A Jewelry Designer’s Colorful Modern Australian Home

updated Jul 29, 2019

A Jewelry Designer’s Colorful Modern Australian Home

updated Jul 29, 2019
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Home Type
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Karen Carr, husband Jeremy, sons Zachary and Luke and Lola the mini labradoodle.
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Size: 240 square metres
Years lived in: Own

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Karen and Jeremy had been living in a beautiful old “timber and tin” Queenslander home with their family prior to this house. They were quite in love with the space, but after taking a hard look at just how much time it was taking to maintain the home — and how much renovating was still needed — they made the tough decision to move to a nearby suburb to minimize their debt. They were able to build a modern, low-maintenance home that fits their family’s lifestyle much better.

Karen Carr — once a lawyer and now a jewelry designer under the name Enka Studio — enjoys a balanced life at home. Living in a modern-built home (and working from home), this mother of two boys indulges in the small things and devotes herself to living every moment…and crafting beautiful and bold colored jewelry from her home studio.

Practicing what she preaches, Karen has filled her family home with treasures from eBay and abroad. On the walls, you can find work by various local and Australian artists, and on the sofa the textiles are hand made.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern Australian. Our home has a modern aesthetic, with a nod to Jeremy’s homeland of South Africa, combined with our love for mid-century furniture and laid-back Australian living. We love mixing styles and are constantly trying to achieve that delicate balance between a creative home and a minimalist home; we do love both aesthetics.

Inspiration: Australian beach and bush, modern craft movement, South African style (Jeremy is South African born), mid-century style.

Favorite Element: Connection to the outdoors, living on one level.

Biggest Challenge: Limited storage. Minimising clutter with two young boys is challenging.

What Friends Say: Our home is warm and welcoming and it’s obvious that we both enjoy styling our home and expressing ourselves and our creativity in our home.

Biggest Embarrassment: We can never seem to get the furniture layout of the open plan living room right; there are so many door openings and it’s not a very large space. We are constantly moving the lounges around trying to get it “right” but there is likely no perfect arrangement. Friends drop by and say “oh, another new chair.” We have a thing for chairs; they are constantly arriving and leaving our home and moving from room to room. Kind of embarrassing, but we have learned to go with it, that’s just “us” and the way we are!

Proudest DIY: The outdoor lounge that Jeremy made himself, his first ever carpentry project. And the garden, we designed and planted most of it ourselves and it has a lovely Queensland coastal vibe.

Biggest Indulgence: Having a creative space for Karen’s home studio for her jewellery design business. The space is located at the front door for customers so that it’s the perfect shop front and is also a lovely light-filled space to work from. Karen is very grateful to able to work from home in her own creative haven while managing family life.

Best Advice: A home is never “finished.” Well, not for people like us anyway, who do love playing around with it. Like people, a home is ever changing and that’s okay.

Dream Sources: Jardan Furniture, Grate Dane Furniture, Living Edge, Cult Design


Internal walls – Bristol Angel White
Pool House – Dulux White Duck

Painted hall stand – DIY – Porters Paints French Blue
Replica Eames ‘Hang it All’ – Matt Blatt
Oil Painting of old Queenslander Home – by Brisbane Artist Dylan Jones
Tan Leather Market Bag – handmade in Ehtiopia by Abizema
Bowie Silk Art Scarf – Letitia Green
Panama Hat – Original purchased from Noosa

Bowie Silk Art Scarf – Designed and made in Australia by Letitia Green
Typo Print ‘The Sea is Free’ – By Brisbane Artist ‘Hello Mala’
Tasmanian Oak Desk – Oz Designs
Telephone Wire Bowl – collected on our travels in South Africa
Rope Jewellery – designed and handmade by Enka Studio

Kitchen cabinetry – Metricon Homes
Tasmanian Oak Timber Bench Seat – Oz Designs
Original paintings – by Australian artist Anh N
Lino print – by Gold Coast Artist Fiona Watson ‘The Sentimentalist’
Neckpiece worn by Karen – Ebele Neckpiece – designed and handmade in Brisbane by Enka Studio

Screen printed floral cushion – Fabric printed by Skinny Laminx , Capetown South Africa; sewn by Banbury Road Designs , Brisbane.
Woven knit cushion – Country Road
Velvet Floor Cushion – Designed in Melbourne by Castle and Things
Floor Lamp – Beacon Lighting
Tasmanian Oak Sideboard – Oz Designs
West German Vase – one of our first purchases together from Rozelle Markets, Sydney
Pop Art Print – Roy Lichenstein via All Posters
Timber Armchair – a restored roadside find
Telephone Wire Bowls – collected on our travels in South Africa
Dutch Colonial Men – collected on our travels in South Africa

Day bed – Bunnings Warehouse www.bunnings.com.au
Coffee Table – Samsara Furniture www.samsarafurniture.com.au
Floor Tiles – Parisian Bluestone
Driftwood – collected on family holidays to Yamba, Northern New South Wales
Osborne’s Home Delivery Box – family heirloom
Hanging Chair – handmade in South America – Hamanica

Quilt Cover – Country Road
Bed and bedside tables – Design Mobel, New Zealand
Pillowcases – Country Road and Printer by Printink Studio
Self Portrait – Zachary Carr aged 6 years
Oil Painting of a Mexican Lady – purchased from Paddington Antique Centre many years ago
Feathered Neckpiece – Latisha Neckpiece by Enka Studio
Lola – the family’s mini labradoodle
Armchair – Replica Spade Chair in Walnut – Click On Furniture

Timber lounge – Victorian Ash – designed and handmade by Jeremy.
Lounge Seat Cushions – IKEA
African Mudcloth – collected on our travels in South Africa
Woven Door Mat – recycled denim hand woven in South Africa

Bed Linen – Aura Home by Tracey Ellis
Tin Tin Poster Print – All Posters
Mid-Century Drawers – European Oak, a vintage find on Ebay
Antique Glass Bottle with ship – family heirloom
Paper Mache Bowl – collected on our travels in South Africa
Beaded Lion – collected on our travels in South Africa

A special shout out goes to Rachael Honner for her superior styling skills on this shoot.

Thanks, Karen!

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