I’m Sophie, happily married wife of Nick and mother of our beautiful Poppy. My husband and I both grew up in Melbourne and moved separately to the Gold Coast for university. We didn’t meet until we were both living up here.
I studied Medicine at Uni and worked as a junior doctor for two years before having Pops. I’m currently at a stage where I am not sure that Medicine is the career I want to go back to! Some people say it’s such a waste of time studying for that long to then “quit”, but I personally feel that if I am not passionate about it then I would be wasting a lot more years of mine working in the field.
I have my fingers in a few pies at the moment, helping out a couple of brands with social media and e-commerce, but I spend most of my time looking after little Poppy and managing Grounds of Cabarita!
Grounds of Cabarita is our property in Cabarita Beach, Northern NSW. When we purchased the 1960s dusky blue fibro beach shack in late 2015, it had already been renovated twice, but without much thought. Rooms had been added on totally randomly, leaving an external window between the bathroom and the living room and a flywire door between the laundry and the lounge.
The tiny, bright turquoise kitchen was the room you walked into as soon as you stepped foot in the front door – hardly inviting! So, in a two-stage renovation process in 2016, we repainted, put down new floors, moved the kitchen, added big bifold doors, turned the second living area into the master bedroom, completely re-did the bathroom and moved the laundry. It sounds like a lot of work but only took about 12 weeks because we didn’t change the footprint much or do any external extensions.
We also added a pool in late last year.
After the renovations were finished, I started an Instagram account for the house, @groundsofcabarita, just to show pictures of the styling etc. From there, people started to enquire about staying and renting the house for photoshoots. That prompted Nick and I to give Airbnb a go! We were really amazed with the response and at the start we would just take weekend trips away camping whenever the house was booked out.
We took some time off Airbnb for Poppy’s first 6 months of life, but since putting in the pool and relaunching the house on Airbnb, it has gone absolutely crazy! So much so, we have had to completely move out!
We did all the design and styling of Grounds of Cabarita ourselves, but I honestly don’t think I have one certain style - especially when it comes to interiors! Grounds of Cabarita has a definite fresh coastal style, but the new house we are about to start building will be completely different. I am drawn to neutral colour palettes with natural, raw materials, but I love coastal, industrial, mid-century, you name it!
WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
I get my inspiration from lots of places. Pinterest and Instagram are obviously big ones, but when we travel we like to generally stay in Airbnbs because I find more inspiration in terms of interiors from them than from hotels. I also get inspiration eating out and seeing restaurant/cafe fit outs, retail store fit outs, everywhere really!
ANY TIPS OR TRICKS FOR SETTING UP A HOME AS AN AIRBNB?
My top 5 tips would be:
1. Get an amazing cleaner you can trust who can flip the house between guests for you
2. Have at least a two night minimum, one-night stays are just too much work for not enough return!
3. If you are moving in and out of the house, make sure you are charging enough to cover expenses of you leaving the house! (i.e. even if you are camping, you will probably be eating out etc. so you don’t want to be running at a loss)
4. Have a list of local recommendations for guests
5. Make sure you have at least the necessities for guests so they don’t have to do a massive shop for just two days (shampoo, conditioner, salt, pepper etc. etc.). We like to go above and beyond with this and leave our guests Champagne, beer, biodegradable coffee pods... and basically any amenity you would ever need! Haha!
CAN WE COME AND STAY?
Absolutely! Invite me round for a poolside cocktail??
@threebirdsrenovations - of course!
@jasminedowling - her photographs and aesthetic are so dreamy!
@emilinaah - stunning photographs and incredible travel to unique destinations
@yoliandotis - a clothing brand that encapsulates an entire lifestyle in their feed!
@keiramary_ - slow & sustainable living - two things I could be better at!!