• Don't put anything into this block, just add Sticky Item before CMS section.

Exclusive look inside Neale Whitaker's country home

21 Feb 2019 |  by Neale Whitaker

You could call it a tree change or a sea change. Either would be correct. My partner David and I have moved with our dogs Otis and Ollie to that beautiful region where the NSW south coast meets the southern highlands.

We’re in the country, yet less than 10km from the amazing surf at windswept Seven Mile Beach. And when the traffic’s on our side we’re just two hours’ drive from the city. It’s a perfect spot and one we’d dreamed of moving to for more than a decade.


I’m not sure if it was love at first sight or just infatuation when we saw the quirky property sitting on a couple of acres near the small, rural town of Berry. Originally built in the 1930s, the house – like so many country properties – had been added to over the years, not always sympathetically, and had even been moved several decades ago from its original location. As our potential new home, it was certainly a blank canvas, but not without a few challenges.

King Living - Jasper Design Focus

We loved the location (those views) and the house’s traditional, single-storey design and wide verandah. But we knew we didn’t want to live in a country-style home. Our personal style is a blend of modern, mid-century, vintage and ethnic (with a splash of colonial!) and in Sydney we’d been living in an industrial, warehouse-style apartment. Now we were swapping raw concrete beams for rolling paddocks and a chook house. Our challenge was to create a home that continued to tell our story in a very different environment; a modern and functional home that also respected the style and heritage of the house.

King Living - Jasper Design Focus

Our choice of a three-seater Zaza sofa and leather Seymour chair – both from King Living – works beautifully in the space. Not only do they blend seamlessly with our existing furniture and artworks (thanks to the neutral palette of Positano fabric in silver for the sofa, soft grey leather for the chair), but they make a stylish and luxurious bridge between the contemporary and classic styles that we love. In the bedroom, a King Living Serenade bed (also with Positano silver bedhead) and Sleep+ mattress gives us superb additional storage as well as the best nights’ sleep we’ve ever had.

Renovations have opened up the interior of the house to give it an airy, open-plan feel. We’ve added a brand-new kitchen and laundry and painted the floors white throughout. I guess it’s now one-part beach house to three-parts country! And a suspended steel wood-burning stove is a nod to the industrial style that David and I both still love. You can take the boys out of the city …



Shop The Look