A Warm Neutral Boutique Accommodation | The Lake Haus by Tim Neve

Photography: @the.palm.co

The Lake Haus is a luxury boutique accommodation located in the idyllic Smiths Lake NSW that gives us all the holiday feels. Following from the launch of Tim Neve's DÉBUT furniture range within our product library, we felt it was only right to share The Lake Haus, where these products are so beautifully showcased. The newly renovated home by Tim spans two stories and five bedrooms and explores modern, organic shapes and textures. From the natural warm colour scheme to the architecturally stunning elements styled to a tee, we know our interior obsessed hearts would be very happy in an Airbnb stay at The Lake Haus. Below, we chat to Tim about the inspiration behind this accommodation, how the home was styled and what a typical day in the life of a stylist looks like - including his endeavour as an educator at The Design School. 

Congratulations on this stunning project. How did this home come to be and what makes it so unique and special?

This is my third consecutive Airbnb project. Unintentionally, I’ve become a ‘flipper’! I started with a small villa 5 years ago, sold that to create the Bay Haus at Nelson Bay, and in turn sold that to create the Lake Haus. Each ‘haus’ has got bigger and better – from that tiny retro 2-bedroom villa in a complex, the latest Lake Haus is an impressive freestanding two-storey, 5 bedroom modern-build home. It’s surrounded by the most inviting, lush tropical landscaping, so when I arrived at the property, I instantly knew it was ‘the one.’

How would you describe the style of this project?

After the success of the Bay Haus, I really wanted to build on all the elements people loved from that project – the warm but neutral colour schemes, abundance of natural light, earthy textures and organic shapes.

You poured a lot of love into this project, what made you get into the world of interiors?

It’s funny when you look back and realise there was probably going to be no other calling – as a kid I would constantly be redecorating my bedroom and playing with different styles and layouts. I landed in the world of styling for interior magazines over a decade ago and loved that same energy of getting to create a whole new visual world every day. Over the years I’ve built up my personal brand to include textiles and now furniture designs – it’s amazing to have that creative output over almost every item you can place into a room.

How did you incorporate your new furniture designs throughout the home?

I recently launched my first range of furniture designs, ‘DÉBUT’. The entire home was remixed to feature the collection. All those natural elements like rattan and timber have been used in organic and sculptural shaped forms, so they fit in perfectly with the established vibe of the home. It’s been a long process of many months of designing the the furniture, then working remotely with artisans offshore to create the pieces. We launched the DÉBUT range to the industry at the Life Instyle trade fair, and in the coming months you’ll start to see the pieces popping up at beautiful homewares stores and furniture showrooms around the country.  

"I’m thrilled to have the Tim Neve textiles and furniture products on Style Sourcebook for everyone to place and play with on their mood boards – I can’t wait to see how you style the pieces into your dream homes!"

Tim Neve

What is your favourite feature of the home?

The largest furniture piece is a stunning dining table – custom made by Object X in the Gold Coast in a nude-hued venetian plaster whereby the organic shape with light texture has a stylish yet prehistoric feel to it. Large enough to seat all the guests to the home, it’s both an impressive visual and tactile object – I don’t think I’ve seen anyone be able to walk past it without running their hands along the surface!

How did you create such a cohesive style throughout the home?

For one thing, there are so many beds to make in this house – I think I counted a couple of dozen pillowcases alone that have to be changed each time between guests – so I wanted to create a seamless look across all the rooms, whilst giving each space it’s own personality. I’ve achieved this by using a similar palette of bed linens throughout the home, but then made the point of difference with the introduction of some gorgeous Australian art as a focal point in each room – stunning limited edition prints from Jai Vasicek, Bonnie Gray and local artists Lauren Featherstone and Xander Holliday.

Where did you draw inspiration from for this project?

I would have to say I’m always inspired by the boldness of US interior designer Kelly Wearstler. She isn’t afraid to mix and match styles, a bit of pattern-clash, and opts for sculptural-form pieces that are more like works of art than mere furniture.

What are some of the main brands used throughout?

Of course, my own textile range features throughout the home. Muse by Tim Neve hand painted linen fibres as feature cushions appear in most rooms. I also added impressive floor to ceiling sheer curtains across the huge alfresco stacking doorway (from DIY blinds), which have softened the space immensely. I love supporting one-of-a-kind makers, so those unique wave-shaped sandstone bedside lamps were hand-created in Melbourne by Neighbourhood Studio.

How did you bring all the holiday vibes into Lake Haus?

One of my favourite features is the organic stone wall – from Artisan Exterior. The main wall of the alfresco area was previously covered in lacklustre corrugated iron. A local stonemason created a stunning feature wall of organic stonework that is a work of art to behold. The random, natural texture now transforms the space, and instantly created that holiday vibe – you now feel like you’re in a private villa in Bali!

I love travelling and staying in boutique hotels – so it’s all those special little elements I like to bring as a holiday home host: complementary Aesop toiletries, Nespresso coffee pods …sometimes even a chilled bottle of Veuve waiting for guests on arrival.

How did you ensure that colour, texture and scale were used effectively in Lake Haus?

The home was architecturally stunning, with soaring raked ceilings, square-set white walls and burnished concrete floors. But it lacked warmth, so I immediately started adding inviting texture through materials like wood grain, plus the stunning antique terracotta tile splashback by Gather Co from Di Lorenzo Tiles. I invested in a select few visually high-impact, large-proportion statement pieces in the home.  The master bedroom is massive – a real parents retreat with walk in robe, double bathroom and lounge room that runs the full width of the home. However, the entry way to the space was through flimsy white shutter doors. I engaged local craftspeople from Feather’s Edge to create a huge 2x2 metre custom modern barn door. In beautiful warm Tassie oak horizontal panels, it’s an impressive finishing touch that closes the space off from the rest of the home.

What does a typical day in the life as an interior stylist look like for you?

Total cliché – but every day is different, and most days are far from glamorous: most of the time I feel like a glorified removalist, lugging furniture pieces around from the Tim Neve warehouse to shoot locations! But the magic is when you step back and look at what you’ve created, I love being an active part of the process.

I adore Instagram and its power to instantly share designs, so I’m currently spending a lot of time in photoshoots, styling and editing content to share. Now that I have such an array of products from textiles to furniture, it’s the perfect platform to inspire with ideas of how to style the pieces into your own home.

You are currently an educator at Design School, what does this role involve and what is your favourite thing to teach your students?

I am the NSW trainer for Design School, which was originally established in Melbourne by Jenna Densten (aka Josh and Jenna / The Block). We worked together to create the Certificate IV in Interior Decoration. I’ve been teaching for many years, and it’s my favourite qualification as it’s very practical. We cover materials boards, styling, photoshoots – so it’s delivered in a very hands-on way. It’s been such a wonderful process for me to step back as a practicing professional and break apart what I do almost instinctively as a designer, so that I can share the process with the next wave of decorators.

Are you currently planning on any other projects in the future?

There’s always a million new creative ideas brewing for me! This year has been all about growth for the Tim Neve brand, so I’m thrilled that we are starting to export our Australian-made textiles overseas. We are on the hunt to partner with retailers, showrooms, and designers offshore who have a style-synergy. One of our key new markets will be Los Angeles – as we think that laid-back LA style is so similar to our Australian design ethos.