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The Yanchep Beach Studio

Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013 in: Home Envy

The silverbeet in my vegie garden is wilted, the dog spends much of the day lying on the cool of the floor tiles and you break a sweat just going to the mailbox. Our Perth summer is well and truly here - so a beach house seems a perfect home to feature in Home Envy this week. And I thought this one was very sweet.

A one-bed studio in the coastal town of Yanchep, the studio was built on an elevated, peaceful spot with views across a pretty garden and rolling hills dotted with old houses across to the ocean beyond. Owner interior design maven Judith Barrett-Lennard designed it. “I wanted it to be a contemporary take on an Aussie beach shack,” she says.

ABOVE: A hammock is shaded by an old peppermint tree. The bench was made from old driftwood.

WEATHER-WORN: An old timber table is perfectly set off with a hanging light made from driftwood.

BEACH BEYOND: Judith loves spending time at the beach less than 200m away. “The beaches are divine including the natural limestone basin that is the sheltered Yanchep Lagoon,” she says.

A CHEERY HOME: Lots of bright yellow accents lift the beach home's neutral palette and give it a light, cheerful feel.

ABOVE: Judith's living room and dining. Louvred windows were installed for cooling cross-ventilation.

I think I often have a hard time fully "switching off", but what I loved about this place was how relaxing it is - I think even the most frenetic city slicker could not help but mentally recharge here. My favourite feature was the gazebo, made from recycled telegraph poles and laid with 1950s recycled council pavers . A hammock tied beneath a gnarled old peppermint tree swayed in the sea breeze and although I know I'm just about deaf, I knew it was very naturally quiet here! I could imagine myself spending weekends here, afternoons spent at the beach, evenings with friends playing cards outside on the old worn table drinking ginger beer and enjoying the gentle sea breezes.

Judith purchased the 810sqm block, which came with a 70s house at the front and is less than 200m from the beach, four years ago. To create a holiday getaway for herself she designed and built this freestanding studio at the back (she rents out the front home in the meantime). “It’s oriented to take best advantage of the wonderful, unimpeded Indian Ocean views on offer at the rear of the block atop a steeply sloping away escarpment,” she says.

A PLACE TO UNWIND: Judith has now decided to sell to focus on other projects, but says she will miss the studio. “As a busy professional I love the sheer joy of being able to relax and take advantage of the wonderful laid back Yanchep beach lifestyle,” she says. “It’s all only 50 minutes from the CBD."

APOLOGIES... for my lousy iPhone photo, but I wanted to show how Judith left the little signs on the old recycled telegraph poles of the gazebo - love this. The floor of the gazebo was made from recycled 1950s council pavers. I love it when people build using recycled materials! I think it gives a house so much character and story.

WASH: Judith fully landscaped the gardens herself, which include an outdoor shower for rinsing off after a day in the salt. I liked the colourful shower floor - made of cracked pieces of council paver that were hand-painted.

ABOVE: You walk down a leafy shaded path and round the side of the studio to come to the front door. The valley and ocean views are unexpected and breathtaking. ABOVE RIGHT: A little path in the garden, which has a secret meditation spot.

The rolling hills around the studio are dotted with mostly old, simple beach houses, most of which were built in the 70s when Alan Bond bought large areas of old Yanchep farming land and turned them into estates. He built 12 different kinds of houses across Yanchep, and while simple in layout and shape, each had a lovely aspect, with pockets of crown land interspersed within.

If it weren’t for the iPhone glued to my hand (my Canon decided to go on strike mid-visit and so I had to make do with my camera phone) I could imagine I had stepped back in time to when I was a kid. Judith agrees. “The thing I love most about it here is that old Yanchep remains relatively untouched and as if the world has passed you by. You can switch off completely.”

SEA VIEWS: Judith gave the once-scrubby gardens a full re-landscaping. Now from the studio one looks through the gardens across the neighbourhood to the sea beyond.

VIEWS: Full-height windows make the most of the sea views.

A LITTLE BEACH STUDIO: The home is an easy walk from the beach.

ABOVE: Judith's four-poster bed. A partition divides the bedroom from the living area and a white curtain can be pulled across the doorway for more privacy.

ABOVE LEFT: Judith's cosy lounge room. ABOVE RIGHT: I liked the kitchen - though it's compact, it's very functional and has solid timber cabinetry from IKEA. Above the sink a window takes in the ocean views and sea breezes.

ABOVE LEFT: The sparkling waters of Yanchep beach. ABOVE RIGHT: Judith continued the yellow accents outdoors too, with these pots on the home's entry steps, made from recycled council pavers.


Judith Barrett-Lennard


Award-winning residential and commercial interior designer Judith Barrett-Lennard, who runs Judith Barrett-Lennard Design 


A 55sqm freestanding studio with ocean views


The coastal town of Yanchep, Western Australia




Garden and ocean views, gazebo made from recycled telegraph poles, hammock, weatherboard cladding, outdoor shower, kitchen with timber cabinetry, open-plan lounge and dining, bedroom, bathroom


Most professional photography by Jack Lovel Photography, unprofessional photos by me. I know you can tell which ones are which.


The property is on the market with Kerry Grover of ACTON West Coast


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