A Colorful Maximalist Home in Australia
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Name: Kit Alida Bettison with husband and kids
Location: Bangalow, Australia
Size: 2368 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 3 years
Inspired by expansive, light-filled industrial-style New York lofts and the free-wheeling bohemian vibes of the 1970s, this house in Australia is a maximalist’s dream. It’s the home of Kit Alida Bettison and her husband, who have lived in the home for three years, after building it four years ago.
The size of the home — both square foot-wise and tall-ceiling wise — could be too much in anyone else’s design hands, but the talented Kit was able to fill it with soothing colors, a dizzying (and hilarious) array of accessories and furniture, as well as an impressive 23-foot long dining table. But while the large scale is noticeable, the home feels cozy, inviting and warm — something Kit mentioned as a challenge but which I think she has handily tackled. Kit describes how they built this home:
“We were living right in the middle of Byron Bay and it was getting too busy for us, so we decided we wanted to move to a more rural area. We started clearing the land and doing earth works in 2011 to make way for a slab that our large Ranbuild shed was going to be built on. For budget reasons we went with a big old farm shed.
I wanted it to be unassuming from the outside and as soon as you entered I wanted it to have the wow factor! As it is just a humble rectangle shed I felt the best way to go about it was to have the whole ‘New York loft’ vibe going on, so I wanted to focus on the key elements of that. This included a large open plan living area with high ceilings and some industrial features, such as a polished concrete slab. After we had achieved this we then set out to put our twist on it and make it feel more homely.
We wanted the sleeping quarters and bathrooms to be private but not compromise the open plan living space so we put the bedrooms, laundry and bathrooms down the left side of the house. It took a year as my father and husband built it themselves, with the help of some friends.
We moved into our house three weeks before my first son was in born in 2013, so a few things got put on hold…and we have been pottering away on it and slowly adding things to it since then. We have recently painted our kitchen pink, finished a fresh Scandi style office for my other business (an online vintage boutique called Alida Buffalo) updated a few key furniture pieces such as a petrol blue velvet couch, and added a kitchen nook complete with a Moroccan tile feature wall and flotation shelves (has not been photographed yet). We just love the space.”
Kit’s one half of the mother/daughter design duo behind Alida & Miller Interior Design, originally founded by her mother Margaret Scholley, and that Kit joined in 2013.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Colourful industrial eclectic
Inspiration: A combination of the ’70s and a large light-filled New York loft
Favorite Element: The scale of the house, including the 23-feet long dining table
Biggest Challenge: Trying to make a massive shed, one that is a very unexpected type of space, feel family friendly and also warm and cosy
What Friends Say: “Oh My God” (we always forget how over-the-top it is until people walk in the front door)
Biggest Embarrassment: We built our kitchen out of old sideboards/ buffets fashioned together so it’s very DIY and not very conventional. We built our kitchen when I was heavily pregnant and completely forgot to put drawers in our entire kitchen, so to this day all of our cutlery and utensils sit on our bench top in metal jugs; I guess it goes well with the whole industrial thing so I’ll just go along with that and pretend it was intentional.
Proudest DIY: The whole house
Biggest Indulgence: My butler’s sink and our velvet couch
Best Advice: Reuse and repurpose as much as possible so then it’s uniquely your own and won’t date as easily
Dream Sources: Marr kett, Bisque.
Explore This Style:
PAINT & COLORS
Antique Indian Doors – Design Works Byron Bay
Matt Blatt Couch (Velvet Petrol)
Urban Outfitters Cushions
Liberty Trading Co. Cushions
Original 1950’s oversized UFO style pendant light
Alien Lamp from LA thrift store (1960’s)
Sign – Salvage Shed (from Lismore chinese restaurant)
7m long recycled 200 year old Indian hardwood timber
Pendant Lights – Bisque
Husband re-purposed 2 Indian sideboard buffets from Bisque
Handmade Italian tiles from Byron Bay Tiles
Butlers Sink from Eagles Plumbing Lismore
Bedhead – Family Love Tree
Pendant Lights – Bisque
Linen – Kip & Co
Paint – Colour: Trendy by British Paints
Map – Liberty Trading Co.
Artwork – Ahoy Trader
Bath – Eagles Plumbing Lismore
Mirror – Bisque
Tiles – Byron Bay Tiles
His & Her Iron Sinks – Salvage Shed
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