Heritage meets hi-tech in this impeccably designed home, tucked away in one of Adelaide’s favourite beachside suburbs.
Words Laura Mappas / Photography Kirsty Burns
This sprawling home is not what you’d expect from a young footballer. Lofty ceilings with ornate cornices, statement chandeliers and custom-built cabinetry are just a few of the things that give it it’s grand appeal, while a mostly monochrome colour palette, contemporary, uncluttered design and tech-savvy inclusions ensure it remains modern. It’s the stuff dreams are made of for 30-year-old Port Power captain Travis Boak, who lives here with his younger sister Cassie, her boyfriend Anthony, and teammate Sam Powell-Pepper.
“I bought the block back in 2011 and lived in the existing house for a while,” says Travis. “My original idea was to renovate, but the layout just didn’t work so after a few years I decided to knock down and rebuild and get exactly what I wanted rather than just making do. I spent a lot of time designing the home with Gary from Serenity Homes, architect Larry Piscioneri and interior designer Gabrielle Walsh.”
At the top of his wish-list was plenty of space – and storage. A large open-plan living area in the high-traffic centre of the home opens up onto an outdoor entertaining space and pool, providing an abundance of natural light, while the 2.7 metre coffered ceiling adds to the illusion of space. The high ceilings are continued down the hallway, with 3-metre-high ceilings in the front part of the home further adding to the grandeur.
“The ceilings were a big thing; I wanted the home to have a heritage feel and the high ceilings were a big part of this. If I could go back and change one thing it would be to continue this height throughout the whole house, but you have to make cuts somewhere!”
Storage was also a key part of the design, and custom-built cabinetry that runs the length of the wall adjacent to the library provides plenty of space to hide linen, towels and Travis’ footy kit. “I designed the library, master bedroom and the cinema myself and storage was definitely at the top of the list.” In the library (an area that also doubles as a second lounge area) a custom bookshelf takes up an entire wall – “there’s not many books in there yet!” – while the neighbouring wall is home to a built-in desk with, you guessed it, more storage!
“I spend a fair bit of time in here,” says Travis, “particularly now that Rogers has launched.” He is, of course, referring to his new underwear line, which launched on the day of our shoot. The collection, which Travis models as part of the campaign, is named after the Port midfielder’s dad who passed away from cancer in 2005.
“We’re a super close family,” says Travis, who lists his sister Cassie as one of his best friends. “We were really close growing up – she was the little elephant and I was the big elephant looking after her!” The elephant reference gives meaning to the elephant ornaments and large elephant artwork that hangs above the dining table. “The print was cheap, just from a store on the mid-coast, but I liked it and it kind of meant something.”
The other large artwork that demands attention is the enormous Corey Wilson photograph that hangs elegantly at the home’s entrance. “I’m obviously a huge surfing fan,” says Travis, “I grew up in Torquay so it was part of my childhood. Corey Wilson is Mick Fanning’s surf photographer and this photo was taken at Bells; it was a birthday present from my sister and mum.”
Other notable pieces include the large, inviting King Furniture lounges – one in the library, a large modular in the main living area, and a custom-made chaise lounge in the cinema. “I had to get the one in the cinema made as I wanted two chaises so I could just relax and sleep after a game.” This room is also home to seven Karray speakers, surround sound and a cinematic projector screen.
In the dining area the large black timber table, which was made by a mate in Paraparap near Torquay (Grummie Furniture) is the hero, while in the adjacent well-appointed kitchen Smeg appliances and Caesarstone benchtops ensure the space in functional but still good looking.
Continuing this theme, the master bedroom also places functionality and looks on par. This large space features an impressive double door (“although I hardly ever open both doors!”), a window seat, plenty of built-in cabinetry, and what is quite possibly the best-ever walk-in wardrobe. Immaculately presented, the space is utilised from floor to ceiling, with an impressive shoe collection housed over one entire wall. In the centre, a glass-top cabinet displays watches, sunglasses and ties.
This home is an impressive collection of the things that mean something to this young owner. Sentimental keepsakes and tastefully placed football memorabilia have been showcased alongside more expensive designer items and the combination works. It’s pared back and uncluttered, yet family photos and meaningful mementos still dominate the space. The result is homely, unpretentious yet grand and extravagant all at the same time. Ingenious.