It’s Another Amazing Australian Tour You’re Going To Want to Save Every Image From

published Sep 12, 2019

It’s Another Amazing Australian Tour You’re Going To Want to Save Every Image From

published Sep 12, 2019
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Name: Chelsea Ellis and family
Location: Northcote, Melbourne, Australia
Size: 3660 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years

Chelsea and her family first moved into their inner-Melbourne home six years ago, first as renter. Three years in—while pregnant with their second child—Chelsea and her partner approached the landlord about buying the home. After a few text message negotiations (yes, you read that correctly) they became the owners of this house in Melbourne.

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Since buying the home three years ago, Chelsea has been able to make some changes to the interior design of the space. With a background in graphic and interior design—she has her own business called Hallo Cameo—she has transformed their home to suit their style. And this house is a beautiful showcase of all the things she values as a designer: color and craftsmanship.

Chelsea with her faithful assistant Benji.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My background in graphic and interior design has influenced my passion for all things that make a house a home, from the wall colors to the stepping stones outside. I consider my style to be colorful and joyful. I try not to incorporate items in my home based on trends, as every piece evokes some response in me, whether it is playful, bold, textural, or simple, there is something about it that gets me excited. Natural materials are really important to me, so they tend to be a constant theme in my style and throughout my home and extend beyond the walls of my home and out into the garden.

Inspiration: Inspiration can come in many forms for me. I’m inspired by artists who have the most amazing eye for color combinations and that fills me with ideas for my home and my work. Nature is a big inspiration for me. When life starts getting busy and I’m working at the computer more than usual, I make sure that I can get in the garden and get amongst my plants and it fills me with peace and happiness. 

Favorite Element: Our house has a great layout with bedrooms at the front and open plan kitchen and living at the back. It’s the back where we get so much joy from the natural light pouring through all the many windows and doors. This makes for very happy plants and a very happy plant mumma! The bi-fold doors open out to the deck outside and we have transformed the backyard to incorporate play, dining, and every opportunity to get some respite in the nature outside. A small backyard doesn’t mean it has a small green footprint. 

Biggest Challenge:  The only challenges we have faced–and to be honest they have been the best fun for me—was to transform the home from being renovated by the previous owners to accommodate two people, and we have grown to four. For example the kitchen island was quite small and didn’t allow for seating. So I designed a solution for this and now we have a gorgeous unique green concrete kitchen island with more space and seating for the family. It has worked out so well that the dining table is getting some long service leave. It gave me the chance to bring in some warmth with the wood and personality with the color and tiles behind the island.  

What Friends Say: “How do you keep your plants alive?” is a common question! When friends come to visit it’s always lovely to hear how happy and colorful the house feels to them. It is filled with life and love and that is reflected in how people feel when they come over.

Biggest Embarrassment: Is it embarrassing to say that we purchased our house via text message with our landlord??! Well we did! After renting our house for three years, we were ready for baby number two to arrive and thought we might as well take the chance and see if our landlord would sell to us. Text message negotiation sure beats dragging kids and dogs along to open for inspections and auctions! That is how we bought our house. Our landlord turned up on our doorstep with a giant Nutella jar that read “CONGRATS” and that is the end of the story.

Proudest DIY: Painting, painting, and more painting! I have sanded and painted most of the house myself. I have painted bedrooms and fences pregnant with both my girls as nothing will stop me from making improvements around the home! I love DIY because I want to know how it all gets put together and the process behind certain skills as it is a great advantage when you work in the interior design industry. I have painted, tiled, put every screw in our deck, used a fence pole digger to plant trees, and with the help of my very supportive husband we do almost anything! 

Biggest Indulgence: The bath! When we renovated the bathroom we laid in many bathtubs [to try them out] but the bathtub we loved was of course the most expensive. This seems to happen to me a lot! So we budgeted it into our renovation and it was such a good decision as it’s bathroom sculpture at its finest. Beautiful to look at, smooth to the touch, and divine to soak in.

Best Advice: Really take the time to get the balance of functionality and personality in your home. You can achieve both if you take the time to look at your ideas and find the right people to help achieve the finish product you desire. Don’t get too caught up on how magazines and social media represent homes; curate objects and art that gives meaning to you, not what might look great in a magazine or the latest trend. 

Dream Sources: I have some pretty special suppliers that I work with and some I wish I could just fill my house top to bottom with. Pretty much all the artists from Greenhouse Interiors are amazing color magicians and I already have quite a few hanging on my walls. I have wish lists that include pieces from Jardan, Designer Rugs, Studio Ciao, and Rachel Castle. 

Thanks Chelsea!

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