A Relaxing Family Home Where Every Day Feels Like A Holiday

A Relaxing Family Home Where Every Day Feels Like A Holiday


by Christina Karras

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Little More House is located in Shoreham, on the Mornington Peninsula.

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The house is clad in rough-sawn reclaimed timber, which will age gracefully over time.

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The entry is positioned between the two gable forms at the front of the house.

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Sliding doors open to the courtyard with a firepit.

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A large skylight is cut into the kitchen, which is flooded with natural light from all angles.

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The highly insulated building envelope, openable window systems, and the green roof help to passively regulate the environment.

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‘Our goal was to build a small footprint sustainable home that was fun, indestructible for our kids and with no white in sight,’ the owner Matt says.

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Concrete flooring was chosen for its thermal mass properties.

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Every spaces has been oriented to bring in natural light and maximise the views of the natural landscape.

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The pitched roof is reminiscent of a traditional shed, while also offering a greater sense of space inside.

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Reclaimed wide board cypress macrocarpa lines most of the interiors.

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A cosy living room.

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Warm tones of terracotta are also paired with timber in the bathroom.

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All tapware and appliances are from E&S Trading.

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Inside the luxurious shower.

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The family home is also available for hire as a photoshoot location through the owner’s business, Sawsee.

The brief behind this new build was to create a house that made every day feel like a holiday. And Shoreham — a calming surfing town on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula — was the perfect spot to bring this vision to life.

Owners Jeni and Matt Westle had always loved the laid-back lifestyle they embraced whenever they visited a great Airbnb or short-stay accommodation, and looked to capture this same atmosphere in their own family home.

‘We found that the holiday homes we loved were never big, they were creative and inspiring, and they prioritised connection,’ Matt says. ‘We wanted to create a home that created various spaces to retreat to, and also connect as a family, all while living simply.’

In addition to using Matt’s own building company Loreco Constructions for the build, the couple engaged MEGArchitects principal Michael Graham, who looked to rural Australian architecture for inspiration. Meanwhile Kim Kneipp and Sawsee worked together on the interiors.

‘I love utilising features and materials from high country huts and old shearing sheds that feel so at home within the Australian context,’ Michael adds.

The resulting Little More House nods to both the rustic forms of the farms you might see in the nearby winery region in Red Hill, and the calming essence of a more contemporary beach house.

Inside, reclaimed cypress timber lines each room, giving the house a familiar warmth and character, combined with other textural materials like Colourbond and crazy paving outdoors. Concrete features on the floors and on the clever green rooftop garden, perched above the pavilion-style kitchen and dining areas.

‘This blend of forms and materials change with the differing light throughout the day, creating a feeling of connection with the weather and the outdoors and a sense of calm,’ Michael says.

The floorplan is broken up into four segments that each serve multiple uses, connected by a backbone of sliding glass doors that open to the internal courtyard and external native garden.

‘As a family living in the space, we feel connected as we can look through the glazing across the courtyard to always see what is happening in the other spaces. The design enables us to feel private in all spaces, as we gaze through windows towards the treetops instead of neighbours,’ Matt adds.

Sustainable design and construction was an integral part of the project. The house is bathed in winter sun, allowing the thermal mass of the concrete to retain heat, while in summer, the rooms can easily be opened up to cool from the coastal breezes.

‘We challenged ourselves to limit the size of the home — limiting the resources needed to build and run the home. We created a home that perfectly caters for our daily needs only,’ Matt says.

‘Our lives are better living in this home’ Matt continues. ‘We spend more quality time together, we cherish cooking together, discussions around the table, board games and much less focus on turning the TV on.’

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