Located in Byron Bays ‘Golden Grid’ within walking distance of both the beach and town centre, the owners wanted to turn an empty backyard studio into a retreat for visiting family and friends, accommodating up to four guests. The space needed to be a light, airy and fun, which reflected their love of modern traditional styling. An existing sofa and bed, which were both previously used in a shabby chic setting, were incorporated into the design to save on refurbishment costs.


Built in the early 2000’s the 2 storey, 2 room structure was added to the back of the garage as a working studio space for the previous owner. A very basic interior, consisting of an open staircase, painted cement floors and a connecting doorway into the garage provided a blank canvas to work with.

We first created utility spaces to house a bathroom and kitchenette so that the guest quarters could operate independently of the main house. The garage opening was closed and a new entrance way was built off the side lane. The masterstroke however was closing in the staircase, which privatised the entrance to the upstairs bedroom and provided the space for a specialty built custom made reading nook that converts to a trundle bed to accommodate guests.

Material choices needed to be easy to care for and provide a light feeling, working in with the oatmeal furniture pieces the owners already had.

The Perrin and Rowe tapware and accessories, used throughout the wet areas to add a sense of traditional style, work well with the daring glass-house green shaker kitchen & light filled bathroom.

To bring the traditional element upstairs into the bedroom. A wonderful wall hung open armoire was designed and animal print wall sconces used as bedside reading lights.


A light hearted treatment of the space, which began with two pieces of shabby chic furniture that provided inspiration for the British Caribbean influence, created a stylish yet beachy feel. The retreat provides guests with such a fun, welcoming and comfortable experience, they may not want to leave!

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