In designing and decorating the cabins, lobbies and connecting alleyways, Barbara Oakley sought to create the illusion of light and space in small enclosed areas. The novel concept of CANBERRA's ‘Court Cabins’ created wide communal areas or ‘courtyards’ at the head of each group of cabins and meant that even the inside cabins could be afforded a glimpse of the sea.
Decoration was kept simple with built in, melamine-topped, wooden furniture and white walls acting as backdrops to colourful, practical patterned fabrics of bold simple shapes, in bright emeralds, amethyst, red and tangerine for curtains, bedding, carpets and floors. Allowing for the inevitable fads and fashion, Oakley's intention was to:
“create the classical bones on which to drape delectable fabrics – each in its own generation”