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  • Sydney
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  • Home Tour: A Sublime Coastal Pavilion on the Mornington Peninsula

Home Tour: A Sublime Coastal Pavilion on the Mornington Peninsula

A seaside home worthy of its Mornington Peninsula locale steers clear of coastal clichés.


Sorrento, Mornington Peninsula

Who lives here

Lou De Mattia and Ross Nichol, owners of the lifestyle brand Coastal Living.

Interior style

A timeless design that marries mid-century modern and coastal influences.

Love the most

Striving for permanence and longevity in design, this project transcends any notion of trend. Instead, it is characterised by simplicity and restraint while leaving room for our client's personality to shine throughout.

Located in the beautiful seaside setting of Sorrento, along Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, Coastal Pavilion was designed to reflect the needs of the Lou De Mattia and Ross Nichol, who wanted a forever home in a lifestyle where family and business could coexist by the sea.

A collaborative masterpiece that brought together Melbourne-based practice Mim Design and lifestyle brand Coastal Living (owned by Lou and Ross). The project became an expression of person and place that transcends time with a permanence fitting of its coastal surroundings.


"Our interior vision for this home was to create an authentic and timeless design, blending mid-century modern with coastal influences, yet without any sense of beachside cliché," explains Miriam Fanning, Principal of Mim Design. "The home needed to showcase our client's business of similarly inspired furniture and décor, be reflective of the property's seaside location and overall, be a forever home, rather than just a weekend retreat or holiday house."

A project that the team at Mim Design weren't taking lightly, Miriam explains that "As admirers of our client's business, we were thrilled when they approached us for this project. It's an incredibly personal experience when any client entrusts us with the design of their home, and it's not uncommon for clients to become friends — this case was no exception."


An original fibro-shack was demolished, leaving behind a blank canvas for a home inspired by its natural surrounds and that finds beauty in contradiction. The site's slope drove the decision to place a series of pavilions over split levels, each connected to the outdoors. Yet still, the home's materiality plays a starring role; zinc riffs off charred timber, painted brick, concrete, timber and stone.

"Striving for permanence and longevity in design, this is a project which transcends any notion of trend and is instead characterised by simplicity and restraint while leaving room for the client's personality to shine throughout," says Miriam.


As you enter the home, the curve of a breeze block wall greets you. Beyond, a staggering hallway reveals the home's split levels – from a private sanctuary at the front to generous entertaining spaces at the rear. Set between the private retreat and lower entertainment area is a sanctuary like study that overlooks the pool and garden.

Walls of glass connect the outdoors to the open plan living space, where the kitchen features an oversized pendant that reigns over a stone island bench; the curve of the island and the radius of the pendant precisely matched. A hint of the attention to detail that Mim Design delivers throughout.

The home's sense of harmony, connection and uninterrupted flow comes from a considered pairing of soft and striking forms, materials and textures, and a neutral colour palette punctuated by restrained accents – all fitting of its coastal location.

Filtered light feels the home with warmth while a display of the day's changing shadows plays along textured timber walls and painted brick. Items from the client's personal collection add a layer of personality and a permanent sense of belonging in a seaside town that has long been a holiday destination.

"This was a really collaborative project with clients who shared our respect for form and rationale. We love that they are thrilled with their new forever home, and we're looking forward to visiting for drinks under the pergola,” says Miriam.


Set right on the tip of Mornington Peninsula, with the ocean on one side and the bay on the other, the historic town of Sorrento is as picturesque as it sounds – limestone shopfronts filled with designer labels, galleries and antiques while cafes and restaurants champion local farmgate produce. It strikes the perfect balance between coastal cool and urban charm. And with so much to boast about – bay beaches and ocean swells to the historic limestone village to the clifftop walks and rugged bushland – this seaside beauty with its small-town vibes is packed full of goodness.


For breakfast

A local favourite is Smashing Sorrento, great coffee and food. 

For lunch

At the Sisters Kitchen Garden, you can have a leisurely lunch made from fresh produce sourced straight from the portable veggie patches that surround you.

For dinner

Sitting across from the bay, Italico Sorrento is a delicious local go-to Italian restaurant.

For drinks

The historic Hotel Sorrento is not only a great place to dine, but the bars offer a variety to suit whatever mood you’re in; Rooftop Bar, Front Bar, Cellar, or in the garden.

Go-to local boutique

Coastal Living, of course! A curated range of products and homewares inspired by the coast.

Must do in the local area

The Peninsula Hot Springs is just down the road in Rye and are an absolute must. For something a little closer to home, stroll along Millionaire's Walk – a clifftop walk with ocean views, art and stunning homes.


Interior Design: Mim Design

Architecture: Mim Design Project Architect Stella Lien

Photography: Tom Blachford