Home Life Series

Inside co-founder Alex McCabe's home inspired by the serene Mornington Peninsula surroundings

This week on the Home Life Series, we’re excited to bring you along for the full home tour of our very own co-founder, Alex McCabe. 

Situated upon a pinot grigio vineyard once owned by her parents, Alex and partner Bobby set out to build their dream family home that would blend seamlessly with the serene Mornington Peninsula surroundings. 

Of course it wouldn’t be a Kip&Co home without some colour in its DNA, but texture is the real heartbeat of this Merricks North abode. From the red bathroom inspired by nature's red soil, to the tri-colored island bench reflecting the hues of nearby beaches, every element exudes warmth and tranquility through an earthy and tonal palette. 

What began as a weekend escape is now a full-time family home for Alex and her family. Living among the vines and red clay of the Mornington Peninsula is a dream come true. Come take a look!

We’ve seen parts of your home here and there, but are very excited to now get the full tour! First up, tell us about how you stumbled across this amazing property you now call home, that comes fully equipped with a gorgeous vineyard (score!).

My mum and dad bought the block in the late 80s as part of their dream to start a winery. They planted pinot grigio - the first of its kind on the Mornington Peninsula. The vineyard “establishment” at the time told mum she was crazy to try that variety but she did it anyway! Together with another couple and some talented winemakers, they started T’Gallant Winery and mum’s pinot grigio was a big hit. Mum continued to maintain the block by hand right up until dad became sick in 2017 when they decided it was time to sell so they could focus on his health. I couldn’t let this piece of family history slip away, so I quickly put my hand up and together with Bobby and our architect Mike McManus we set about creating what we intended to be a rental accommodation. 

The house was completed at the end of 2019 and when covid hit a few months later we decided to move in and rent out our city house for a wee while until covid “blew over”, ha! Four years later and there’s no sign of us leaving - we feel very connected to this place and amazing community.

You and your partner Bobby helped work on the build and design of this gem from the ground up. What was the overall brief and did you have specific design elements that had to make the final cut?

We wanted something that felt connected to and considerate of the environment, and that celebrated the beautiful aspects, views and light. I was particularly interested in layering the house with lots of texture so you’ll see loads of different tones and textures throughout.

Your home perfectly reflects your passion for entertaining, whether it's the stunning outdoor alfresco dining area or the kitchen's expansive glass window. You'll never miss a beat when you're on kitchen duty! Was this a huge part of your brief when designing the home?

Absolutely! We love entertaining and Bobby is a pretty phenomenal cook, so the kitchen and entertaining areas were always going to be the heart of this home. Bobby always teases me about how much I love al fresco dining - rain hail or shine I would eat outside. The layered concrete bench was the first thing on my dream board for the home and is my favourite feature of the house.

From the seagrass wallpaper to the steel front door and concrete bench, texture is a prominent element in nearly every room of your home. Why is it important and what drew you to these specific materials?

I wanted to create a sense of warmth and personality, and decided that texture was the best way to achieve that. We had a lot of fun experimenting with different textures in all the rooms, but always came back to the idea of creating a home that was connected to the land through an earthy and tonal palette.

We need all the details on your incredible tri-coloured island bench. Talk us through the inspiration behind this amazing feature in your kitchen/living?

I really loved the pinky purple concrete bench we designed for our St Kilda home so recruited Rutso to help us out again but this time I really upped the stakes - tri-coloured and curved, ha! It’s my absolute favourite thing in the home but was a huge job for the team - the bracing they built prior to the pour was about 8m long! 

Our new collection, Toasty, encompasses a palette of cosy winter hues like marmalade, ochre, ruby, and lilac. How do you like to incorporate seasonal colours into your home that makes it feel toasty and warm?

I love this collection because it really works with the tones and colours of the house. I love incorporating seasonal elements with my soft furnishings, like cushions, throws and bedding. I’ve got on my wishlist The Boysenberry Pie Chunky Knit. This throw instantly makes me feel cosy and warm.

What do you love most about living down the Peninsula?

So much!! I love being close to my family, and the smart, creative, witty and wonderful group of friends we’ve made down here. I love watching the girls grow up immersed in nature; generally barefoot, dirt under their nails, climbing a tree or swimming in the ocean. I love the greenery, bush walks, salty air, and surf. I love the abundance of good food and wine.