Home Tour: Beach-side Oasis Meets Inner City

Home Tour: Beach-side Oasis Meets Inner City

Watch out Three Birds or The Block – there’s a new girl in town.

Meet mum-of-two Justine Orton and her husband Luke. Last year they set out to do something not many of us would fathom. While building their dream home (which is already considered quite a stressful feat), the husband and wife duo decided to document the whole process.

From start to finish, the highs and lows of their journey is captured in a five episode web-series, all in the name of helping their customers understand a little more about the realities of building their own home.

Not only is the series a must-watch for any new home builder wondering what the process entails – the house itself is a must-see too.

Orton Family x Escea FireplacesJustine Orton, her husband Luke and two children Edison and Mabel; they lived together in the existing house in Merewether for two years while they planned to re-build their dream home on the existing site.

The Home

Orton Building owner Luke has been in the construction industry for over 16 years, while Justine has a background in PR and event management. Together their local knowledge, industry experience and on-trend style combine to create a breath-taking architectural home in the Newcastle suburb of Merewether.

Backyard ExteriorThe flat section ticked all their boxes for their dream family home – it was in a street, neighbourhood and community they had previously lived in and loved.

They had once rented in the beachside suburb when they first met, so when a home became available in a neighbourhood and street they had long admired, they jumped at the opportunity.

The flat 700sqm section already had a home on it with ‘potential’, but it had seen better days. The couple did some remedial renovations to make it more comfortable to live in while they set to work designing their new home with a local architect.

They had originally planned to renovate and extend the existing home but unfortunately due to council requirements, it meant they would have to sacrifice some of their ‘must-have’ items on their wish-list. They made the tough decision to build instead.

The style of the home is described by Justine as ‘urban coastal – think beachside oasis meets inner city’. And you only need to take a look at the façade of the home to see the end result is a beautifully executed balance of the two.

faceadeFor the home’s exterior, Justine chose coastal cladding, modern stack bond bricks, rustic raw timber, earthy crushed granite and industrial style lights to reflect her ‘urban coastal’ theme.

A soft colour palette of timber, white and wood has been used throughout to embrace a relaxed, resort-like feel, while pops of colour and vibrancy have been introduced through artworks Justine had commissioned by local artists.

Natural light has been captured where possible through large windows and skylights. Texture has been used to create depth and interest through a curved dowel wall that connects the hallway to the dining area.

The home’s interior scheme features a mix of soft neutral tones with an architectural edge.

The open plan living space consists of the kitchen, dining and living room that flow out onto a courtyard with swimming pool and outdoor room. While the living area is open plan, Justine has used clever zoning techniques that make each space feel like their own through smart furniture and rug placement.

The Fireplace

When it came to the fireplace, Justine and Luke chose the Escea DF960 gas fireplace. We asked Justine to tell us more about the fireplace and how it fits into their designer home.
Orton Haus DF960 GIF_2Justine and Luke chose the Escea DF960 Gas Fireplace for its convenience, contemporary feel and it was the safest option for their young family.

Hi Justine! Can you talk us through your fireplace and what made you choose the Escea DF960?

Although we love the charm of a wood fireplace, the convenience of a touch-of-the-button fire was a big factor in choosing a gas fireplace for our home.

The contemporary design also suited the overall look and feel of our house and as we have young children, the gas fireplace was the safest option.

Orton Haus DF960 GIFThe fireplace surround was clad in white bricks in keeping with the home’s overall design scheme.

Escea was recommended to us by the team at Glendale Warehouse; they said Escea was a popular choice in our area. We then went through the Escea website and decided on the DF960 as it was a cost effective option that also fitted the space we had available.

What about the beautiful fireplace surround?

The white bricks were used for the fireplace as well as for all subfloor walls and the exterior side garage wall. We did this to keep a consistent design flow throughout the house.

The house has an earthy and raw, yet modern and coastal theme to it. The modern gas fireplace mixed with the rustic lines and texture of the stack bond brick complemented the style perfectly.


You can watch the full series of ‘Orton Haus’ on their website or learn more about the Escea DF Series here.

Photography by The Palm Co.

Back to Journal