Chee Fong, a sculptor, and his partner Loretta Hew, a painter, have done things the hard way. They've raised their family living in a caravan, complete with outdoor showers, while gradually building their dream home. Nestled in the hills behind Queensland's beautiful Noosa, with spectacular views of the Glasshouse Mountains, they have translated their love of Japanese and Bali architecture into a breathtakingly open and spacious home. It's taken 15 years and with their finances stretched to the limit, they built only one step at a time as they could afford.
Looking back, Loretta says she was terrified of taking on such a massive project but that achieving her goal has made her confident in tackling any disaster.
As for Chee Fong, he doubts he'd take on such a job again, but he certainly doesn't have any regrets.
To re-create the hybrid Eurasian style of this spectacular home, here are some tips:
- For colours, use deep reds and ochres on the walls, and complement this with similar coloured cushions and patterned throws for the furniture.
- Add detail and warmth to a space with wood. Go for ornate screens, statues and sideboards, and where possible go for recycled timber for floors and ceilings.
- Use black and white checks or lines, in moderation, to suggest ying and yang / balance and harmony. If you're feeling adventurous, score your floor in a chequerboard pattern and stain alternate squares black for a spectacular effect.
- Pick up a large glazed pot from your local nursery, fill it with water and water lillies and throw in some goldfish for an instant outdoor feature.