After looking for a new home in Point Lonsdale or Barwon Heads to accommodate their growing family, Kate Heppell (of Kip&Co) and partner Mal (owner of DMS Landscapes) realised that purchasing again in the same area was not viable. Through some unlikely real estate manoeuvring and financial planning, the family decided to stay put, and get themselves a beach shack instead!

The 1970s shack in Sorrento was built and owned by a group of ‘best-friend-families’ who kept hold of the shared weekender until they sold it to Kate and Mal three years ago. There was no need for major structural changes, but small interventions and updates have made a significant impact on the feel and liveability of the place. Kate highlights that they replaced all of the windows to bring more light into the home, added a backdoor, shingled the exterior, painted everything, and re-tiled the kitchen, pantry, and bathroom. The garden also had a massive overhaul.

The idea behind that shack was ‘no wifi, no tv’…and while a television HAS made it into the home for family movie nights, the overall feel here is relaxed and no fuss. Kate explains ‘we keep in pretty simple in Sorrento, comfy and relaxed.’ The home is filled with beloved vintage treasures, collected on travels and from vintage markets. Framed images taken by Mal’s parents in Borneo in the 70s are peppered through the house, and hold a special family significance.

Kate’s design decisions here have been loose and intuitive. She describes her decorative approach as informed by ‘Nordic beach house vibes, with a decent dose of colour…’ While she isn’t sure that the end result quite reflects this initial vision, she IS confident that she and Mal have created something pretty special here, for her young family to cherish for years to come.

Rent Kate’s dream beach shack here! 

Kip & Co co-founder Kate Heppel, partner Mal of DMS Landscapes and their cute kids Zig, Viv, and Fern (and Snoop the dog!) outside their gorgeous Sorrento home. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The bold, colourful kitchen! Concrete wall tiles from Bespoke Tile and Stone. Fruit platter made by Kate’s mum. Vase from The Mill Castlemaine. Joinery by Mal. Concrete bench tops cast by Mal. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Joinery by Mal. Concrete benchtops cast by Mal. Concrete wall tiles from Bespoke Tile and Stone. Fruit basket from a trip to Darwin. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

How about those concrete bench tops (cast by Mal!). Concrete wall tiles from Bespoke Tile and Stone. Fruit basket from a trip to Darwin. Vase from The Mill Castlemaine. Window seat trinkets from Kate’s travels over the years. Teapot, enamelware and tea towels from Kip&Co. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The cosy fireplace. Photo of Kate’s mum in the 50s. Vase (left) by Ian McDonald from Third Drawer Down. Vintage jug (right) from The Mill Castlemaine. Rug from Kip&Co. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The butler’s pantry, featuring a concrete bench cast by Mal. Concrete wall tiles from Bespoke Tile and Stone. Painted vase by Kym Barter from the Falkner Gallery in Castlemaine. Eagle sculpture and enamelware by Kaye Clancey. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The living room. Vintage Tessa leather couch from the Geelong Vintage Market. Cushions and rug from Kip&Co. Photo of Kate’s mum on the wall in the 50s. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A WOW-factor bathroom! Original bathtub with newly cast concrete bath frame by Mal. Tom Ford candle from Third Drawer Down. Waffle hand towel from Kip&Co. Wall tiles from Bespoke Tile and Stone. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The master bedroom. Photos from Mal’s parents time in Borneo in the 70s. Trinkets from the pairs travels. Linen quilt cover, sheeting and velvet pillows from Kip&Co. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Another look at that fab bathroom! Shower curtain from Urban Outfitters. Wall and floor tiles from Bespoke Tile and Stone. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Incredible bright blue in the kids’ bedroom – such a fun use of colour! Vintage beds inherited from the original home owners. All bedding, blankets and cushions from Kip&Co. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The sweet Sorrento view. 10-seater outdoor table by Mal using salvaged bricks from the house back garden. Chairs made by Mal. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Ataga bedside table top purchased in India on a work visit. Vintage lamp gifted from the original house owners as they left. Shell sculpture purchased in Italy last year. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vintage brass fireplace purchased off eBay and installed by Mal (featuring Zig!). Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

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