Sophie’s Modern Vintage Mix in Western Australia

published Nov 23, 2015
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Name: Luke and Sophie Doyle and their dog, Chester
Location: Melville, Western Australia
Size: 450 square meters (4,843 square feet)
Years lived in: 3 years; Owned

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Sophie is a marketing adviser for an agricultural company by day, but it is her role as Creative Director for her business, Design Horde, that is her true passion. She loves nothing more than sourcing one-off home wares and pieces of furniture and from the ’60s and ’70s for her clients in Western Australia—although she finds it hard not to use all those beautiful pieces in her own home! Sophie’s house is a gorgeous collection of Mid-century and contemporary furniture and accessories with the perfect dash of quirk thrown into the mix.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Sophie and her husband, Luke, bought the house in 2012 when it was just a little two x one. It was in such bad condition their real estate agent didn’t even want to show it to them! Sophie and Luke could see past the tiny little house, though, and before long embarked on a major renovation that involved gutting the original home and adding on two more bedrooms, an en suite, a living room, and an alfresco area. The result is a beautiful, light, and airy home with huge ceilings and a ton of storage which maintains that homey feel that many new builds sometimes lack.

Sophie loves to give new life to old, tired pieces she finds. The brass dining chairs in the dining room had beautiful bones, so their cushions were reupholstered in a cost-effective fabric from IKEA. Speakers that no longer work are now used as bedside tables in the bedroom, and there was even room for repurposing in the bathroom! Sophie had the very modern built-in cabinetry brought back to the style of the home by replacing the builder-grade handles with unique Art Deco ones she pulled off an old dresser she found at the thrift store.

Repurposing and using vintage pieces alongside crisp, clean white walls and fixtures gives this home a real depth and personality that sets it apart from other newly-renovated homes. From the moment you walk through the door, you can see these homeowners know what they’re doing, and you’ll leave wondering what you can repurpose in your own home.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: A mix of Mid-century modern and industrial. In a nutshell, anything that is hard to find, one-off, or a throwback from the ’60s, ’70s, or ’80s.

Inspiration: Architect Richard Neutra—the Kaufmann Desert House in Palm Springs is my absolute dream home.

Favorite Element: Our Stovax fireplace—it is in the center of the house so creates a real focal point in the winter.

Biggest Challenge: Managing the design changes during our renovation—mostly caused by me finding a new or better idea to incorporate into the design.

What Friends Say: “Where did you get that from!?”

Biggest Embarrassment: Our house was built for giants. My husband Luke is 6’7″ and I am 6′, so everything has been made slightly taller: the door frames, the four-meter ceiling in the lounge, the kitchen benches, the dining table, the couch, the overhead cupboards, and even the showerheads are higher. The ironic thing is many of our closest friends are a lot shorter than we are and they have to use a stool to reach the high shelves in our kitchen!

Proudest DIY: My brass swivel dining room chairs. They had been sitting at a vintage store for months collecting dust until my husband Luke and I spotted them. I cleaned them up a little and reupholstered the original cushions. I get so many inquiries to source something similar, I could have sold them 100 times over!

Biggest Indulgence: The gold-plated Astra Walker kitchen mixer. I fell in love as soon as I saw it and I knew it had to be in my kitchen.

Best Advice: Choose a really good builder—our builder Marko from Buildmark was incredible throughout the entire process, kept us involved in all of the decisions, and was very patient with all of my changes! It was such a stress-free build we wouldn’t use anyone else!

Dream Sources: Fleux in the Le Marais in Paris… I could spend all day in there!


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Walls: Porter’s Paints Half Lead
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Front door: sourced from S & L Salvage in O’Connor, sanded, repainted in custom neon coral color
  • Pot stand: Kmart
  • Concrete planter: vintage
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Louis bed: French Vanilla Applecross
  • White stag head: Gumtree
  • 1960s speakers used as bedside tables: local swap meet
  • Bedside lights: ceiling pendants from Urban Outfitters fitted with long Edison globes
  • Cushions on bed: swap meet
  • Bed cover: Spotlight
  • Art Deco dresser: the local tip shop!
  • Brass lamp base: op shop
  • Hand-painted lamp shade: local swap meet
  • Art Deco peach-colored pressed glass jewelry set: belonged to Sophie’s grandmother
  • Vintage recliner: Gumtree, repaired and reupholstered by Sophie
  • Cushions on chair: H&M
  • Springbok hide: vintage
  • Macramé hanging: local swap meet
  • Artwork: original Razzia advertisement bought from The Ross Art Group in NYC
  • 18th century artwork: vintage sale
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Cabinetry: custom
  • Handles: taken from an Art Deco dressing table
  • Faucet: matte black Astra Walker Icon series
  • Stool: EMPIRE homewares
  • Vertical garden: made using IKEA kitchen rails and utensil holders
  • Art Deco clock: Polka Dot vintage market in Claremont
  • Artwork: original 1980s Razzia French perfume advert from The Ross Art Group in NYC
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Plant: monstera
  • Built-in desk: DIY by Sophie, Luke, and Luke’s father
  • Stool: vintage Breuer
  • Lockers: IKEA
  • Lamp: local swap meet
  • Dahlia artwork: local swap meet
  • Gold bird wall hanging: vintage market in New York

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Thanks, Sophie!