Healthy-living ideals and eco-friendly principles shaped this beachside build in Perth.
Perth natives Chevonne and David Groom had been living in Melbourne for more than a decade when their plans to start a family had them looking to WA. It was 2007 and, as luck would have it, David was in Perth on a business trip when a friend who lived in the sought-after suburb of Cottlesloe called about a nearby property for sale. “David bought it straight away, without me even seeing it,” says Chevonne. “All I knew is that it was on a large corner block, north-facing and a two-minute walk from the beach.”
The couple rented out the property while they planned their next move. Chevonne, a naturopath, and David, a property developer, dreamed of raising their future children in a healthy, environmentally conscious home. The existing house – a tired 1930s weatherboard cottage – just wasn’t going to cut it, so they decided to knock down and build anew. With the help of David’s brother, a commercial architect, the couple designed a two-storey, four-bedroom home with lots of access to green vistas. Construction began in June 2014.
On the ground floor are the living spaces, with a study and library located to the right of the entrance; on the left are a powder room and laundry. At the end of the hall is a spacious kitchen/dining/living area that opens to a covered barbecue area and pool. On the first floor are all four bedrooms, a playroom and family bathroom.
Passive-solar principles are central to the design. Walls of glass along the northern aspect, shaded by external blackbutt screens, draw natural light into the core of the home, minimising the need for artificial lighting. For optimal thermal efficiency, an in-floor cooling/heating system has been paired with travertine flooring and ceiling fans installed to circulate air through the home. The landscaped gardens by DigWA and mineral-based swimming pool also contribute, cooling the air before it enters the house. Rooftop solar panels provide more than 50 per cent of the property’s electricity.
Healthy materials were also critical to the couple’s vision. “We chose finishes that won’t off-gas the harmful VOCs often released in new homes,” says Chevonne. “Travertine, blackbutt and concrete for the hard surfaces, and mostly linen and wool for the soft. The beds all have organic-latex mattresses, too.” All the paint, stains, sealants and renders, inside and out, are rated low- or zero-VOC.
It’s been a long road, but David and Chevonne’s dedication and persistence has paid off as they – along with their two children, Oliver, now five, and Charlotte, 10 months – enjoy a home they’re incredibly proud of. “Our family’s health is a big priority for us and this house ticks all the boxes,” says Chevonne. “Not only is it architecturally interesting, it’s absolutely wonderful to live in.”
‘We chose finishes that won’t off-gas the harmful VOCs often released in new homes.’ Chevonne Groom, owner
LEFT Opting for a horizontal window maximises natural light in the south-facing main bedroom. Kelly Wearstler ‘Halcyon’ lamp, The Montauk Lighting Co. Barnaby Lane bedside table, Cranmore Home. Linen, Bedtonic. BELOW A freestanding composite-stone bath from Milano Stone takes centrestage in the ensuite. Bocci ‘28.7’ chandelier, Lucretia Lighting. ‘Topaz’ tapware, Bathroom Warehouse. Curtains in Westbury Textiles ‘Mistral’ fabric. Stool, bathmat, towel and cushions, all Empire Homewares. GlobeWest ‘Vittoria’ loveseat, Roxby Lane. Artwork by Jody D’Arcy.
OPPOSITE TOP The kitchen/dining zone is a social hub linking the indoor and outdoor living areas. David made the Victorian ash dining table himself. ‘Spensley’ dining chairs, Barnaby Lane. ‘Renata’ suspension light, Sii Light. Concrete island bench. ‘Jok’ stools, Empire Homewares. Built-in barbecue, Gasmate.
OPPOSITE BOTTOM Raw travertine tiles create a feature wall. “They are the same tiles as on the floor but unfilled so you can really appreciate the texture,” says Chevonne. The steps are cantilevered blackbutt with a glass-and-steel balustrade.