This Australia Home Features Washi Tape Used in Two Simple But Striking Ways

published May 22, 2019

This Australia Home Features Washi Tape Used in Two Simple But Striking Ways

published May 22, 2019
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Name: Katie Riddell, her husband Hamish, 9-year-old daughter Sophie, and Matilda their rescue dog.
Location: South Eastern suburb of Melbourne, Australia
Years lived in: 16 years

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Katie Riddell is a former lawyer-turned-interior decorator and lives in a three-bedroom, late 1960s renovated brick veneer home with her husband Hamish and daughter Sophie. Their home is filled with treasured items collected on travels, or created by their daughter or Katie.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I describe my home style as collected, comfortable and curated. I want my home to reflect my family, our experiences and not be a “cookie-cutter” home. So we have framed pictures of Sophie’s drawings on the walls, treasures brought back from trips, and antiques and objects passed down through the family. I see our home as our sanctuary and I’ve learned that our surroundings can really have an impact on those who live there. I use this principle when approaching interior decorating projects with my clients. I believe that a home should have a heart and tell a story of who lives there and not just blindly follow trends.

Inspiration: Immediately it’s my family and our experiences that are a source of inspiration. It sounds so cliche, but travel, especially overseas destinations, is another source. Hotel foyers, shop windows, the floors of old churches, galleries (including the paint colour used on the walls), and landscapes are all things I’m drawn to.

Favorite Element: The large windows in the family and dining area that get the lovely north sun. It’s also the room that we spend the most time in. And I also love how we use all the rooms of the house. Nothing is off limits, except when Matilda wants to jump on our bed!

Biggest Challenge: Probably renovating 10 years ago. Hamish and I lived through the renovation, moving from one room to the next. The now lounge room was our makeshift bedroom for a while and our wardrobe was the floor. Fortunately, it was before we had Sophie and we both worked full time in corporate jobs so we weren’t there during the day. We would return home late in the day to see the progress (and the piles of dust), which was pretty exciting. The challenge in terms of decorating has changed over the years. Having a child meant looking for solutions for storing toys, child friendly furniture, and dealing with mess.

What Friends Say: Our friends say our home is cosy and welcoming. We want our family and friends to feel welcome and comfortable and I think our home reflects that. So much so, that often Sophie’s friends want to stay longer!

Proudest DIY: Painting Sophie’s bedroom. Recently Sophie wanted her room to look a bit more grown up, so we made some changes, one of which was to paint the walls pink. She was really keen to help; from choosing the paint colour to painting the walls. I thought the novelty would wear off, but she helped me all the way! She loves the wall colour and now thinks her bedroom reflects her age. She is so proud of her achievement that she has been making her bed each day (so far).

Biggest Indulgence: Our glass vase from Murano, Italy. It sits proudly on the mantel in our lounge room. We purchased it back in 2009 when Hamish and I were in Venice. The beautiful old hotel where we were staying offered “free” private trips to Murano in the vintage speed boats with the wood paneling (just like those out of a James Bond movie). So, wanting to experience a “James Bond” moment, we eagerly took up the offer. Our handsome Italian driver took us through the romantic canals and across the open water to Murano. There we were escorted to the back door of a glass factory. After a glass blowing exhibit, a gift of a small glass horse, an espresso, and the swipe of a credit card, we were the proud owners of a very heavy and expensive yet exquisite blue and pink hand-blown glass vase. Suffice to say, we took the public water bus back to our hotel, while our new purchase was prepared to be shipped to Australia. But we love it and it brings back great memories.

Best Advice: For life; you can’t go wrong with love and laughter. For decorating; your home should reflect you, your family, and your experiences. Let the souvenirs from your life take centre stage, whether it be a finger painting made by your child, an expensive glass vase from a fantastic holiday, or a little object you picked up in an opshop that caught your eye. It’s important that your home shows your style story and not be a “cookie cutter” of other homes or blindly follow trends.

Dream Sources: Travel, Quintessence You Tube Channel, Elle Décor magazine (US), Architectural Digest, trade shows, interior decorating hardcover books.



  • Handmade dining table by Blueprint
  • White wire sculpture on table from Fenton and Fenton
  • Sticks from the garden
  • Glass vase on table from H&M home
  • Large artwork by Leene Aavik
  • Dog clay head made by Sophie
  • Stone statue from Vietman
  • Concrete pavers used as bookends from Bunnings
  • Pasta necklace made by Sophie
  • Salt and pepper shakers by David Shrigley from Sketch, London
  • Wooden coasters from a trip to Tasmania
  • Wall in Dulux colour Antique White USA
  • Chalk board in Porters Paint
  • Benchtop is Caesar Stone ‘Nougat’
  • Cupboards are Laminex ‘Paper Bark’
  • stools from IKEA
  • Glass splashback
  • Glass jars from IKEA
  • Nespresso coffee machine


  • Spotty jar found in a country opshop
  • Terrarium made by Katie
  • IKEA side table covered in black washi tape
  • Large art work in background by Leene Aavik
  • Throw from Designers Choice
  • Small artwork to the right, ‘Yellow Tree’ by Suzanne Martin from Scotland
  • Leather sofa from Freedom
  • Wall in Dulux colour Antique White USA with black washi tape applied
  • Art work by Sophie
  • Elephants were gifts
  • Dinosaur from Typo
  • Dog from Venice
  • 3 wooden people were made by a neighbour and given to Katie when she was a child
  • Green wire square from Fenton and Fenton
  • House made by Sophie
  • Cat from Fiji
  • Black and white plate from H&M home
  • Black and white hexagon box from West Elm
  • Rug from West Elm
  • Spotty throw from La Forma
  • Artwork by Katie and Sophie
  • Cushions from IKEA, H&M home and Orson and Blake


  • White square tables from Globewest
  • Side stool from IKEA
  • Custom made brown seat cushions in Warwick outdoor fabric


  • Coffee table from Globewest
  • Pink and blue glass vase on right of mantle from Murano, Italy
  • Artwork on mantel by Sophie
  • Large convex mirror was one of the first purchases for the home
  • Small mirrors from Temple and Webster
  • Sofa by Moran
  • Art on wall showing scenes of Scotland by Jean Irwin (left) and William Armour (right)
  • Collection of interior and art books
  • Spotty vase from London Design Fair
  • Light blue vase by Alan and Lyn Newton from a trip to Scotland
  • Gold tray from Florence
  • Collection of interior and art books. Spotty vase from London Design Fair
  • Light blue vase by Alan and Lyn Newton from a trip to Scotland
  • Gold tray from Florence
  • Table inherited from Katie’s grandmother
  • Coral collected from holidays at the beach
  • Wooden cat from Fiji
  • The vase is a tennis trophy from a country tournament
  • Silk curtains in Warwick fabric


  • Table from Coco Republic
  • Art on the wall by Bruce Riddell
  • Art on the table by Sophie
  • Fabric frog from Scotland
  • Pink wire cube from Fenton and Fenton
  • Squirrel statue from Johnathan Adler
  • Baskets from Laura Ashley


  • Art above bed showing a mountain scene found in a country opshop
  • Light from IKEA
  • cushions from Canvas and Sasson (right and front) and Bed Bath and Table
  • Rabbit from Cambodia Knits
  • Wall in Dulux colour Pianissimo Half
  • Book case was in Katie’s bedroom when she was a child. Since painted in Dulux colour Antique White USA
  • Table from Aero Designs
  • LEGO creations
  • Pot from IKEA
  • Fox planter from Artisan Home
  • Side table from Canvas and Sasson
  • Pink ‘S’ on wall made by Sophie


  • Reproduction prints of paintings by John Brack
  • Wall in Dulux colour Antique White USA
  • Side table inherited from Katie’s grandmother
  • Lamp from Laura Ashley
  • Tray from Pottery Barn
  • Art above bed by Bruce Riddell
  • Bedhead in Warwick fabric Plush Platinum
  • Coloured front cushion from Canvas and Sasson
  • Geometric rectangular cushions from Canvas and Sasson
  • Tassel from Florence markets


  • Office chair from Aero Designs
  • Floor mat from Temple and Webster
  • Larger art work of landscapes from Vietnam
  • Dog sharpener from Typo
  • Blue spotted pot from West Elm
  • Number tiles from Florence
  • Statue of Liberty souvenir
  • Pebbles collected from beaches
  • The metal girl and dog was a gift from Hamish
  • Dog and cat tiles from Venice

Thanks, Katie and family!

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