Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Behind the front door of Sundowner

It was Christmas Eve when UK expats Jon and Lynda first set eyes upon the view from Sundowner – a last minute Christmas present that’s proving to be the gift that keeps on giving, not only for them, but for many-a-Private Properties guest.


“I think the view is probably the one thing that drew us in,” Lynda recalls, of what convinced her and husband Jon to buy their holiday home, Sundowner, in a snap decision one Christmas Eve. “There are very few places on Yallingup Hill that would have a view of Sugarloaf while only being 200 steps to the beach.”


Lynda and Jon, along with their two kids, had spent the past few Christmases in Yallingup, after falling in love with the destination back in 2006.

“Lynda’s dad passed away and we decided that we didn’t want to sit around a Christmas table with an empty seat,” Jon says. “So we came to Western Australia and visited… just for a holiday.”


“We came back again the following year and had an even better time than we had the year before,” he says. “We actually had a family meeting on Yallingup Beach where we decided, ‘Right, this is it – we’re going to move’.


“It took us a couple of years to get here, but we did.”


Fast forward to December 24, 2011, when Lynda stumbled upon a real estate listing for a home that boasted glistening ocean views, proximity to the beach and plenty of space.

“We didn’t even make it up to the top floor or the basement, did we?” Lynda laughs. “We just put an offer in, on the spot.”


Since then, Sundowner has become, essentially, a second home for the couple and their family.

“Yallingup has been such an integral part of our kids’ childhood,” Lynda says. “A big part of their lives, particularly through their teens, was spent in Yallingup.”


“It has been a very important family home for us,” she says. “We had every Christmas there up until 2022.”


But, as with most families, Lynda and Jon’s desire to get away was/is often challenged by the rigors of everyday life, which left them with less time for Yallingup getaways, and a fair bit of guilt when their home was left empty.


“We love Yallingup and it just felt like the right thing to do, to share it,” Jon says, of their decision to open Sundowner for short stays.


Jon admits he was “very resistant to renting Sundowner, but Private Properties do a fantastic job; they have very high standards.”


“And it’s very nice when we drive down from Perth, unlock the door, walk in, and it’s spotless, he says. “I walk into our home now and I’ve got to get some things out of locked cupboards, but it doesn’t take a whole lot longer to set up than when we didn’t rent it.


“It’s still our family home, and we’ve tried very hard to personalise it, or make it feel like it is somebody’s home, rather than a rental property.”

Personal touches by Lynda, who used to be an interior designer, including her collection of shells, interior design books and an epic DVD catalog, can be found throughout the home, and help to create a welcoming, homely atmosphere, without leaving guests feeling like they’re trespassing.

“It’s interesting how you can walk into a lot of rentals and you know it’s a rental,” Lynda says. “There’s no personality.”

Thankfully, Sundowner has plenty of personality. A beautifully homely abode that oozes boho chic, it encapsulates relaxed coastal living ever-so-perfectly.

Glorious ocean views are complemented by white linen sofas, giant pendant lights that sway gently in the afternoon breeze, and a fireplace that crackles and pops while winter winds blow and howl outside.

“We put the fireplace in a couple of years ago and it has literally transformed the house in the winter,” Lynda says. “To me, it’s not just a summer home; it’s very much a winter home.”

Jon agrees.

“I love the summer lunches and evenings out on the deck, but I also really, really enjoy now being in front of the fire, with a 120-km gale raging,” he says.  “There’s something so comforting about being in a storm; you can hear the rain pounding on the house, but the fire is on, glass of red in hand, some nice music. It really is wonderful.

“We love every minute.”


This blog post is part of our Behind the Front Door series, which give you an insight into the design and build of some of our favourite Private Properties holiday homes. Meet the owners of these stunning properties, and find out why they fell in love with their little slices of paradise and the breathtaking destinations they’re located in.

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