A seaside beach house has been lovingly revived with a wash of vivid colour and bold choices, making it ideal for festive family gatherings.
Who lives here: Jane Hall, actor, and her daughter, Lucia, 13.
Style of home: A two-bedroom 1960s fibro and weatherboard beach house on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.
Not one to shy away from colour, actor Jane Hall is also a bit of a collector. “Absolutely everything I love ends up at this beach house – it’s like my inner bowerbird does the decorating here,” says Jane, who, with her daughter Lucia, 13, escapes to their bright haven on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula at every chance. A far cry from the hectic filming and family schedule of her Melbourne life, this is the place Jane comes to recharge and to entertain friends and family – and to set that bowerbird loose.
A beach house had long been on the cards for Jane. “I always, always, always wanted this, and now I can seriously see myself settling down here in the future,” she says of the neglected 1960s beach shack she purchased three years ago. “I’ve been visiting family on the Bellarine since I was ten, and my mum and one of my sisters both live in nearby towns, as does one of my best friends.”
Jane put her mark on the home straightaway, painting the weatherboard and fibro exterior a striking dark grey and adding a vibrant pink to the front door. Inside, an efficient six-month mini renovation saw the home come to life in time for family Christmas celebrations. “There was no indoor toilet, so that was a major priority, as was ripping up the polyester shag-pile carpet, still with the original lino underneath” says Jane.
Structurally, the only other changes were alterations on some small rooms tacked on the rear of the home. “With help from my dad, Peter, we knocked out two walls to create a cosy verandah, and made a laundry of the outdoor wet area,” says Jane. “I kid you not, we cleared a lot of dead rats out from under the old trough.”
Inside, colour reigns, but it doesn’t overwhelm thanks to a clean backdrop of pure white paint on the walls and floor.
“My style could be called too colourful by some, but I do love loads of colour,” says Jane. “I can honestly say there isn’t anything here that I don’t like.” With a clever knack for finding the best pieces from popular retailers such as IKEA, Freedom and Oz Design Furniture, Jane has brought a relaxed and completely unpretentious vibe to the home. “The decor in our Melbourne home is certainly more restrained,” she says.
Jane’s days here unfold in pretty much the same way, regardless of the weather. “I sleep in, which is something I can never do in the city, then I’ll wander down to the beachfront for a coffee, go for a 5km run and think about the food I’ll cook that day,” she says. “The Lonsdale Tomato Farm is excellent for fruit and veggies, and we have some great wineries nearby, such as Scotchmans Hill and Oakdene.” Afternoons are spent at the beach, or working with her mum, Liza, in the lush garden, grown largely from cuttings. Late afternoons often involve their own tradition: a glass of champagne in the backyard, followed by a healthy dinner.
Over Christmas, the house comes into its own. “The celebrations are big for our immediate and extended family, and the beach house is at its best when it’s full of kids,” says Jane. “I love nothing more than having everyone descend with their signature dishes. We pitch tents in the grassy backyard and all chip in to create a feast. Two years ago I dragged the kitchen table outside and erected a marquee around it. I festooned it with pink and gold decorations, then after lunch there was a massive storm and it all got blown down the street – but it was all worth it because Christmas was just so beautiful.”
Jane is currently filming ABC drama series Newton’s Law, on air in early 2017.