How Kara Demmrich Uses Baskets in her Modern Coastal Home

Woven baskets in Kara Demmrich's mudroom. Kara & her son playing in the foreground.

Kyal and Kara Demmrich's striking new home encapsulates their focus on family life and the joys of coastal living. Blue Lagoon features stand-out elements aplenty - think double-height ceilings, ample skylights, stone feature wall and a stunning spiral staircase - and has incorporated them with well-considered layout and storage choices that meet the practical needs of the couple and their two young children.

Kara is responsible for much of the interior design of the space - a skill honed during more than 25 renovation and new build projects that Kyal and she have now completed together. Inspired by the location’s fresh sea breezes and her love of outdoor living, she has kept the palette neutral and calm with white and sandy tones, which allows her styling and decoration selections to really sing. This is a house for living, enjoyment and entertaining.

Kara has combined luxury elements like floor-to-ceiling drapes, lush carpeting and beautiful pendant lights with functional elements that bring ease to her family’s everyday life. We were delighted to see how she has again used The Dharma Door baskets for storage and decoration in the kid’s playroom, walk-in-wardrobe and a spectacular mudroom that marks the entry to the space. Kara shares a little more about the project here, along with how she has used woven baskets from our collection in each of these spaces.

Kara Demmrich's new home, the Blue Lagoon - a snapshot from outside & in the living room
Describe your Blue Lagoon project, including your overall aspirations for the build and the elements that you have most enjoyed since moving in.

We’ve been describing the style of this home as ‘modern coastal meets mediterranean villa’. We wanted our home to feel warm and welcoming and be robust to withstand our lifestyle, which involves a lot of time down at the beach.

We’re always so inspired by the colours and natural tones of the Australian coast and you can see that in the colours and materials we’ve used throughout our home. This winter we’ve LOVED having the fireplace and now that the weather is warming up, we’re excited to open up the big stacker doors and enjoy the pool and open plan living spaces.

You have refined your personal style over time. How do you describe your trademark touches and why do you think they work well in homes?

We’re essentially big coasties at heart who love the coastal lifestyle, being outdoors and surfing. We’re drawn to natural materials with a big focus on incorporating timber into our renovations and new builds. Our style has evolved as we’ve grown and had children; you learn pretty quickly how rough kids can be. Creating beautiful but ROBUST family homes are always at the forefront of our minds.

Kara Demmrich's new home, the Blue Lagoon - a snapshot of the dining room & unique stairwell
What successful new directions did you integrate into this project and why do you think they are working well?

The internal helical staircase is one of the standout features. It’s visible from all the entertaining areas of the home and ties in beautifully with other curved features dotted throughout the property.

The separate guest studio is a great addition for family and friends to stay - it’s a one-bedroom, open-plan space with the bedroom separated by a large arch feature. The sliding doors stack into the wall cavity, so when they’re open, the decked area becomes an extension of the living space inside.

What are your top five priorities when designing and decorating a home and why?
  1. A large kitchen with an island bench that was large enough to entertain around, prepare meals, eat meals, play activities with the kids on etc. No matter where we’ve lived, when we entertain, the kitchen has always been a communal point, so we wanted it to be a central point of the home.
  2. Hardwearing surfaces - perfect for our energetic, boisterous children!
  3. Stacking doors that could be opened right up to the backyard.
  4. A centralised yard (as opposed to a rear yard) to create a villa-style feel. Both the kitchen-living-dining area and the large family rumpus room opens out to the yard.
  5. Functional styling pieces like The Dharma Door jute baskets - you’ll find them in every corner or shelf in our home as they’re so handy and the texture.
Kara Demmrich's new home, the Blue Lagoon - a snapshot of the kitchen & living spaces
This build forms a considerable history of successful projects for you and your husband Kyal. How has the project slotted into the dreams you share for you and your family and overall lifestyle?

When we first bought the home back in 2014, we didn’t have children. The location was exactly what we were after, an easy walk to the beach, a quiet street in a tree lined suburb and we loved the local community feel. Originally, we wanted to dive straight into building the ‘dream’ home. However, at that stage we didn’t have children and weren’t quite sure exactly what we were after in a family home. We returned to the plans after having two toddlers and the priorities had definitely shifted.

One of the starting points for the floor plan was ensuring the home had a good indoor-outdoor flow. We wanted to be able to stand in the kitchen and watch the kids in the yard or entertain large groups of friends by creating a home that felt much larger once the stacker doors were open.

You have accomplished so much and are obviously a powerful team. What comes next?!

Although we’ve just completed a new build, our heart still lies with renovating properties and creating new from old, so there will definitely be more renovations to come! We’ve loved creating the Online Series to accompany the last three homes so we’ll be building on that also.

Woven baskets in Kara Demmrich's mudroom. Kara's son taking off his boots in the foreground.

The Mudroom

The mudroom was designed to be the ‘dumping’ room before we all enter the house – shoes off, school bags down and hats and jackets hung. The cabinetry combined with a bench seat works well as the kids keep bags and shoes in the bottom drawers and can sit on the bench seat to put their shoes on.

I’ve tried to think about exactly what we need storage wise and design the cabinetry around this. The overhead baskets are great for the items we don’t need everyday (or things I don’t want the kids to touch) and the natural fibre adds warmth and character.




Woven baskets used to store toys in Kara Demmrich's children's play room.

Children's Play Room

This will eventually be one of the kids bedrooms, but while they’re young and sharing a bedroom, we’ve made a room for all their toys, books, blocks etc.

We’ve used The Dharma Door baskets to separate and organise toys and of course they add texture and hide things we don’t want to see ☺


Woven baskets placed throughout Kara Demmrich's walk in robe.

Adult Retreat/Walk-in Wardrobe

Although the walk-in wardrobe is full of cabinets for clothes, we didn’t want it to feel cluttered or busy. We have one wall of full cabinetry with floor to ceiling doors and on the other side we have drawers, a bench top and overhead cabinetry.

The wardrobe is full of storage, so we’ve kept the colour palette very neutral. My intention with the overhead cabinetry was to fill it with baskets – the jute baskets are the perfect tone and add such a gorgeous texture. Coming into summer, we’ll store winter clothes and extra linen overhead.


Kara Demmrich's new home, the Blue Lagoon - a snapshot of the swimming pool and Kara & Kyal standing outside

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.