Sea changes will never go out of fashion, even for a design and trend expert. David Carlson, with his wife Madeleine and their two young children, recently left the chaos of the city for a simpler, although no less comfortable, life in a seaside town less than an hour’s drive away. Although new to living in the town as permanent residents, the couple had discovered it while on holidays many years ago, well before children were on the scene. Originally a fishing village, the town had become a popular summer holiday destination for many, renowned as it was for its lovely white sandy beach, golf courses and birdwatching.
And during one of their visits 12 years ago, David and Madeleine fell in love with this painted, pearly grey, two-storey timber house, which had been built in the early 1900s. They were particularly attracted to its laidback summery vibe – and bought it. For many years it was their holiday home, but now, years later, they have chosen to live in it full time.
Although David and Madeleine didn’t make many significant changes to the four-bedroom home – they were keen to retain its original charm – they did, however, enlarge the kitchen to allow for easier entertaining of family and friends who visit in the summer holidays. The original milled timber floorboards were rubbed with a sand-coated soap, giving them a bleached look, and the interior was painted predominantly white, a colour that makes David feel like he’s permanently on holiday. In the dining room, original cornices were lowered and attached as picture rails. Children’s artwork and family photos are layered along the railing to eye-catching effect. In keeping with the neutral colour scheme and uncluttered feel, the home is furnished simply with just a few pieces – many of them market and auction-house finds. A couple of vintage posters and maps, and the odd painting, adorn the walls, but many walls are left bare. David says he prefers the “art of living” to stylish effects, and his attitude is reflected in the simplicity of the interior decorating.
The “art of living” appears to have also extended to the lack of home office. Although David does much of his work from home, he didn’t think it necessary to incorporate an office in the scheme of things. “I walk from room to room with my computer – this is a very cool and pleasant way to work!” he says. Working from home also provides the added advantage of being able to take time off during the day and head to the beach with the children. David also spends time meditating in the library, or pottering in the garden – the house is set on 1200 sq m, much of it planted with hundreds of varieties of roses, a passion of David’s. A simple home, a simple life. What more do you need?