The Burrows: A cosy coastal getaway in Swansea, Tasmania

Bedrooms and relaxation go hand-in-hand. So when it comes to designing a calming and rejuvenating space for those seeking solace, we knew exactly where to find inspiration. 

After searching for over ten years, and two attempts to purchase it, Bek Burrows and Paul DeRuyter finally found their own slice of paradise. Located in the heart of Tasmania’s east coast, overlooking Great Oyster Bay, ‘The Burrows’ was designed for their family to escape their Launceston base and spend time together. While busy running their successful wedding styling business, Bek and Paul have slowly transformed the 1860’s home into a relaxing retreat (the bedroom no exception), with the interior as idyllic and relaxing as the expansive exterior views overlooking The Freycinet Peninsula. 

“We love sharing The Burrows but still feel so lucky every time we arrive here ourselves, open the gate and the incredible expanse of Great Oyster Bay comes into view as we drive in … We still can’t believe that this little piece of paradise is actually ours!” says Bek. 

The home, which operates most of the year as an Airbnb, is filled with collected treasures, curated custom pieces and an assembly of locally sourced goodies. We chatted with Bek & Paul to find out a little more about the home and how it has been so beautifully designed

The Burrows at Swansea Heatherly Design Bek and Paul Burrows

Bek Burrows and Paul DeRuyter in the master bedroom which overlooks The Freycinet Peninsula

How has the space changed since you first took over ownership of the property? 

We have reimagined the spaces and how they flow. Removing a couple of internal walls in the main living room and opening up the view to the bay, which can now be seen from all rooms of the cottage. Adding a bath and two pairs of french doors at each end of what was the old sunroom has definitely been a winner! The bedrooms and kitchen didn’t require a lot of work, aside from painting and we have installed a beautiful old Rayburn wood fired oven which has pride of place in the kitchen.

We undertook all the work ourselves which gave us control of how they felt during the process of the renovation, which also took place over the busiest three months of the year for our destination wedding business. Driving up the coast after bumping out at midnight from a wedding at MONA wasn’t unusual, it was an extremely busy time but we had a deadline to achieve completion and we just made it.

What has been your approach when renovating/styling The Burrows? 

The Burrows is home to many of our favourite treasures, some have been handed down through our families and other pieces are those that we have discovered together. Our family home in town is a two storey 1930’s Californian Bungalow and although a very different design it does share a very similar aesthetic as far as our collection of eclectic vintage, second hand and well loved and time worn pieces. We’ve chosen to use genuine older items in our home in favour of reproductions wherever possible, from bakelite light switches to antique binoculars. 

Although we do have sentimental pieces here, we didn’t want The Burrows to feel too precious, it has an easy, comfortable, relaxed and uncontrived, slightly “undone” feel.

We love that many guests share that they feel a familiarity when they arrive here and experience comforting memories of their own childhoods, which as a host is always special to hear.

The Burrows at Swansea Heatherly Design custom bedhead master bedroom kitchen design

Styling: A collection of eclectic vintage, second hand and well loved and time worn pieces throughout the home

The Burrows at Swansea Heatherly Design custom bedhead outdoor bath design

The iconic outdoor bath was collected and restored from a nearby neighbour.

What considerations did you make when designing the bedroom in comparison to the rest of the home? 

We wanted to create a different feeling within the smaller rooms of The Burrows, a sense of intimacy. We used Porters Paint throughout and the colour palette we chose for the bedrooms, foyer and bath house draw from the colours within the surrounding rugged landscape at different times of the day. 

Painting the main bedroom has been the only significant change we made to this space other than swapping the generic aluminium sliding doors out for a pair of french doors and Paul custom made a pair of screen doors to fit. 

The bedroom is accessed from the entry foyer and also has a very small door through the original stone wall of the cottage which is over half a metre thick and leads into the living room. The view out over Great Oyster Bay is exceptional in any weather, especially at sunrise and sunset, when granite formations of The Hazards are bathed in glowing pink.

Heatherly Design bedheads The Burrows tasmania bedroom

View of The Great Oyster Bay can be seen from the master bedroom; “The Burrows” custom gates upon entry designed from Bek’s own handwriting.

What made you choose the Genevieve bedhead in Linden Dove for the master bedroom?

We both really loved the simplicity of the Genevieve bedhead, the exaggeration of the bell curve also adds a little bit of drama into the room that is otherwise quite understated. 

We also liked the idea of the fabric and colour of the bedhead being more subdued within the room rather than competing for attention. It’s soft and restrained while still creating a subtle impact within the space as the light changes throughout the day the shadows of the bedhead do as well.

The Burrows at Swansea Heatherly Design custom bedhead master bedroom design

The Genevieve bedhead curve replicates the view of mountains from the bedroom window

What are your top styling tips for maintaining that cosy feel in a luxury bedroom? 

Less is always more! Aside from the king bed, our main bedroom has a wardrobe, bedside tables and a chair – everything that is needed yet doesn’t feel cluttered. We have invested in excellent quality Tasmanian-made beds and beautiful 100% pure linen sheets from Bedouin Societe. 

The view of Great Oyster Bay from the french doors is the real hero (apart from our HD bedhead!) The sun rises from behind The Hazards at Freycinet across the bay and on a clear day bathes the bedroom in a beautiful golden glow.

The Burrows at Swansea Heatherly Design custom bedhead master bedroom design

Genevieve bedhead in Linden Dove linen

Get the look:
Genevieve Bedhead in Linden Dove Linen by Heatherly Design