Television presenter, magazine editor and media personality, Deborah Hutton is renovating her charming three bedroom house in Bronte, into her own Hamptons inspired forever home, with work due to be completed later this year.
As she starts her renovation journey, Deborah talks about making the most of her coastal location and achieving her desired look featuring the hallmark Hamptons muted colour palette, bright and open living spaces and deep shadow lines of Linea weatherboard cladding.
Q) What style are you looking to achieve and what has inspired you to achieve it?
I’ve have always loved the magnificent mansions you see in the Hamptons, they are true coastal chic. My favourite house in the world featured in the movie ‘Somethings Gotta Give’ with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keating. There is something about the relaxed, casual nature of the architecture that fits perfectly with a seaside home and our Australian lifestyle. I want to bring certain elements of that into my renovation.
I grew up in Queensland and my grandparents lived in a quintessential weatherboard “Queenslander’ with a corrugated iron roof, large open verandas and a magnificent garden. It’s the childhood memories of that wonderful house I’d like to replicate. That’s why I’m cladding my home in Scyon Linea, to give it that weatherboard look I love so much in Hamptons and Queenslander designs. I’m also creating large open living spaces with high vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, and a classic muted palette.
Q) What in your mind are the most important elements to get your look right?
I think of houses and their interiors a little like wardrobe dressing. Externally the look of a house is its dress…the windows, doors, verandas are the accessories and the interiors/soft furnishings are like adding jewellery.
The impression you get when you see a house for the first time stays with you, it creates an impact… so getting the ‘dress’ right is essential. Wrapping the house in Scyon Linea weatherboard, with its beautiful deep shadow line look, will be its most striking feature from day-dot. Timber balustrades, exposed beams, tongue and groove panelling all lend their style to my Hamptons inspired coastal facade.
Q) What process did you go through when deciding the look of your house?
My research started almost the minute I bought my house. Having never taken on a project of this size, I started by visiting the Home Show in Sydney to get some ideas of products and finishes. That’s when I discovered Scyon Linea weatherboard. The deep shadow lines it created instantly reminded me of the home I grew up in and the Hamptons homes I’m aspiring to.
I also spent many hours scouring design sites to create my mood board. Knowing that I could achieve a weatherboard look that would last thanks to Scyon Linea, I was able to create a vision that encompassed my personal style. Having a strong, defined mood board makes talking to architects, builders and designers much easier when you have imagery that illustrates what you want to achieve.
Q) What were your main considerations when designing the new structure of your home?
The property faces North/East which is wonderful for creating that light and breezy Hamptons feel. It also sits high on the hill, so in summer there is nothing between me and the blustery winds that come up in the afternoon.
Having lived in the property for nearly two years, I was fully aware of how exposed I am to the harsh rain, wind and salt. It’s fair to say, maintenance and durability were key factors when I started to consider doors, windows, cladding, external light fittings, etc. Scyon Linea weatherboard became the obvious choice, as it resists flaking, warping and swelling, so it doesn’t require annual touch ups.
I’m building my ‘forever home’, so selecting finishes that will face the test of time was critically important.
Q) How have you chosen your materials? Are there any that are essential to creating your vision?
I like to do my research when selecting materials, fixtures and fittings - it’s a long, slow process. I also talk to as many people as possible with experience in building and working with certain materials. I also went to a couple of his completed projects to see the finished result and knew straight away that I was making the right decision.
Q) If you could go back to the beginning of this process knowing what you know now and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I had a bumpy road selecting my architect. Where I started and who I started with is not where I am now… and that mistake has cost me time and money. I don’t think I put enough effort into finding the right person at the beginning and appreciating how critical it is to have someone who understands and appreciates your vision. Having good communication and someone who jumps on things quickly is also incredible important. One thing I have learnt is that good design doesn’t always mean it can be built!
For more information about Deborah Hutton’s renovation journey, visit Renovation Rookie By Deborah Hutton at renovationrookie.com.au.
Find out how to get the weatherboard look for your home at Scyon.com.au.
The Scyon™ brand is owned by James Hardie Technologies™ Ltd and was invented in the research and development facility at James Hardie Rosehill, NSW. Launched in 2006, Scyon products are made from sand, cement and cellulose. Scyon is manufactured at plants in Rosehill, NSW, Carole Park, QLD and Pernose in Auckland, New Zealand.