The response to an Australian beach house can come in a multitude of ways. Rye House, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, used a considered tonal palette and a wealth of texture to respond to its environment, coastal scene and a designer’s practical needs.

With just one step into the house, you’re on holiday. Greeted by a modern coastal palette and sea of textures, it seems to say, ‘welcome, take a load off, you’ve arrived.’ This is a home to rejuvenate in, to refuel and go back to work refreshed.

An exercise in preparation and how getting your ideas, your plans, your budget and trades together will deliver excellent results. Home owner, designer and project manager Danielle Ogrisetti used everything at her disposal to execute the perfect getaway. On top of a keen eye, she brought a sense of pragmatism to the task at hand.

“The floorplan was great; the house was double brick and had really good bones. The only rejigging we had to do was the laundry/bathroom and the master bedroom had a bathroom next to it, so we added a door to make it an ensuite,” she says illustrating the first great lesson of renovation; consider what you have and where possible keep the original layout.

Before photos of Rye House | Photography by Danielle Ogrisetti

A holiday home has a few requirements; durability and longevity are two of the most important. “It was always front of mind [that the home be durable], for entertaining family and friends and for our daughter Elsa to have fun. We’ll probably bring sand in the home,” laughs Danielle, “but it also had to stay relevant and work in the coastal setting.”

Employing a multitude of Laminex products and a mix of natural textures, Danielle has created a home that is full of what she calls special moments. “In a project, it’s so nice to have a couple of special moments. They can elevate your design and take it from ‘do-it-yourself’ to professional,” noting the complementary materials, textures and products she selected from her favourite suppliers.

Surround by Laminex Classic VJ 100 on entrance wall

Case in point is the entrance where Surround by Laminex clads the walls and meets the engineered floorboards in Highland Oak from Flooring Xtra. They abut the vertical grain Formica Autumn Oak and instantly the tone of this project starts to take shape.

Essastone White Concrete benchtop, Laminex White AbsoluteMatte cabinetry and Formica Autumn Oak kitchen cabinetry and rangehood

“Your timbers don’t need to be the same, but they need to pair and work well together. I loved the Autumn Oak form Formica, it’s a true oak. The fact it’s so cost efficient was a bonus,” says Danielle. “We added texture with tiles and grain, and it relaxed everything.”

Essastone White Concrete benchtop, Laminex White AbsoluteMatte cabinetry and Formica Autumn Oak kitchen internals and rangehood

The cabinets in Autumn Oak continue through to the kitchen where Laminex AbsoluteMatte in White takes centre stage. Joined by Essastone White Concrete benchtops – all the aesthetic benefits of concrete, without the porosity – and a splashback of waved, slim vertical tiles that continues the textural odyssey and lets light permeate the space with warmth. When working with Laminex, consider your internals too. Here the Formica clad storage was treated to the same finish inside, elevating the shelves and facings from thoughtless generic afterthought to considered, high-end cabinetry, resulting in one of the most effective aspects of the kitchen.

Formica Autumn Oak kitchen cabinetry and shelving

Rounded out by a Smeg oven and induction hob, Danielle offers another tip. “I love using Smeg because they’re made in Italy but I couldn’t find an all-black oven. This was from their commercial range and ticked the box in terms of design and function. Always look to see what is available.”

Surround by Laminex Classic VJ 100 surrounding the fireplace, Laminex AbsoluteMatte Oyster Grey drawers

Throughout Rye House, there are wonderful little surprises that live up to Danielle’s mantra, so while this is a peaceful getaway where one need not be precious or worry, her home holds onto its personality by introducing or maintaining well developed themes and motifs. Marble at the fireplace hearth is accompanied by Laminex AbsolutteMatte Oyster Grey drawers. Taken form the ensuite remnants, they ingeniously avoid waste while maintaining the palette. The marble too was selected from offcuts at a local mason, further keeping costs down.

Laminex Oyster Grey AbsoluteMatte bathroom cabinets and Essastone White Concrete bathroom benchtop | Laminex Surf AbsoluteMatte ensuite and Essastone White concrete benchtop

“The floorplan was great; the house was solid brick and had really good bones. The only rejigging we had to do was the laundry/bathroom..."

Danille Ogrisetti - Rye House owner and designer

Finishing on budget, “to the T,” says Danielle, “I made sure I received 2-3 quotes per trade. It’s not always best to go with the cheapest - the beautiful cabinetry handles next to the oven is a great example of getting the right tradespeople – but a great way to stay on track. And use a budget tracker and spreadsheet,” finishes Danielle.

Creating a beach house that is practical, beautiful and (most of all) user friendly is no easy task. Stay the course and on budget by following tips and check in with Laminex and our renovation guides.

Formica Autumn Oak wardrobe doors, Laminex White AbsoluteMatte wardrobe doors with Formica Autumn Oak internals, Surround by Laminex Classic VJ 100 on wall and bed head

Danielle's Renovation Tips

Be pragmatic - Keep the existing floorplan where possible. Minimal intervention keeps costs down and your project on track.

Elevate your cabintery - Internal details like Danielle’s kitchen cabinets elevate your designs from generic to professional.

Natural light is your friend - Danielle added skylights and additional windows to an already bright house, bringing natural light everywhere.

Design and moodboards - There are a lot of moving parts to a complete home renovation, the clearer you can make your plans, the easier it will be. Danielle recommends Pinterest and Instagram as great resources.

Multi-use and re-use products - Don’t waste offcuts. Many products come as set size sheets. Maintain your colour and themes by reusing them for extra drawers or panels for cabinetry. Work with a local mason and see what’s available and how it might work for you.

Mix your timbers right - They don’t have to match, but they do need to pair. Get samples and swatches and bring your design together.

Trade selection - Always get 2-3 quotes per trade/job. And go with the most suitable for your project and requirements, not necessarily the cheapest.

Budget Tracker - Spec and spend wisely. As important as your trades, use a budget tracker and start planning today - Laminex has a great budget tracker in their Renovation Guide here.

Create special moments - Follow Danielle's lead and create several special moments in your house. Gather around a marble hearth or elevate your walls with Surround by Laminex. These moments make it personal and feel professional, without breaking the bank.

Mix and match - Not everything has to be top end. Rye House uses Formica with Laminex AbsolutteMatte to achieve a perfect result. Go with the best materials for you.

Rye House Palette


Autumn Oak


White AbsoluteMatte


Oyster Grey AbsoluteMatte


White Concrete

Surround by Laminex

Classic VJ 100


Surf AbsoluteMatte

Peninsula Retreat contributors
Design: Danielle Ogrisetti
Styling: Natalie James
Photography: James Geer
Joinery: MW Interiors
Stone: Southern Stone
Linen: l&m home
Flooring: Flooring XTRA
Furniture: MCM House and Globe West
Tapware: Astra Walker Official & Oliveri Solutions
Terrazzo: Signorino Tile Gallery
Kitchen tiles National Ties
Handles Linear Standard