September 06, 2018

Located in the Northern end of Queensland's Gold Coast Mary and Nathan Langley have built a contemporary, minimalistic family home on 1.25 acres of rural bliss.

 The seamless indoor, outdoor living, the clever use of black, white & oak, the uninterrupted view and design elements both interior & exterior are truly something special. 


What was the vision for your home? We were building on acreage, so we had to work with the block and the surroundings as well as the covenants. We did have a lot of limitations due to these covenants but overall, we really wanted our home to be innovative, functional and sustainable.

We are on 1.25 acres and we look out to a reserve so we wanted to take advantage of it all. It was a non-negotiable that all of our main living and bedrooms looked out to the view so that really set the layout of our home.

Before we found this block, we had a totally different house in mind but its so important not to limit yourself and try to build a home that doesn’t sit well on the block e.g. facing the wrong way, a lot of excavation, retaining etc.

How would you describe the style of your home? We like to think we’re minimal but we do want our home to feel comfortable. Outside is definitely dark and minimal with clean lines and inside we’ve tried to bring in a lot of warmth through our colour choices.

I think the mixture of black, white and grey with touches of Oak through our furniture, flooring and cabinetry really let our surroundings shine which is what we’ve wanted to do all along.


What is your favourite space and why? Our favourite space would definitely be our dining, kitchen and living area. It’s an open plan space totalling about 11 metres and it looks out to the amazing view so it’s definitely the place that we like to be in both when we’re entertaining or just hanging out as a family.

The sliding doors open completely so on a beautiful day we like to open them up and watch our bub play on the deck. We’ve got plans to put in a container pool so we’re hoping in the near future it will be an even better outlook! 

Where did you get your ideas / inspiration from for the build? We came across a beautiful home online called Piano House and we loved the exterior so much we pretty much replicated it! We also love the designs by Inform Melbourne and McKimm so we really used them as a source of inspiration for the outside of our home.

The simple design naturally progressed to the inside but visiting open homes and display homes definitely helped! We actually found our 10.3 metre doors at a display home and knew it would be perfect for ours.

It also gave us a lot of opportunities to see and feel certain spaces and we did frequent display homes quite a lot to measure out spaces and really get a feel for the scale of the rooms.

The biggest challenge you and Nathan have faced on this adventure Two come to mind!

The first was definitely the covenant process - to the point where I actually contacted the big bosses of the development (they wrote back!). It was a massive hurdle to get them to understand exactly what it was we were trying to achieve.

Our roof line was a massive issue as we wanted our home to have a low profile on the block, with a near flat roof and parapets all the way along. After many changes to our plans we eventually worked out a way we could get the look we wanted whilst still adhering to the covenants but it was a massive struggle and at the time we thought it would never end!


The other would have to be the cladding for our garage. We originally wanted our garage to be cladded in Innowood (which is the material we used as a feature on the media room - below) and our builder gave that the green light however when the build commenced and it came time to do it, they found that it wasn’t possible due to its weight.

We had to source another product (Colorbond Monument Matt Cladding) and our builder then had to source someone who could install it. It delayed our build by months and I questioned whether it was even worth it but now that we have it, I honestly believe it makes our home!

What would be your #1 tip for people embarking on a new build or renovating? Patience! I’m so lucky Nathan is a very patient person and really thinks things through and I’m the most impatient person ever and have been known to make hasty decisions! If challenges come your way, you’ve really got to take a step back and not make these decisions on a whim because when we did do that, it just came back to bite us.

An example of this would be our external wall colour. We had always wanted to go Dulux Domino and at the last minute we changed it to Dulux Monument (to match the garage). We got to the house when they’d put 2 coats on and hated it! We then had to pay for them to repaint the whole house again. It was a such tiny little decision we made last minute and if we had just stuck to our guns, we would have saved a bit of money!

Would / will you do it all over again? Definitely! They say when you travel you get the ‘Travel Bug’ and its so true with building/ renovating. There is a point where, as much as you are enjoying your beautiful new home, you do have that itch to do it all over again!

We’d love to renovate a home when the time is right and we’ve learnt a lot along the way so hopefully we’ll be able to survive the process.

You have opened up your home for photo shoots, I see a few homes in Australia are offering this, is this a new concept in Australia and have you had anyone take you up on this yet? We actually decided to open up our home as Mary was working for a furniture retailer and needed to find a space to shoot in and there was literally nothing that was a truly functioning home i.e. had a kitchen etc.

It was either a studio or a home on Air BnB that was filled with furniture that logistically would have been difficult. As we’ve got so many rooms in our home, there is definitely potential to set up spaces as you see fit!

We’ve got an amazing photographer who will be taking some commercial photos for women in business and we’ve opened up the whole house for them to really help with their creative content.

(Daphne Smith - Creates commercial branding + lifestyle content for businesses, bloggers & influencers, weddings & families) 

Who are your top 4 Instagram accounts you like to stalk?! (Click on each to go through to their page)

MCKIMM | Best account for stunning and innovative homes 


BOWERBIRD INTERIORS | All the home inspo one could ever need and their feed is just amazing 

ONYX AND SMOKE | Amazing products and a reminder that Afterpay is oh so dangerous MON PALMER  | Mon is my girl crush - super talented and the best account for garden inspo


In the weekends we will find you … Having brunch down by the water, pottering around the house slowly chipping away at our garden and just enjoying our little man who is 10 months old.


Your favourite winter destination? Japan! Nath used to work there and I’ve visited plenty of times - its the best for that true winter getaway without breaking the budget.

Thanks for chatting with me Mary, you and Nathan have one incredible home.
If you would like your home featured please drop me a line jemma@sydneyandpop.co.nz, id love to hear from you.

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