Getaway with Talm Beach House, Port Stephens

Getaway with Talm Beach House, Port Stephens


Welcome to ‘Getaway With’. For this new series we’re taking you into beautiful spaces around the globe - from airbnb properties to resorts - to give you inspiration for your next getaway. In this post, we head to Port Stephens, where Jenn and Ryley have created the ultimate luxury family friendly beach house.



It is not often you come across an airBNB as beautiful, laid back and light soaked as Talm Beach House. Built over the course of three years, thanks to the impacts of Covid, this home is undoubtedly a dream realised. The interiors feature a calming palette of white and natural finishes set against quintessential beach-house elements like lining boards which bring a nostalgic feel to this new build.

The expansive home features a double height wall of glass which overlooks uninterrupted ocean views, a perfect vantage for dolphin watching. In an ode to her South African heritage, Jenn aptly named the home ‘Talm’, which means “to linger” in Afrikaans. Perfectly named, this incredible home is available to book as an AirBNB, a home away from home which guests will happily linger in for as long as their booking will allow.  



Talm Beach House is located in Anna Bay, a suburb of Port Stephens. Anna Bay is just a 15 minute drive from Newcastle Airport and is the entry point to one of the most significant land formations on the east coast of Australia. The Stockton Bight Sand Dunes are the largest moving coastal dunes in the Southern Hemisphere and a must see. The home sits on the popular Anna Bay Rock Pools which is perfect for swimming and diving or just to watch the waves. Port Stephens is also a destination for foodies with a wide array of cafes, restaurants and delis in the area offering a wide array of local fare.    

We caught up with Jenn to talk about the gorgeous Talm Beach House and the design choices behind making such a calming holiday home.



Before we get into the gorgeous Talm Beach House, tell us a bit about you and what you do?

Hello there! We are Jenn and Ryley, a husband and wife duo and the designers and owners of Talm Beach House. Ry is a plumber and runs his own plumbing company full time and I am a “domestic engineer”, also more commonly known as a stay at home mum. I also run and manage Talm Beach House full time. In our little family, we have two beautiful boys, Noah (2) and Archer (7 months) as well as our two beloved and cheeky Border Collie’s Bonnie and Clyde! Over the last few years, we have designed and built three homes with Talm being our most recent and by far our biggest project to date. We searched for a property to secure as a working venture that we could also use to make memories with our own family. Hence, the creation of Talm Beach House.




What inspired you to choose Port Stephens as the location for Talm Beach House?

When we saw the block of land that Talm now neatly sits upon, the heartfelt connection was instant. The beautiful spot overlooks the ocean and has unbelievable unobstructed views and it is positioned right in front of gorgeous rock pools! Perfect for early morning or late afternoon swims and explorations! A popular reef (a local favourite) also sits right in front of the house, so that was another deciding factor for us when buying the property as we love diving. It was also a common spot in which Ry grew up surfing and swimming with his friends. He made many childhood memories in this area of Port Stephens. So naturally, this pulled on our heartstrings as we want the same memories to be made for and with our children.




When did you begin building works?

We started to build the home and worked very closely with the amazing team from Greenbuild Constructions at the start of 2019. Then when covid hit and the world started shutting down, we took a step back, slowed down and accomplished it over the next two years. Bringing us to completion at the end of 2021!




What was your vision for the home, what were you inspired by?

Our main vision for Talm was to create a space that felt highly luxurious and relaxing, but in the same breath, still comforting and family friendly. We love travelling, exploring new places and staying in accommodations that make us feel like we are in a home away from home! So to bottle this emotion and have it come to life, was important to us when designing and styling Talm.




How did you source all the beautiful furniture and decor pieces for the home? 

Oh this was the fun part! We did all the sourcing ourselves and found inspiration from places we had visited whilst on our international travels. I had beautiful companies, like Dharma Door, that I knew just had to be in the property as it reflected the vision we wanted to create. I tried to mainly work with high quality Australian companies that I was proud to be associated with and went from there.




What were some of the biggest challenges in bringing Talm Beach House to life?

I would say some of the biggest challenges we faced were our personal circumstances in the past year. My dearest father in South Africa suddenly passed away and naturally we dropped everything we were doing to rush over to be with my family. As we arrived we contracted Covid and had to isolate ourselves away from my family so as you can imagine this was painful. When returning back to Australia we then had to push through a further two weeks of hotel quarantine with our little boys and wow was this a challenge all on its own! Once home we had no choice but to put on a brave face, pick ourselves up and carry on with the massive project ahead.




The home feels fresh, light and bright- how did you balance the finishes?

I feel like this was so easy to accomplish as the space really does speak for itself and didn't need much. I wanted to keep it feeling light and open, a space where you could take a big deep breath and let go of everything. We loved the use of lining boards to keep the home feeling coastal. I kept the styling neutral and warmed it with gorgeous floor rugs, baskets and a few timeless decor items.




What is your favourite space in the home and why?

Oh my goodness! This is such a tough one to answer because there are so many spaces in the home that I love for so many different reasons! This is so incredibly hard to narrow it down to just one. I love the beautiful reading nook in the master bedroom that overlooks the ocean and sunrise in the morning. The courtyard is so warm and cosy and the barn doors are so photogenic! I would have to say my ultimate favourite space would have to be the front porch and sprawling lawn that reaches the rockpools. Watching the whales swim past, the dolphins splash about and the sunsetting through the ocean mist is truly something magical.




For guests who come and stay at Talm, what are some of your recommendations of must visits?

Ryley and I are the biggest foodies around! Recommend a great food spot and you will catch us there! We have included a beautifully curated list of our favourite food spots and things to do in the area in our booking confirmation email as well as our welcome compendium. Port Stephens has so much to offer and you really do need at least a week here to fully immerse yourself in the area!




What do guests love most about staying in your home?

The fact that the ocean is literally on their doorstep. You can crawl out of bed, make a warm cup of coffee and sit on the patio watching the waves roll in. Or the fact that our guests who are staying in the master bedroom can stay in bed and watch the dolphins swim past or enjoy a bath with endless ocean views. 

You can book your stay at the Talm Beach House by clicking here. 

Images captured by Muse Photography.




1 Response

Jenn Bliss
Jenn Bliss

December 30, 2021

Thank you so much for this beautiful conversational blog post! We loved sharing a bit of our story with you xx

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