The House on Beach Road
Issue 01 | Summer 2018-19
Caitlin Hayden is the face behind the Instagram account @thehouseonbeachroad. Each square of the feed depicts a corner of her impeccably styled home in the beachside suburb of Redhead.
The Swell team was fortunate enough to visit Caitlin and see the house’s transformation from a run down shack to the bright, airy, plant-filled beach haven that exists today.
Some of Caitlin’s fondest childhood memories were the hours she spent rearranging her bedroom, finding new ways to position the furniture and display her most prized possessions. It is no surprise that she has gone on to become an interior stylist and now divides her time between renovating and styling her own home, The House on Beach Road, and helping others do the same as one half of Hunter Style Collective.
“I have always had a passion for interior styling and decorating, and I understand that it can be a pretty overwhelming process for some people,” she says. “So together with my business partner Alyce, I offer interior consultancy services for people who need a bit of help bringing their visions to life in order to create the beautiful and functional spaces they’ve been dreaming of.”
A few years ago, Caitlin and her husband Jon took the plunge and purchased a very run-down beach shack in their dream suburb, Redhead. Aside from raising three young children, the couple have been deep in the throws of renovations ever since.
“During this time, I started my Instagram account as a way to document the renovation journey,” says Caitlin. “I really didn’t expect it to take off like it did, but now it allows me to collaborate with brands by sharing photos of their products styled in my home, as well as find new clients for my business.”
Despite what we see on Instagram, Caitlin makes it clear that their house is very much a work-in-progress, with a number of rooms yet to be completed.
“There’s definitely a lot you don’t see,” she laughs. “I tend to show my favourite spaces a lot, like the kitchen and living area, but I also try and be as honest as I can in my captions so my followers understand it’s not always perfect.”
As we tour the house, we get a strong sense for Caitlin’s style, which includes a lot of neutral tones, varied textures and plenty of greenery.
“Living by the beach, our home tends to reflect a coastal vibe and keeping everything light and bright is our main aim,” she says. “My favourite local stores include Willows Home Traders, Common Circus and Franklin & Oak, but I’m also totally addicted to buying plants, so more often than not you’ll find me at a local nursery.”
While Instagram, Pinterest and home magazines all serve their purpose for never-ending interiors inspiration, Caitlin says her Mum played a huge role in developing her passion in the area.
“My mum has always been super creative and I grew up helping her decorate and renovate houses as a hobby,” she explains. “Mum taught me how to do things myself, which has definitely carried through to today where I like to really get hands-on with my projects.”
If the walls could talk, I’m sure they’d have a lot of stories to tell us. Caitlin explains that prior to her and her husband purchasing the home, it was a rental property for twenty-odd years, with a constant stream of different tenants occupying the space in that time.
“It was a known party house. We are regularly told stories about the multiple boozy evenings spent at our place,” Caitlin explains. “One of the most interesting things we found in the house when we first moved in was an ashtray which was literally glued to the bathroom vanity!”
As for the challenges of renovating while starting a family? Caitlin recalls a time while heavily pregnant and determined to get some painting finished, she headed off to Bunnings on her own and somehow loaded about ten litres of paint into the back of the car. The paint fell over and spilled on the journey home, resulting in Caitlin’s worst nightmare. “It was definitely not Instagram-worthy,” she laughs.