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The quintessential Aussie beach shack

Angler's Shack on Victoria's Philip Island is the family holiday home of designer and stylist Simone Haag.

Haymes recently caught up with Simone to discuss the renovation of her 1960s beach shack-turned-lazy beachside sanctuary. We asked Simone all about her design philosophy, approach to colour, and generally how she goes about creating such amazing spaces.

Simone shares her beach shack with husband Rhys, their two daughters Goldie and Clover, and their rescue dog Tank.

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Colours used are Haymes Organic 1, and Haymes Impact.

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We've followed your renovation journey on Instagram (#anglersshack), tell us about the background of the shack.

Angler's Shack was originally the beach house of my in-laws. They used it extensively and generously - all were welcome! Five dogs? Sure, come on in. Two carloads of mates for the weekend? No problem, pick a bed or pitch a tent.

My husband (then boyfriend) and I would spend every weekend surfing and relaxing in the shack, and it was there that our relationship blossomed, so to say that I have a sentimental attachment to the place is an understatement.

We have spent every Christmas and summer at Angler's Shack for the past 10 years, so when my in-laws decided to upgrade and move around the corner, taking over the title was a fairly swift and easy decision. We had spent a decade dreaming about our own place on the Island, for our family to continue the same tradition we loved so much, so adding our own design mark to Angler's Shack through a renovation was an intuitive and hugely satisfying process. We knew exactly what we wanted to do with the space. Which was for it to feel welcoming, eclectic and very much feel like the old place, just contemporised by way of furniture, art and styling.

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It sounds as though the renovation was a natural process given you'd spent ten years in the space and knew it intimately. How did the renovation unfold?

The renovation was all cosmetic. The house has a simple floor plan that is surprisingly spacious. The living space is at the front, and the sleeping space (for up to 12 people) is at the back.

We painted the walls, built a deck to enhance the outdoor living space and capitalise on the ocean views. We relined the bathroom walls with timber, replaced the bathroom basin and added interesting door hardware and towel rails. We also installed new kitchen cabinets with the help of Druce from Greener Kitchens. Lastly we then added in new lighting, pieces of art and interesting objects and ceramics.

We tiled right to the ceiling in the kitchen - as totally committing to an idea such as this gives strength to the space. We then added in some of our favourite items from the Electrolux and Di Longhi ranges to the mix.

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The bathroom is painted in Haymes Yucca, and the choice was helped along by an Instagram 'committee'. I would post images of the different shades of green I was considering, and get input from hundreds of people following along on the journey.

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Colour used is Haymes Yucca.

The interior of our home in Melbourne is white, and the exterior is black, so I decided where possible to invert the colours for the beach house, so it would feel completely different. We used Haymes Ebony in the Simply Woodcare range for the panelled wall in the living room, and Haymes Organic 1 for the remaining interior spaces.

My favourite furniture piece would be the slung lounge chairs which I fell in love with, whilst at the Stockholm furniture fair. They bring a 1970s vibe to the shack and are super comfortable, particularly for little people as they are like a hammock for them!

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How do you make your colour and style choices?

I have made mistakes with colour in the past, but I simply change things around, workshop spaces until they work. I think it’s important to address things that niggle until it just feels right. It’s only paint right?

A good starting point is finding furniture pieces that you love and building the interior story around them (not necessarily the other way around). My original Carl Hansen tangerine timber dining chairs inspired the beach shack's colour palette of charcoal, olive and tangerine. I had bought those, the pendant light and the blue slung linen chairs well before we even bought the house - so the vision had been brooding for some time!

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This olive colour palette continues into the guest room with the In Bed Moss linen doona covers. This room is one of my favourites as it has ocean views. We added the timber panelling and wall lights from Schoolhouse Electric to add texture and interest to what was essentially a very large plaster wall.

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Colour used is Haymes Organic 1.

The tiles around the hearth were from the extraordinary Anchor Ceramics. There was exactly 1m2 left over from another project - EXACTLY the quantity I needed. 

Photography by Derek Swalwell.   

Read more about Simone’s beach shack renovation and design philosophy in the July edition of Real Living Magazine.

If you have fallen in love with Anglers Shack like we have, then check it out on Airbnb and spend a weekend in the salty, crisp air of Philip Island. If you like Simone’s style you can also follow her on Instagram @simonehaag or her website is www.simonehaag.com.au.

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