It's hard not to fall head over heels in love with Armadale. It's close to the city and the beach and has one of the best shopping strips around; filled with cafes, amazing antiques and unique furniture stores. Heather and her family purchased this home 10 years ago and lived there happily for 5 years before moving to Sydney for 4 years. Returning at the start of last year, Heather sought to create a home that is welcoming, user friendly and definitely not precious. We think Heather has achieved this beautifully.
As a freelance writer and stylist, Heather works for some of the best known publications in Australia including Real Living Magazine and The Age newspaper. Whilst the style of Heather's home feels entirely casual, it's clearly the breadth of her styling experience that has resulted in the melding of both vintage and contemporary elements in this relaxed and inviting home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My/Our style: Relaxed, pretty, gentle, lots of painted furniture, and collections. Most things are second hand or have come from our families.
Inspiration: I am in love with gracious, old white weatherboard homes, and love bursts of colour against a white background. The high ceilings add elegance to the rooms, which I love.
Favorite Element: After years of living in single fronted cottages in Melbourne, and terraces in Sydney, having a wide hallway and being able to choose whether to turn left or right feels strangely like a luxury.
Biggest Challenge: We are yet to face it. We really need another living space, and I would kill for an office, so we need to decide whether to extend up or out.
What Friends Say: My girlfriends totally ‘get’ it and rarely blink an eye when the kitchen floor changes colour again. Most blokes think it is a dolls house.
Biggest Embarrassment: My dodgy paint jobs – I like to get quick results, and don’t look too closely at the finish as I know I will probably paint it again soon. This drives my virgo friends nuts. And the garden isn’t in great shape – thanks to our cheeky puppy Dougal.
Proudest DIY: For Jeremy, it is definitely painting, as he is a bit challenged in most other DIY areas. For me it is my hand-sewn quilts.
Biggest Indulgence: The pool we installed just before last summer. After moving back from Sydney we were both mourning the loss of Bondi Beach 10 minutes from home, so this is out little piece of Bondi. We really should have done up the bathroom, or built another living room, or hell, paid off some of the mortgage! Fiscal practicality is not a strong point here.
Best advice: My father in law Mick always says “paint covers a multitude of sins’. I think it may also be holding some walls together here.
Dream source: I would love to travel back in time to an op shop in the 60s or 70s when people were throwing away all their incredible mid-century designs. Imagine picking up a few Featherston chairs for $10 each!
My best appliance is my Ice blue Kitchenaid mixer.
Bathroom – original clawfoot bath. Basin is from Schots.
IKEA white couches with removable covers (kid and dog proof)
Old bentwood chairs from op shops, council junk collections and ebay, then painted mostly on Porter’s Paints.
Annebelle’s iron bed from ebay
Alex’s four poster iron bed from Mitchell Road Auctions in Sydney, painted Dulux July Quarter
Wing back chairs from Young’s Auction rooms in Camberwell Melbourne
Kitchen table is an old desk from the Caulfield Race Course
Dining table was Jeremy’s parents, and friends of theirs before that.
Most small furniture is from op shops
Original Casala chair is from The Junk Company in North Melbourne
French style jam jar lamp is by Vince Turner Designs
Cushions mostly made from fabrics from Patchwork On Central Park in East Malvern, Melbourne. Quilts also made with fabrics from PCP.
Chandeliers are mostly from second hand stores
Star lanterns in hallway and Annebelle and our bedrooms are from Market Import in Armadale.
Walls are either Dulux ‘white on white’ or White Swan quarter strength
Furniture and frames are painted in Porters Paints colours, my favourites being la Vie en Rose, Napoleon, Highland Heather, Apple Crunch
Original Baltic pine boards in all rooms except the kitchen – it has a floating floor that I despised so I paint it a new colour every few months.
Annebelle’s and my bedrooms have plain white linen drops from IKEA
Alexandra’s curtains were made by me years ago
Loungeroom – the big canvas of girls hanging over couch, oil and stitching on canvas
‘Alice and Shelley’ by Edwina Lye and Brian Simmons from Blank Space Gallery, Surry Hills, NSW
Dining room – the yellow girl with bosom shot, oil on wallpaper on canvas
‘She Went That Way’ by Hannah Murray from Gilligan Grant Gallery, Collingwood. Vic
Kitchen – LOVE print by Jennifer Ramos at www.madebygirl.blogspot.com
Lounge room on mantelpiece - photos in white frames Annebelle and Alex on carousel at Eiffel Tower and Versailles in 2006, taken by me!
Dining Room – the frame on mantle, Crayon on paper
‘Twists and Turn’ by Maxine Liau from Arthouse Gallery, Rushcutters bay, NSW
Bedroom - Above bed photo of the flowers in the vase by Max Doyle given to me as a ‘leaving Sydney’ gift.
Images: Heather Nette King
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