First look: global design firm Banda brings style to multimillion dollar beachfront living

Australia’s luxury real estate market just scored another major player, thanks to an exciting new development on Queensland’s sunny Gold Coast. Set to bring ultra-premium beachside living to the popular tourist spot, Masthead Ocean Club is a $280 million project residing on Main Beach. Already being dubbed a seven-star resort experience, it boasts just 28 boutique-style dwellings (including 20 residences), five ‘Sky Homes’, two duplex sub-penthouses and one super penthouse.

The residential venture has been bolstered by Masthead’s partnership with UK-based interior design studio Banda, which is spearheaded by Edo Mapelli Mozzi, husband of Princess Beatrice. With a reputation for bringing world-class style and panache to any project it touches, Banda is set to design the Sky Homes, duplexes and penthouses, while local outfit Mim Design is poised to tackle the 20 residences. Surprisingly, despite many other global design projects underway, it’s the first time Banda has worked on Australian shores, and is therefore a subject of great excitement for Mapelli Mozzi.

“Rory O’Brian [Masthead’s property developer] has been developing in Australia for over 30 years and knows the real estate market through and through, so Masthead has all the ingredients we were looking for,” he says. Located at the northern end of Main Beach, with the ocean, Southport Yacht Club, superyacht marina and Main Beach Surf Club close by, it’s also adjacent to 140 hectares of spit parkland—a prospect that resonated with Mapelli Mozzi, who drew parallels with the open spaces of London’s Hyde Park. The residential project will begin construction in the next few months and is set for completion in 2024.

“The Gold Coast is such a unique proposition in terms of its offering, and I loved that we had total design freedom with the Masthead Sky Homes,” he says. “The fact that Masthead has such extensive private and secure amenities for its residents—a state-of-the-art wellness centre, library, wine and champagne bar, whisky and cigar room, as well as a private dining and entertaining space—sets it apart from everything else.”

From a design standpoint, Banda was quick to seek inspiration from the specifics of the local landscape, taking time to immerse the team in the Gold Coast surroundings during the planning phase. “Nicola Sherbon, our Head of Design, is Australian (from Sydney) and is very familiar with this area of the Gold Coast,” explains Mapelli Mozzi. “She spent a month in January getting even more familiar with the location.”

From Banda’s perspective, Masthead Ocean Club’s unique location and varied topography was cause for celebration and set the tone and direction of the interior design. “We felt very strongly that the design needed to be relevant to the surroundings,” says Mapelli Mozzi. From the striking red tones of the powder room (the travertine rosa was inspired by the colour of the soil found in central Australia) to the green sequoia verde marble of the kitchen bench (a nod to the nearby hinterland) and the biscuit-toned plaster textured walls (harking back to Queensland’s famous sandy beaches), all these nature-inspired elements bring a singularity and relevance to Banda’s design.

Australia’s geographical diversity and terrain was central to the layout of the homes, too. “I wanted to explore the concept of relaxed and liveable luxury,” says Nicola Sherbon, Banda’s head of design. Every Sky Home and penthouse was “meticulously planned to give an ease of living, while also making the most of the expansive views across sea, city and green scape.”

In terms of styling and furniture, Banda will stay true to its tried-and-true blend of vintage furniture and luxurious finishes. “We were keen to source locally as well as use pieces from international designers and to stay true to Banda’s signature style of mixing old with new to give a strong sense of home,” explains Mapelli Mozzi. Seeing this as a “global proposition” the Banda team mixed tadelakt wall finishes with Calacatta Verde marble and Arabescato Corchia bathroom floor tiles, bringing in lighting from Stephen Antonson, Emmanuelle Simon, Serge Mouille, Articolo and vintage Palle Suenson.

Completing the mix are vintage furniture pieces like a Sergio Rodriguez antique chair, Studio Giancarlo Valle boucle sofa and Christopher Farr rug, plus art from Struan Teague and highly regarded Australian artist Imants Tillers. Even the home office is premium, thanks to a wooden Pierre Yavanovich oak desk paired with a Pierre Jeanneret mohair armchair.

The perfect blend of luxury design-meets-prime waterfront location, and you can see why this ultra-exclusive project is truly global in scale and ambition. Visit for more information.

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