Lucy and Steve Cahill’s story goes back a while, to when they first met in their early twenties. Having both grown up on the Mornington Peninsula, they found themselves meeting up with groups of friends on holiday getaways. And now just a few years on, Steve and Lucy are married, have developed five properties together and have three beautiful children under the age of 5.
Steve and his two brothers launched Cahill Building Group when they were all quite young, and now the group collectively has completed over 30 developments, ranging from townhouses to large properties. They work together on some projects, and separately on their own homes. And Steve’s latest property that he developed with Lucy is their forever home. For now anyway.
Explains Steve, “The projects we are working on are becoming more expansive compared to the town houses we used to build. Our focus is now definitely more on high end, beautiful homes. Everything we have worked so hard on over the years had led to us developing dream properties.”
The property at 27 Beleura Hill Road in Mornington was actually bought on a whim. Steve saw the home in passing one day and attended the auction at the last minute. Knowing it was a location that both he and Lucy loved, he placed a bid without either of them having been inside the house, and the rest is history. “I literally rocked up five minutes into the auction and put my hand up and then we bought it a couple of hours later through negotiations. Lucy had never seen it and in all honesty it took her a while to warm to the idea of creating our own home here.”
That was over three years ago. They were halfway through working on another property, so they rented this one out whilst they completed their other project, all the while formulating the ideal plan for their forever home. Says Steve, “We knew this location deserved a beautiful home, so we demolished the existing house and started fresh. I had been following Kate Walker and KWD’s work for some time and knew some of the builders they had worked with. Whilst we know our craftsmanship is first class, Lucy and I both decided we really needed some guidance on taking our home to a whole new level in terms of the interior design.”
Adds Lucy, “We knew what architectural style we wanted and had a vision for the floor plan, but we love Kate’s work, so we wanted her direction and input on all the hard finishes and the colour palette. We were a bit stuck between a few styles and we struggling to move away from what we had designed in previous projects. We wanted to be pushed out of our comfort zone so we could create something very exciting and new. Kate helped us focus on the best aesthetic for what we wanted to achieve. She had this incredible way of drawing out exactly what was inside my head that I found difficult to express or explain. I absolutely love everything that Kate and her team have created.”
In fact Steve and Lucy incorporated all of KWD’s recommendations bar two tiles based on price and size. “It actually surprised me, and surprised Kate to a degree. That we were prepared to push the boundaries and step out of our comfort zone and agree to the whole specification. The reality is that we got KWD involved because we wanted their direction and expertise so there was no point in disagreeing, we trusted in the Kate and her team and were invested in the process from day one.”
That’s exactly why builders, developers and homeowners engage a design team like KWD. It’s an exciting journey when you talk to experts about your vision and let them take your project to a whole new level. “Everything has changed for us now,” says Steve. “We have learnt so much. Every project we do from now on will be elevated in terms of design and innovation.”
Adds Lucy, “I feel like we’ve both got so much more confidence to make those tricky decisions about what colours and styles and textures work with each other. I’ve been like a sponge soaking up Kate’s ideas, advice and inspiration. It’s been like having a master class in design which I absolutely loved.”
“When we met the team at the KWD studio to look at their response to our brief and the design story they had put together for us, it was a four-hour marathon session. We were all exhausted after it, but we left that meeting with so much confidence,” says Steve. “They knew exactly the style we wanted and nailed everything, which is why we ended up using everything they suggested.”
Says Kate, “For me and for the KWD team, it was so rewarding to work with such committed clients who were 100% invested in the design story. We had complete confidence that our design vision would be executed to perfection,” says Kate.
So what are Lucy and Steve’s favourite parts of the home? For Lucy it’s the master suite which feels like a she’s living in a five-star resort. A calming and natural space that Lucy loves. And for Steve, it’s the kitchen because it is stunning whilst still being super functional for their family of five. And every piece of furniture in the home has been carefully selected by Lucy and Steve, in consultation with Kate, to enhance the beautiful spaces.
The backyard too is a well thought through area. Whilst not a large garden, the considered planting, the lush lawn, outdoor fireplace and alfresco area, and cleverly designed pool work beautifully together perfectly and create an inviting view from the living area. “Installing the pool was one of the best decisions we made,” says Lucy, “even though I wasn’t a fan of the idea at the start. It’s become the heart of the backyard – the children love it.
“It’s been a huge year, with a newborn baby girl and completing the build in July. The house works so well for us, it’s so functional as well as aesthetically beautiful. The layout works perfectly with a master suite and nursery upstairs and two bedrooms downstairs for the boys, plus a playroom that is separate but that we can view from our living area. And we have a separate guest room as well. It’s really wonderful that we will be able to enjoy our new home with all our family and friends this summer.”
Photography: Armelle Habib
Styling: Julia Green