Welcome Home – The Hamptons Style Family Home
Four stylish locals have opened up their front doors and taken us on a tour of their stunning homes. From a 90 year old Queenslander with a rich history, to a minimalist family beach home turned Airbnb, each has its own unique story. We spoke to the owners about their abodes and how their personality and lifestyle is reflected in the spaces they have carefully created.
Local radio presenter Sami Muirhead bought her Hamptons-style home five years ago on a whim at an auction. While she describes it as a lived-in family home, it’s still immaculately styled with beautiful art and an unmistakable Hamptons vibe. She lives with her husband Sam Bohner, their children Avalon (7), Nixon (5), Augie (3), and Shihtzus Louis and Ari.
Profile: What do you do?
Sami: I’m a journalist by trade. I am the afternoon drive announcer on 92.7 Mix FM on the Todd and Sami show. I have worked with Toddy for 13 years. Before that I worked as a TV journo’ for seven local news and win news. I am a mum of course which is my most important job! And I love drooling at interiors of homes and fashion and food and my friends and my coffee!
Profile: How long have you lived on the Coast?
Sami: I am pretty much born and bred here on the Coast. I have been in local media on the Coast since 1999. I did have a few years living and working in Canada and then came home to help produce the first ever season of Big Brother on the Gold Coast before I realised I am a Coast girl through and through.
My favourite thing about living here is of course the ocean and the river at Buddina. It has always been my grounding place, the place I go to to celebrate important events such as birthdays and Christmas and the place I go to try to calm my busy mind. I love the river when it is sunny and bustling with boats and kayaks and kids playing in the water and I love it equally in stormy weather when it is dark and grey and moody and a reminder of how powerful Mother Nature truly is!
I grew up in Buddina and when my parents split when I was very young they sold the house for $170K. I hate to think what that house would now be worth as it is positioned on Harbour Parade with spectacular views of the boat ramp and main river channel. I also love the ‘open ocean’ and often go there with my dogs as it is off leash and just breathtaking. No two days ever look the same there. My kids and husband love the same stretch of beach I was lucky enough to grow up on.
Profile: Do you own the property?
Sami: We bought the property five years ago after coming to the auction just to torment myself as I thought it would be way out of our price range. The lovely lady who renovated it before we moved in did a spectacular job and everything is white with a Hamptons feel. That mum had it decorated with all grey and white colours and she would probably die at all the ‘stuff’ we have shoved in here now. But with three young kids we need toys and the house is very reflective of being a home that is centred around the kids. We have a pool and a trampoline and a gorgeous cubby house we added. My daughter often tells me we only need a pony and we have all we could ever need! I of course think our dream items include a jetski and a boat one day!
We added the ‘Fox Hut’ a few years back when we renovated the lock up garage and turned it into a stand alone little guest house. The white beams took so much work for our lovely builder to hand paint each one but the effect is so fabulous and it is a really calm and beautiful space.
Profile: What was the vision for your home when you bought it?
Sami: The vision was to raise a bunch of kids here and be close to the ocean and the river. We have been lucky enough to reach this goal and with two of the three kids now able to swim we are just getting started as to how much we will use the ocean and river. As a kid I had a tinny and my brother and sister and I would head out for the day on big adventures or go for a boogie board in the ocean. I hope my kids have the same carefree upbringing.
Profile: What is home to you?
Sami: Home is where my kids and husband and dogs are of course. Home is calm in my perfect world. Unfortunately due to our busy lives, the house if often not calm and is never clean! One day it will be clean when the kids grow up and I will be sad and miserable I joke to my husband. I love this stage of life so much and would freeze time if I could, as I love having all my babies home under the one roof knowing they are safe and sound.
Home is also a colour palette of white and a whole lot of lovely things to look at including books, art work, candles and rabbits! I collect rabbits and I have hundreds of them scattered around the house! I have a patient husband.
Profile: How would you describe your home?
Sami: It is a family home for sure. It has a bit of a mish mash style of Hamptons, meets Shabby Chic, meets French Industrial, meets fun! It needs a really big declutter! I love my home. It has been the place of really good memories and I am at my happiest watching my babies in the swimming pool or watching them all play in our big sandpit and cubby house. We don’t entertain nearly often enough as we are busy with work and the kids but one day it will be a lovely spot to entertain.
Profile: What was the appeal of the Hamptons style?
Sami: White! White! White! The Hamptons feel is such a great pairing with our Coast lifestyle. I find it calming and fresh and it never dates. I have always been a Hamptons girl and probably always will be.
Profile: What is your favourite feature in the home and why?
Sami: I love the kitchen and the dining room because this is where we all gravitate and it really is the heart of the home. We do homework at the kitchen table and we eat dinner there and the kids play on the floor under the table so I can always kind of keep an eye on them while I am cooking dinner or making school lunches. I love the white ceilings.
Profile: Do you plan to do any updates in the future? If so, what are they?
Sami: We would like to renovate our pool area and build a white cabana and a few little areas spotted around the pool for everyone to rest and relax and recharge. The pool has not been a priority area as we are a bit paranoid about teaching the kids to swim so until they can all swim we tend to only use the pool when we are supervising them and not really super relaxing. In saying that, I am so grateful to have a pool. My kids all think they are professional scuba divers or mermaids and it was such a hot summer we were so thankful to have a pool.
Profile: Are there any other interesting stories you’d like to tell us about your home?
Sami: I go crazy embracing any change of season or festive occasions such as birthdays or Easter or Valentine’s Day. We have a big beam above the dining room table and I often spend hours decorating the beam with beautiful decorations to celebrate each holiday or special occasion. I hope my children have beautiful memories of these special events. I am a very visual person and I find beautiful things really stimulate me. My husband and I are also avid art collectors and we are lucky enough to have some stunning and vibrant pieces on our busy and full walls. I am a maximist and there are not many blank spaces on our walls for more art but I will keep finding any spare spaces for sure! I support local art dealer Tiffany Jones.