Best Coast

On Vic­to­ria’s beau­ti­ful Bel­lar­ine Penin­sula, il­lus­tra­tor Dou­gal Ram­say and his wife Nel­lie have cre­ated an invit­ing home that draws to­gether Cape Cod chic and quirky Aus­traliana.

Australian House & Garden - - CONTENTS - STORY Laura Barry | STYLING Ju­lia Green | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Armelle Habib

An il­lus­tra­tor’s own pic­ture-per­fect home, set on Vic­to­ria’s Bel­lar­ine Penin­sula.

Dou­gal and Nel­lie Ram­say fell in love with their Cape Cod-in­spired home on Vic­to­ria’s Bel­lar­ine Penin­sula the mo­ment they laid eyes on it. Built in the early 2000s by ar­chi­tect Ge­of­frey Brown, the prop­erty had a pas­tel-pink in­te­rior with quirky win­dow de­tail­ing, plus mag­nif­i­cent views over Swan Bay. Soon af­ter they bought the prop­erty, in 2012, the cou­ple set about ren­o­vat­ing the kitchen, of­fice, bed­rooms and al­fresco ar­eas. “We could see great po­ten­tial in the house, and re­searched this re­gion very care­fully be­fore we pur­chased,” says Dou­gal.

Dou­gal and Nel­lie un­der­took most of the ren­o­va­tions them­selves, only turn­ing to a lo­cal cabi­net­maker, Scott Smith of Scott’s Coun­try Look Kitchens, to re­con­fig­ure the kitchen. They in­stalled a new Aga stove and re­moved an in­ter­nal

wall to make way for a walk-in pantry. In­te­grated ap­pli­ances were high on the wish list, so new cab­i­netry was de­signed to ac­com­mo­date the fridge, dish­washer and bin stor­age too. An ex­ist­ing bed­room was re­pur­posed as a li­brary, and a new deck wraps around two sides of the house, con­nected by floor-to-ceil­ing glass doors for seam­less in­door-out­door flow.

On the ground floor are a large com­bined kitchen and liv­ing area, laun­dry, bath­room, two bed­rooms, and a con­nected rear pas­sage­way that leads to the cel­lar on the lower-ground floor.

Up­stairs is the main bed­room, an ex­tra bath­room, stu­dio and home of­fice/ li­brary. Slid­ing doors con­nect the liv­ing and din­ing ar­eas to the deck, which has a built-in bar­be­cue for year-round en­ter­tain­ing. Dou­gal’s favourite

fea­ture, how­ever, is the stair­case and its whim­si­cal newel post, crowned with a struc­ture in­spired by the his­tor­i­cal fa­cade of the nearby Queen­scliff Post Of­fice.

Nel­lie com­pletely re­planted the gar­den her­self; to­day, it’s a lush and lovely plot that de­liv­ers joy well be­yond its com­pact pa­ram­e­ters. “The gar­den is ever-evolv­ing but some­how al­ways looks lovely and green,” says Dou­gal.

The Ram­says have well and truly set­tled into their lit­tle slice of coastal heaven. “It’s a unique part of the world; each day we en­joy the con­stant move­ment of birdlife and the changes in the tides,” says Dou­gal. “We both love the simplicity of the house and there isn’t a room we don’t use. I think too many houses are de­signed with wasted spa­ces that get in the way of en­joy­ing the rooms that do work.”

Ge­of­frey called in on the Ram­says not long ago, and to Dou­gal and Nel­lie’s de­light, gave the ren­o­va­tion his seal of ap­proval. “We sim­ply tweaked some spa­ces to suit our needs,” says Dou­gal. “It was nice of Ge­of­frey to make us feel that we haven’t up­set his ap­ple cart.”

‘We love the simplicity of the house and there isn’t a room we don’t use. I think too many houses are de­signed with wasted spa­ces that get in the way of en­joy­ing the rooms that do work.’

Dou­gal Ram­say

LIV­ING/DIN­ING With easy con­nec­tion to the deck and an open fire­place, this room is set for all sea­sons. The troughs on the deck are filled with herbs. Side ta­ble and ‘Harry’ so­fas and arm­chairs, all Space. ‘Veg Out’ out­door cush­ions, We Are Dou­gal. An­tique din­ing ta­ble, Ed­ward Clark An­tiques. Rugs, both Loom Rugs. Art­work by Tom Ram­say. For sim­i­lar french doors, try Jeld-Wen. Join­ery by Pick­er­ing Join­ery. De­sign clas­sic: ‘Tolomeo Mega’ floor lamp, $1395, Artemide.

KITCHEN above left and op­po­site “The Aga is our best friend,” says Dou­gal. “Nel­lie is a won­der­ful cook and there is al­ways some­thing tasty bub­bling away.” Stove, Aga Aus­tralia. Oak join­ery and range­hood, Scott’s Coun­try Look Kitchens. Car­rara mar­ble bench­top and splash­back. Plaque from Nyary

ES. Bird paint­ings by Kate Ber­gin. Land­scape paint­ing by Al­lan Nudel­man.

De­sign clas­sic: ‘Light­wood’ bar stools, from $1500 each, Luke Fur­ni­ture.

FOYER/STAIR­WELL There are touches of Aus­traliana at ev­ery turn here: the post of­fice-in­spired newel post is a fine example. An an­tique model steamer is fit­ting for this coastal lo­ca­tion. It sits atop a mid 19th-cen­tury desk. The art­works are early Aus­tralian paint­ings Dou­gal and Nel­lie have col­lected over many decades.


Du­lux An­tique White USA (in­te­rior through­out) Du­lux Shale Grey (ex­te­rior) Du­lux Malay Grey (ex­te­rior bricks)

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