm and peaceful with the sun shining one day, and the swells raging the next. We wanted the beach house to be able to capture and be enjoyed in both settings," says Bernadette. "The addition of the two large sandstone fireplaces – one out in the kitchen living area and one in the back area makes for a cosy beachside chic feel even if the wind is howling."
The living area towards the back of the home was made for entertaining – a second kitchen with a commercial icemaker and pull-out drinks fridge drawers flow onto an expansive deck with lounges, a dining table and an in-built barbeque. While inside, the cosiness of the lounge area with the Samsung "the frame" television and wood-burning sandstone fireplace is the perfect place for chilly nights.
Sleeping up to ten people, the three queen-sized bedrooms, all with ensuites, and a four-person bunk room for the kids are all a sanctuary within themselves. Light and breezy, each room soaks up the surrounding beachy vibes.
"The kid's bunk room has been a real winner with each bunk bed having its own nook with USB charging points for the devices," Bernadette says. "The master bathroom has 'active glass' that looks out to the ocean when you want it to, or you can switch it to privacy mode."
Everything about the house has been about capturing Gerroa's natural beauty. Two expansive decking areas and tucked around the back an all-weather hot tub overlooks the lush greenery of the headland and the ocean's expanses. It is a dreamy beach house that the Cooper family have longed for.
"We put a hot tub on the outside deck looking out to the ocean – perfect for enjoying a champagne or a beer, whether it's cold and blowy and watching the fury of the ocean or at the end of a hot summers day and watching the sunset," says Bernadette.
On the South Coast of NSW, Gerroa is a sleepy beachside town. A short drive to Berry in one direction and Gerringong and Kiama in the other. Although small, Gerroa makes for the perfect coastal getaway.
"Gerroa is a small coastal community with a small number of properties, and so it has that real small community feel to it. And given it looks out over Seven Mile Beach, which is all national park, you can never be "built out," says Bernadette. "The beach itself is great for kids, long walks as well as having several challenging surfing spots – so it really has a bit of everything. All this, while being close to the towns of Gerringong and Berry with their great restaurants, cafes and boutiques."
BERNADETTE'S FAVOURITE GERROA HANGOUTS
You can walk down the road to Blue Swimmer for a great breakfast and coffee. In Berry, there is Milkwood and Il Locale, great spots to grab your morning coffee, croissants, bread and amazing bakery items. Milkwood, in particular, is part of the famous Berry Sourdough and sells a great range of savoury and sweet items. You can also grab a nice coffee and something special from Nourish, or there is The Famous Berry Donut Van.
We are spoilt for choice in Gerroa and Berry. A quick walk to Blue Swimmer for a friendly lunch with views to Gerroa Beach. Our favourites in Berry which we have been going to for many years is Queen Street Eatery & Wine Bar, Bec from Queen Street is also there to help you decide the perfect rose to match your French bistro-style meal. Another one of our favourites is Salmon and Co. where Rob always greets us. And for a perfect pot of tea and delicious cakes pop into Berry Tea Shop.
South on Albany is a special spot for dinner.
The Hill Bar & Kitchen in Gerringong is the perfect spot for a drink. It has amazing views of the beautiful beaches of the South Coast.
Go-to local boutique
My go-to is Amara Home for beautiful clothing, bags, jewellery and homeware. It's a beautiful store greeted by stylish, friendly staff. Moss Nest and Cabana Joes also a favourite. Pop into Bedroom Bliss for some special pyjamas.
Best kept secret in the local area
Our best-kept secret is the walk around the back of Gerroa Beach – it's like being in a different world with the combination of rocks and beach and its very quiet.
GET THE LOOK
"I've sourced most of our homewares locally to support the local community as they have some beautiful homeware stores on the South Coast. A walk around Berry will take you through some of these stores," Bernadette says. "My favourite would be Amara Home, and we also love Cabana Joes, Moss Nest, Hampshire Interiors and Few and Far. Some of the larger lounge and bed pieces are from Coco Republic."
Photography: Abbie Melle
Interior Stylist: Tamsin Johnson