Mood Board Projects
The Coastal Retreat – A Newly Built Family Coastal Home
Style Sourcebook Profile: The Coastal Retreat
We recently discovered this gorgeous coastal home and when we saw it, we knew we had to share it with you. Located in Townsville in Queensland, The Coastal Retreat is the family home of Jess, Corey and their son Arlo. Drawing inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, from early on Jess had a vision of how she wanted this home to look. She created a mood board for each space to bring to her builders colour appointment so that she could convey the look and feel she desired (handy tip for anyone who is building and feeling overwhelmed heading into their colour appointment). We recently spoke with Jess where she shares their build journey behind The Coastal Retreat, what some of her must-haves were and how designing mood boards for this project actually sparked her interest in interior design and lead to her deciding to study interior design.
Hi Jess, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m Jess and I run the Instagram account @the_coastalretreat. A little bit about me - I have a little boy who is a 2 and a half and I married the man of my dreams 3 years ago. We live in Townsville in North Queensland. We love it here but one day I would love to move to the Sunshine Coast (Maybe when the prices come down a little) I work full time in an office job for an Electricity company however in my spare time I absolutely love anything design and styling which I guess is where the idea to create the Instagram account came from originally.
Okay, now let’s get onto talking about your gorgeous home. Talk to us about your build journey and inspiration behind The Coastal Retreat?
We always wanted to build our own home and we almost did a few years ago however decided it wasn’t the right time for us. When the grants came out from the Government in 2020 we thought it was a great time to jump into it all! I have always loved the style of home we built and it was always our plan to build something along those lines. I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. Walking through display homes also helped us as we could see what we liked and what we didn’t like. One think I knew I wanted though was a lot of white as you can probably tell!
How did you decide on the colours and fittings and fixtures for your build?
I did a lot of research into what I wanted before we had our colour appointment with the builder. I made Pinterest mood boards for each room and screenshotted a lot of pictures I loved so I could go into the colour meeting and show our builder what I was thinking for the home. The great thing about our builder is that they had some beautiful display homes available for us to walk through and look at. That is how we chose things like our benchtops, paint colours and cabinetry colours. It was great being able to see the colours on a larger scale before choosing. I cannot tell how many times we went through those display homes!
"Before our build even started, I was on the Style Sourcebook website creating mood boards for each room in our house. I loved the easy process of being able to piece a space together with the exact items I was planning to buy or already had".
- Jess, Homeowner of The Coastal Retreat
How did creating mood boards help with the overall vision and planning for The Coastal Retreat?
Before our build even started, I was on the Style Sourcebook website creating mood boards for each room in our house. I loved the easy process of being able to piece a space together with the exact items I was planning to buy or already had. It also allowed to me to see what went well together and what didn’t. Creating these is what made me sign up to my interior design course. I realised how much I love creating spaces in a home. I went through my mood boards the other day and it was crazy to look at the finished product in some of the rooms to see how similar they are.
Were there any things you wished you did differently in regard to building and designing your home?
Absolutely. I think no matter your budget or what you have built there will always be something that you have missed, or you wish you did different. That is just life though and we are always changing what we like, and our styles are forever changing. I truly believe it’s unavoidable. For us, I wish I included tiles to the ceiling in our bathrooms. Not only for a finished look but also for the condensation that you can see on the walls after a bath or shower. When we were in the middle of building, we went and purchased our tiles from the same batch so that we can eventually tile to the ceiling.
What were some of your must-haves when it came to designing your home?
Love this question. Must-haves for us were an open plan living area, separate living room, a large entertainer’s patio and a lot of natural light. For us that type of design works so well, and if we were to ever resell, we know that is what people love and especially in North Queensland when you have people entertaining almost every weekend.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for someone who is either building a new home or renovating?
1. Establish your budget and always allow to go over a little because most people always do. It is very hard to stay in the lines when you are planning a renovation or a build because it’s easy to get excited.
2. Create mood boards, create a Pinterest account and follow the build and renovation Instagram accounts. These are great for finding the style you love and shopping around.
3. Always get others to look at your plans and go over them with a fine-tooth comb. If we hadn’t shown our plans to our family and friends, there would have been so many mistakes we would have made.
What are some of the suppliers you used for your build?
Cabinetry & Laminate Benchtops – Polytec
Stone – Smartstone
Handles – Lincoln Sentry
Vinyl Planking – NQ Tile Styles
Tiles – NQ Tile Styles
Doors – Hume Doors
Basins – Highgrove Bathrooms
Tapware – Highgrove Bathrooms
Kitchen Sink – Franke Sinks
Carpet – Andersons Flooring
We notice that you’re now studying interior design. Did building your home spark your interest to study interior design or is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
Yes, most definitely. As I mentioned before when I started to make my mood boards for the house is what really sparked my interest. I have always loved it though, even living in rentals I would style the house like our own. I would love to one day have a career in it, but I am not rushing anything. I love studying it for something fun to do for myself and see where it one day takes me.