With international travel off the cards for at least some time, domestic travel is skyrocketing - as is demand for luxury holiday homes.
Soul Home is a business that's taking advantage of this trend - providing resources, expertise and hands-on services to help people create dreamy and lucrative holiday rentals. The business is owned by a husband and wife team, Simone and Ben Matthews, who have had enormous success in independently building and styling several homes - their most recent and popular being The Pause at Gerringong.
Simone and Ben's aim with The Pause was to create a tranquil oasis that would instantly make visitors feel calm and relaxed, and which imparted that magical 'holiday feeling' in every room. According to Simone, who is Soul Home's interior designer, it's all about pulling together a cohesive look that champions light and the ease of moving through spaces.
Window fixtures played a key role in the design of this home, and Simone and Ben worked with the experts at Luxaflex® from the outset to select shades, curtains and an awning that would both meet their functional requirements and add to the overall luxury aesthetic.
Here's how Luxaflex® helped Simone and Ben create a sense of ambience throughout the home:
Master bedroom and guest bedrooms
For the curtains, they chose a sheer fabric named Abre in Froth colour. This soft, lightweight woven fabric elegantly filters and diffuses sunlight and delivers a soft, warm glow that naturally brightens up the room, while also giving all-important daytime privacy.
The curtains also have a continuous 'wave' or 'ripple' effect which creates an effortless and elegant designer finish that fits with the overall style of this home.
In the master bedroom, the curtains were also hung using a wall-mounted tracked rod. Designed to be seen, this rod adds a decorative finishing touch to the room, and the curtains can be easily opened or closed using a wand which subtly hangs from the end of the rod.
In the guestrooms, Simone and Ben opted for a ceiling mounted u-track - also with an exposed rod and wand operation.
In each bedroom, the curtains were then paired with Luxaflex® Duette Shades, which are specifically engineered to provide both beauty and energy efficiency at the window, all year round. They also offer the highest level of energy efficiency compared with any other window covering.
These particular shades also have a unique and patented honeycomb design - in which distinct air pockets trap air within each cell, deflecting heat, reducing heat loss in winter, and keeping the home cooler in summer. Plus these shades absorb sound energy, helping to quieten a room and keep exterior noise out - making them a perfect choice for bedrooms.
In each room, Simone and Ben opted for PowerView® Motorisation for the shades - an innovative wireless system that provides smart, convenient and precise control at the touch of button, and ensures a perfect room ambiance morning, noon and night. This system is also cord-free, which means it's both aesthetically pleasing but safer for children and pets.
To create an inviting, neutral look for these shades, they chose Blockout fabric from the Elan range in Journal colour. Blockout fabric offers the ultimate in privacy and light control by completely blocking out harsh sunlight - which is perfect for the bedrooms, and for getting a better night's sleep.
Kitchen and hallway
In the kitchen and hallway of this beautiful home, the duo also chose Luxaflex® curtains in sheer Abre fabric and Froth colour. As well as giving these areas a soft and warm glow, the curtains fit perfectly with the neutral style used throughout the home.
"To create an atmosphere that feels like a calm oasis from the outside world, we used a 'less is more' approach with colours and materials," says Simone.
"Using a base palette of coastal white against natural timbers and brass, the key is to mix the materials, natural fabrics and textures in similar colour palettes to create the final look."
"We really wanted to champion light without using too many lamps or overhead lights, so unfiltered natural light was a goal for us. Sheer curtains are a great way to achieve a soft light and provide a certain mood to a space," she adds.
As a holiday home, the design of the outdoor area was also of vital importance for the duo at Soul Home.
"Ideally, you want an awning that blends with your home and doesn't detract from the overall look and style, and while you need the awning to protect and work with the elements, you don't want it to be an eye-sore but rather complement your overall aesthetic," she says.
Simone and Ben therefore opted for a stunning Luxaflex® Evo MagnaTrack Awning. These awnings are designed, engineered and tested in Australia specifically for the Australian market, to handle our diverse and unforgiving Australian climate conditions.
The Evo MagnaTrack Awning is the most technologically advanced awning on the market. The patented design harnesses the power of Rare Earth Neodymium Magnets within the side channels that hold the fabric tight, taut and always looking its best.
Its patented design provides ultra-wide spans and unparalleled strength. The Evo MagnaTrack awning (3.5m opening span width) is Australia's strongest, wind tested, Straight Drop awning^.
The magnetic force in the track system allows the fabric to move while under wind pressure and then re-tension after the wind pressure subsides - a world first in functionality. Should the fabric ever come out of its side channels, the Evo MagnaTrack is the only straight drop awning in Australia that has a self-correcting feature that effortlessly returns and realigns the fabric.
The unparalleled strength of its magnetic channels allows for an impressive span of up to 6.5 metres and drops of 4 metres and is exclusively available without premium fibreglass fabric range - Luxaflex Spectra Sunscreen.
Evo Awnings provide UV protection, air flow control and temperature control to create the perfect outdoor entertaining space, and seamless indoor outdoor living.
Simone and Ben also chose Merger Motorisation which is a remote control operation - helping create the perfect outdoor ambience.
They also chose Luxaflex Spectra Fibreglass Sunscreen fabric in Black with 3% openness. This premium fibreglass fabric range features a sophisticated twill weave with subtly elegant diagonal patterns and is available in a range of contemporary colours to suit all homes.
The Spectra fabric range is made with Enduris™ Glass Core Technology, which is exceptionally fade resistant, rot resilient and offers excellent UV protection from the harsh Australian sun.
"When we saw the Luxaflex® Evo MagnaTrack Awning and chose to install them, it had a huge impact on our design. We removed our dining space from the internal living plans, and allowed for a larger kitchen and communal area," says Simone.
"The Evo MagnaTrack enabled the outdoor dining space to transform into an indoor space as needed; which was a serious game changer in our design," she adds.
^Report No. TS1166 of James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station, College of Science and Engineering dated 12 March 2020. Despite the Luxaflex Evo MagnaTrack Awning's performance in high wind loads, it is recommended that all awnings be retracted during wet or high wind conditions. Refer to our manufacturer's guide for full limitations, width, projection and wind rating information. Performance is dependent on adequate fixing to a solid structure. Tested in accordance with AS 4040.2 with constant wind pressures held for 1 minute, results here. Before relying on the representations made relating to the Luxaflex® Evo MagnaTrack Awning, please read our disclaimer.