Inside Julie’s Beautiful Cabana, a Heartfelt Tribute to Her Dad


It’s a heart-warming story of two Melwood cabanas.

One old.

One new.

And it’s where a daughter found inspiration to honour the memory of her late father.

“Dad used to love to come down here, have a drink, and watch the kids in the water.”

When Julie’s father, Jim, passed away in 2018, she wanted to create a place where she could feel close to him.

“When I had a good look cleaning up the old one, I saw a little plaque that said Melwood on it.”

The old Melwood shed was installed in the early 90s

“When I called Melwood, I said, ‘I think this is one of your cabanas. I think it’s been here for 20 years.'”

And it had been there for over two decades.

The property’s previous owner had the cabana installed in the early 90s.

“It was still in perfect condition. It was just that we wanted something a bit bigger and in a different colour.”

Julie chose a Verandah Design 12, with cedar upgrade, measuring 3.6 meters long and 3.2 metres wide.

“We purchased it with the money from dad’s will.”

“He loved it here in this spot, so we called it ‘The Jim’.”

A tribute to Julie’s father, the Melwood garden room has been named ‘The Jim’


Julie says the cabana has become a household name around the neighbourhood.

“My friends say ‘we’re going to ‘The Jim’ for drinks.’ When we’re out on the boats, we’ll move on to ‘The Jim’ as an after-party.”

The Melwood Verandah 12 by night, a cosy place to relax on the waterfront property

The mother-of-two has made the cabana look like a natural extension of the house, with a pale grey exterior.

Step inside, and it feels like a coastal retreat with the all-important bar fridge.

“We always keep that stocked and locked because of the teenage kids.”

Julie has created a coastal retreat away from all distractions

Julie chose the verandah design for its decking area, giving the outdoor space a complete look.

“I have loved the verandah; even when it’s pouring rain, I can sit in here, and it’s a protector. It never gets wet in here, and it’s beautiful to sit here in a thunderstorm with the doors open.”

“It was the best decision I made because I nearly didn’t have the verandah, but I’m so glad I did.”

The coastal-inspired Melwood cabana with the main house in the background

The customisable design also allowed Julie to choose the size and orientation of windows.

“Melwood were amazing. They were so friendly to work with, and I wanted options to have the view to wrap right around.”

 She also added an internal partition wall, creating a separate space for storage.

“It’s got its own window there for ventilation because the life jackets go in there when they’re wet.”

Julie recalls the quick and easy process of having the new Melwood installed.

“It was just after the passing of my dad. It was a sensitive time, and I wanted it to be perfect.”

“It was such a good experience.”

“The house took 18 months to renovate. I couldn’t imagine that this went up in one day.”

Installation day, the prefab panels were loaded off a barge and assembled in one day

As an artist, Julie uses the space to craft her handmade designs woven out of natural fibres.

Multi-purpose space: Julie also uses the cabana to make her handcrafted fibre art

The outdoor room also provides a spot away from distractions and a place to feel connected to her father.

“Sometimes I feel like he is here with me, and it’s a happy feeling because it’s a peaceful place to honour his memory.”

“Dad would be so proud, he would love it here. We spend time doing what he loved best which was having a glass of wine.”

Cheers to Jim! Julie honours her late father’s memory with a Melwood cabana

“My dad and I were like best mates, and he was really close to my kids.”

And now, as Julie’s mates congregate around the cabana, drinks are on, and it’s cheers to you, Jim!


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