Wanting to build a granny flat suitable for Airbnb hire and a photoshoot location, Suzy and her husband dreamt up their own plans for this beautiful build! The Cabana Casuarina is filled with pink accents paired back with earthy tones, textures and natural materials to create a cozy, coastal modern x bohemian feel with a slight retro nod. Read on for plenty of excellent building advice and to find out all about Suzy’s Jatana choices.

What motivated you to build? 

We bought our block of land at Casuarina off the plan in 2001, back when the house blocks were big. Our block was 726m2, and at the time, we only built on half the land as we wanted our kids to grow up with a big backyard as my husband and I both had big grassy backyards as kids. The kids grew into adults and were no longer interested in that backyard, so we thought the time was right to add a granny flat.

What was your goal for the build?

 The goal was to build a secondary dwelling that could provide an income through Airbnb accommodation and location hire for photoshoots. We also wanted something big enough that Rod and I could possibly live in it after we retire, rent the main house and travel the world!

How would you describe your style? 

I would describe my style as Retro Beach Style meets Palm Springs. Our existing residence was built with a nod to the 60’s fibro beach shacks of the Gold Coast, so The Cabana had to be in keeping with the existing style, just on a smaller and cuter scale!

Talk us through the process you took in the planning stages of the build! 

The planning stage took a good year to 18 months. We started by talking to several companies that build granny flats off the plan but couldn’t find a style that would complement the existing dwelling, landscaping and tie into the pool, so we drafted the plans ourselves and then hired a draftsman to bring it all together. We were able to have the build passed as a CDC (Complying Development Certificate), so there was no DA process which saved us a lot of time and money.

Did you visit the Jatana showroom to look around at tiles? How many samples did you leave with, or did you decide on your tiles then and there? 

I did visit the Jatana showroom in the planning process as it’s only a beautiful 35-minute drive from us. Installing Jatana tiles was an absolute no-brainer as I knew they would give The Cabana that WOW factor I wanted. I didn’t decide on the tiles in the showroom, but I got a good feel for the product, and I left feeling 100% confident that the colours on the website were the same as the product. So, in the end, I chose the tiles using the Jatana website, and I absolutely love my choices of Pink Acapulco for the outside path and outdoor shower and Candy La Luna for the bathroom. 

What were you looking for in a tile? 

I wanted a tile that wasn’t boring and would add a colour pop in The Cabana. I was a lot more adventurous choosing tiles for The Cabana as I wanted it to be a place people could enter and get an immediate dopamine hit. Pink is a colour that makes me super happy, it’s also soft, warm and cosy, so I knew it would feature strongly in The Cabana. Whenever I bring guests or photoshoot clients into The Cabana, they are immediately blown away by the Pink Acapulco path.

Which spaces did you tile? 

We tiled the entrance path, the outdoor shower and the bathroom floor/nib wall in Jatana Tiles.

Why did you choose Jatana Tiles? What did you enjoy best about the Jatana experience?

I told my husband that I wouldn’t go ahead with the build unless I got to use Jatana Tiles (lol) because I just knew the impact that they would have on the overall aesthetic. I knew they would elevate the space and provide that pop of excitement to attract Airbnb guests and brands looking for photoshoot locations. Sonya and all the girls in the Jatana office were amazing to deal with, and when I underestimated the number of tiles needed for the path area, they were so quick to locate extra tiles for me and get back in touch (it was an anxious time!) Haha!

Any advice for first-time renovators/builders?

Scroll Instagram a lot! There is so much inspiration to be found in local renovators and builders. And don’t scrimp on the permanent fixtures and fittings, like your tile, tapware and lighting. You have to love them! Because once they’re in place, they’ll be there for a very long time.

Where can we find you?