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Build by VDB Homes, photography by Annette O'Brien and Nic Stephens, interior styling by Ruth Welsby

Built to go the distance.

Building dreams for clients is a big job. Setting out on the journey to build a family home is, for many, one of life’s biggest challenges and clients often feel out of their depth as they forge into unchartered waters. They look for someone to trust who will navigate it with them and stay the course.  

For Ash Van Den Bosch, Director of VDB Homes, building homes isn’t just about the construction process. It’s as much about the passion as it is the purpose behind every thoughtfully designed, sustainable and aesthetically beautiful home they build. That purpose is keeping their client’s dream always on course. 

We felt so privileged to have our Rose Blush Smith and Boston chairs take pride of place at the main table of this stunning Ocean Grove home and wanted to learn more from Ash about his residential construction company on Victoria’s south coast and their renovation project, The Terrace House.

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In Conversation with VDB Homes

Tell us a bit about VDB Homes. How did you start?

We are a residential construction company based in a beautiful little pocket of the South Victorian coastline of Australia called the Bellarine Peninsula. VDB Homes was born in 2016 and established by Director Ash Van Den Bosh, who has almost 20 years of experience building homes in the area. Ash eventually decided to start his own company and became a registered building practitioner.  As cliche as it sounds, he started the company because he loves what he does - not only that, but being able to deliver clients homes they will be able to enjoy forever and providing this in a stress-free way is a great feeling. 

What were your responsibilities as builders in the Terrace Project?  

As with all our projects, our primary responsibilities with the Terrace was to deliver a home of the utmost quality. The attention to detail needed to be second to none, and we had to work efficiently to meet our estimated completion date. Our clients were welcoming their first child into the world  around the time we had estimated the house to be ready for them (we managed to get them in on time for the arrival of their beautiful little girl, hooray!).  One of the more definitive responsibilities of this project was to work closely with and listen to our clients wants and needs regarding the overall design of their home as they had a very clear and well thought out vision regarding what they wanted.   

Your Terrace Project has stolen our hearts! What was the brief for the home?  

Thank you! The brief for this home was to turn old into new and make the most of the stunning views over the Barwon River estuary and out to sea. The original house was approximately 50 years old, so it was a reasonably extreme remodel starting from the ground up, quite literally - it took three full days of excavation to make space for the new additions.    

What were the client’s needs/goals for the project? How did you achieve those? 

The clients' goals were to create a stunning family home built for entertaining and honour the coastline's spectacular views. We achieved this by delivering a home with premium quality finishes, including lots of glass for those views and working meticulously to ensure all their design visions were met on the interior.   As you probably know, even better than us, it takes a team of talented people to build a home (from architects and designers to builders and developers). 

In your opinion, what makes the perfect team? How do you hope your team works together?  

There are various team structures out there regarding the design and build of homes. At VDB Homes, we are lucky enough to engage with talented businesses, including architects, draftsmen, interior designers and tradespeople that suit our individual jobs and our clients' various needs. We love working in this way; it keeps things tailored to suit and, importantly, local. We are looking to add an interior design element to our team structure, but this in the very early stages. So in answer to your question, we think the perfect team is designed to suit each home and each client, communication is critical, and of course, we also believe our very own VDB Homes team of qualified carpenters do a fantastic job on all the homes they build, their attention to detail is impressive!    

What overall feeling do you hope each home by VDB Homes conveys?  

We hope every one of our homes conveys a sense of comfortable living, practicality and standout design features. We want each of our homes to reflect what the client envisioned in the early stages of even just daydreaming of their new home. We are a sucker for a sleek minimalist style of home to build, which many of our homes are; however, we love a renovation challenge that champions original features.   

What’s your best bit of advice for someone looking to own their own business in the design/construction world?  

Be prepared to go with the flow and, most importantly, enjoy the design/ build experience with your clients and team of talented collaborators! It’s so amazing to see a patch of dirt turned into a home that will be making memories for years to come. Each home you build, you will learn something new.   

How do you feel the Barnaby Lane dining chairs fit into the overall design or feeling of the home?    

Our Terrace renovation was a minimalist design with hints of a soft colour palette; therefore, the blush Jones chairs were a match made in heaven for the dining area. Sitting pretty against beautiful white panelling in the open plan kitchen and a stunning splashback made from a marble porcelain slab. They compliment the overall light and open feel of the area of the house. They are an understated yet stylish addition to the large dining table featuring a cluster of Scandi style pendant lights above. They look picture perfect!    

Do you have a favourite piece of Barnaby Lane furniture? If so, what is it?  

At VDB Homes, our personal favourite has to be the classic Smith leather sling chair. Such a classic style and versatile in most spaces, we have our eye on a tan one for our own living HQ.  

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