A Happy, Colorful Home in Australia
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Name: Jen Clark and Kirstie Innes-Will, George and Bob the dogs, and Ruby the cat
Location: Preston; Victoria, Australia
Size: 200 square meters (2,153 square feet)
Years lived in: 2.5 years; Rented
When I first entered the home of graphic designer Jen and her partner, Kirstie, a senior editor at Black Inc. Books, I was greeted by their two dogs: the photogenic and well-behaved greyhound, George, and a small, white terrier called Bob. Bob played outside in the small courtyard garden with Ruby the cat, whilst George lounged inside, happily having his photograph taken. Jen and Kirstie have created an inviting, vibrant home with their excellent use of color, design, artwork, and decor items—no surprise, given their occupations and Jen’s newly-launched interior design business, Jen Clark Spaces.
I “met” Jen via her her Instagram and first saw her recent refurbishment of her graphic design studio space. I guessed—correctly—that Jen and Kirstie’s home would be similar in style: simple, clean, bright, and graphic, but also a reflection of their personalities and lifestyles. With two bedrooms—one is used as a home office—and an open plan living/dining/kitchen area, the layout and the color, artwork, and furniture they chose make the home feel especially spacious and inviting. The couple support many local Australian artists and designers, and their home is graced by prints by Inaluxe, bedding from Arro Home, plant stands by Wirely, and pennants by Cottage Industry and Pony Rider. The home is cheerful and warm—but I would seriously fight George for that “snuggle” chair every night!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Our house fuses a number of styles including industrial, retro, Scandinavian, and modern with bold pops of color via graphic elements, artwork, and housewares.
Inspiration: 1950s advertising, Charles and Ray Eames, Blanca Gomez, Orly Kiely, Polish poster designer Sebastian Kubica, Emily McDowell, Nick Girling of Melbourne’s Printspace, artist Belinda Marshall, Andrew Bannecker, Stephen Ormandy, Rosalie Gascoigne, Ellie Malin, Lisa Congdon, Brent Couchman, Paul Rand, Malene Helbak, Sanna Annukka, the legendary Alexander Girard, warm, industrial architecture, reclaimed furniture, liberal use of color… the list could go on and on!
Favorite Element: Definitely the new colored wall in our dining area. Amazing how painting just one wall in a larger space can give it such a lift.
Biggest Challenge: Wonky floors and wall cracks. Our house was built in 1944 and is slowly sinking so this can often make furniture look lopsided.
What Friends Say: Very colorful, warm, a “visual feast,” and an amazing book and art collection!
Biggest Embarrassment: The laundry. No matter what we do the space always seems cramped!
Proudest DIY: Our self-made coffee table with hairpin legs.
Biggest Indulgence: Our hand-woven, yellow woolen living room rug.
Best Advice: It’s always better to go for simple, classic, timeless pieces of furniture and then build on these with personalized, intricate, and intriguing smaller objects and décor.
Dream Sources: Living Edge/Herman Miller, Muuto, Mark Tuckey, Angelucci 20th Century, Marimekko, Meizai , House Industries, and about a hundred different artists whose work we love but can’t yet afford.
PAINT & COLORS
- Dining room accent wall (above): Dulux Harpoon
- Bedroom accent wall: British Paints Solid Stone
- Study accent wall: British Paints Solid Stone
- Sofa with chocolate grey Warwick fabric: Molmic
- Parker armchair: found on Gumtree for free as a pair (other is in bedroom) and reupholstered in Warwick Stone
- Cube bookcases: IKEA 2 x 4 Expedit
- Yellow wool rug: Swan Street Sales
- Victorian ash coffee table with hairpin legs: handmade by us!
- Plush Snuggle chair: bought secondhand from friend
- Red plant stand: Wirely
- Plant pot: from Bunnings spray painted yellow
- Vintage street sign: Scout It Out Vintage
- Art print: by Charlotte Swiden from Modern Times
- Owl prints: Inaluxe
- Timber buffet: Suite Deals
- Vintage lock: Smith Street Bazaar
- Dining chairs: original Thonet Bentwoods from eBay repaired and spray painted black
- Dining table: IKEA
- Orange Penguin News print: Printspace
- Red graphic poster: Polish designer Sebastian Kubica
- Photos mounted on timber blocks: OrphFund at Rose Street Artist’s Market
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