Tips from the Blue Lagoon build: How to create the perfect studio retreat


There are so many different ways to add extra space to your home – and one of the best ways doesn’t even involve an extension. Building a self-contained studio space can elevate a property and act as the perfect hideaway for guests, a relaxation zone away from the family, or a distraction-free office.

Renovators and Instagram stars Kyal and Kara are currently transforming an ageing beachside property to become their dream home. Part of their Blue Lagoon project involves building a modern coastal studio space, and James Hardie products are helping them get the job done right.

Here’s how the couple is adding extra space to their home as well as some inspirational tips for your own renovation dreams. 1-1536x1024


Kyal and Kara are currently in the midst of a total renovation of their beach home – a property they bought several years ago, well before they started a family. Now that the kids are here, they’ve decided to create their dream home with a modern coastal look.

Yes, this property is right near the beach, so the modern coastal style is the perfect complement. But you don’t need to have a beachside postcode to enjoy everything this look has to offer. Simple, airy and elegant are the holy trinity of modern coastal, with a focus on bright whites and softer blue palettes.

Striking horizontal lines are also a staple of modern coastal, and choosing a fibre-cement solution – like Linea™ Weatherboard or Stria™ Cladding – is the ideal alternative to high-maintenance timber weatherboards. Let’s explore how Kyal and Kara integrated the modern coastal look into their Blue Lagoon studio space 2-1366x2048


Kyal and Kara chose to build a standalone studio space rather than add an attached spare room purely because it could be anything they want it to be. The self-contained retreat will welcome family and friends while providing guests with plenty of privacy. And the couple themselves can even use it as a calming escape from the kids when they need it most.

Having already created a studio escape in their previous Toowoon Bay renovation, Kyal and Kara this time decided to place their studio at the front of the property, rather than hidden away at the back. This allows guests free movement to and from the beach without disrupting life in the main house.

Design-wise, it’s all about recreating the charm of a beach shack but in a modern coastal space. Kara played with lots of whites and brought the natural elements inside with signature oak cabinetry, rustic timber and clay-look tiles adding a touch of class in the bathroom. 3-1536x1024


Kyal and Kara couldn’t be happier with their new studio retreat, from the picture-perfect weatherboard exterior to the timber-look tiles with underfloor heating. Best of all, it allows their guests to have total control over their stay. “When we have guests come and stay, they can let themselves in and out, they’ve got their own outside entertaining area, they can walk to the beach then come back, relax on the deck or have a shower and just chill out in their own zone,” Kara says.

For your own studio space, why not take a leaf out of Kyal and Kara’s book by concentrating on two key elements: exterior and decking. Make the most of the modern coastal style with clean, horizontal lines from Linea weatherboards and complete the look with contrasting Axent™ Trim to truly define those crisp edges.

Then mimic Kyal and Kara’s secluded outdoor decking area with a solution that won’t fade and warp under the harsh Australian sun. Hardie™ Deckis a premium fibre-cement product that offers a stylish modern coastal feel and doesn’t require the constant maintenance of traditional timber decking – perfect for keeping your guests happy and your studio retreat in immaculate condition.

Keen to follow along on Kyal and Kara’s journey? Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly updates on their progress. You can also use their Blue Lagoon build as a jumping-off point for your own renovations – whether it’s giving your home a desirable modern coastal look, or adding a quiet self-contained retreat.

Want to learn more about the high-quality products being used in the Blue Lagoon renovation? Contact James Hardieon 13 11 03 or find a stockist near you.

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