Born in Adelaide but currently based in Sydney, Kate Freebairn is a Network 10 TV Presenter and the owner of Aldinga Beach's most luxurious Air BnB, Reef House.
We spoke with Kate about her vision for Reef House, the process and design and we picked her brain for the best things to do when visiting Aldinga Beach.
Let's start at the beginning, how did Reef House come to be?
When we first started planning Reef House, our intention was to create a beach house for our family in my home state of South Australia. The local beaches are stunning - clear, turquoise ocean underneath the cliffs - with the Aldinga Reef right out front. It’s such a special location that we jumped at the opportunity when we saw the land…and then we decided two is better than one! We bought two off the plan spaces side by side.
Curating the interiors for two spaces was a HUGE job. Each house sleeps eight - so that’s a lot of furniture! We wanted to keep the same style - but personalise them, using different accessories to create a unique feel for each.
How would you describe your process and design style?
The houses were designed by Architects Ink and built by Krivic - so we give them credit for the incredible design and build. The crazy pave is a standout feature, used indoor and outdoor, which helps to bring the outside in. Perfect for sandy feet after a swim at the beach out front!
We wanted to stay true to the California modernism design - so selected pieces with a nod to that style, without going too retro. One of the first pieces we selected was the pair of large Slim Aarons prints and we chose our furniture around those.
At heart, I’m a minimalist who usually sticks to a neutral palette. But being a beach house, we wanted to create a space that felt fun and homely, so when it came to planning the interiors, we’ve added personality by sourcing accessories with different shapes, textures and splashes of colour.
For those embarking on a renovation or build project, what advice would you offer them?
My best advice is to be brave! Have faith in your taste, choose what you love and it will all come together. Make a decision and move forward - don’t dwell on a choice for too long (for me, that’s much easier said than done!).
Invest in quality furniture and use accessories to personalise your space using colour, texture and shape.
What are some of the key materials you were drawn to for Reef House?
Knowing Reef House will be used by plenty of visitors, selecting quality products built to last was at front of mind. We selected Totem Road’s solid oak furniture both for its modern aesthetic and longevity over veneer.
Our Totem Road Lagos Beds adorn your bedrooms, what do you love most about this particular style?
We love a sleep-in while on holidays (as much as we can with a baby!) so comfy beds are everything.
The last thing we wanted was beds that creak! The Totem Road Lagos Bed is sturdy and functional and the beautiful minimal style blends in seamlessly with its surrounds.
How does Reef House 1 differ from Reef House 2?
Both houses are styled to the same high standard and are mirror images. Both have balconies with incredible ocean views and gas fireplaces. The only difference is that Reef House 1 has a heated magnesium pool while Reef House 2 has a backyard lawn. As we move towards our first winter, we have plans to transform both spaces into cozy hideaways which will be perfect to use as a base for exploring the world-renowned McLaren Vale wine region, which is only a 10 minute drive.
What are your favourite things to do in Aldinga Beach ?
Reef House is directly opposite some of the most beautiful coastline you’ll see in Australia - so the obvious activity is to head to the beach! The Aldinga Beach area is having its moment - with amazing restaurants like the clifftop Star of Greece and the new Silver Sands Beach Club.
Our favourite part of the location is that it’s just as good in winter. The McLaren Vale wine region is the Barossa’s more modern and fun little sister. We love to spend our days sampling local food, gin and wine at venues like Down the Rabbit Hole, Chalk Hill, and the Never Never Distilling Co.
Lagos Imagery: Urban Safari
Styling: Alexis Teasdale
Additional Imagery: Supplied by Reef House