Boho Maximalism in Western Australia

updated Oct 31, 2019
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Dunsborough, Australia
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Name: Rebecca Williams, owner of Naughty Shorts and stylist at Sugarshack Styling Co.
Location: Dunsborough, Western Australia
Size: 80 square metres (860 square feet)
Years lived in: 3 years; Rented

When I first ‘met’ Bec on Instagram, I instantly loved her style. When I actually met her, and saw her house in the flesh, well, I was in love. From the moment you drive up to it, the house’s kitschy, vintage mix of both a ’50s and ’70s surf vibe hits you straight away. The house is painted blush pink, there’s an olive green 1972 Volkswagen in the driveway, and a stack of surfboards leans by the front door. I just knew it was going to get even better once I went inside…

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)
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Front of the Sugar Shack (Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Bec owns Naughty Shorts, which sells the mainly folk-inspired dresses she makes by hand from the giant collection of vintage sheets and fabric she has been collecting over the years. She also works as a Stylist, renting out her shack for photo shoots for other creative businesses from all over Australia. And it’s not hard to see why so many people want to use this house as a visual backdrop in their campaigns.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Bec’s home is a sensory feast. There’s color and texture and patterns and layers, and it all just…works. When I first walk in, I’m immediately blown away that such a small home can be so full of “things” but still feel so open, bright, and cheery.

The textured concrete floors span the entire space, giving Bec the perfect base from which to work from. She has such a knack for mixing all her vintage finds — Bec is an avid thrifter — with her more modern pieces. There’s vintage wallpaper on the walls in the kitchen (that she bought on eBay and hung herself) and a strikingly gorgeous, but way more modern, giant agave wallpaper hung on the living room wall. There’s macrame hanging in the corner and art lined up on shelves. It is a true vintage boho shack situated perfectly, overlooking one of the best surf coasts in Australia.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I think I have a sort of retro, gypsy, kitsch, flea market/junkyard style with a definite surf shack vibe. I fall in love with different styles everyday, and as a stylist I like to flex my creative muscles and try out different possibilities in my home. Day to day, I change things around in the shack and I like to document my progress on Instagram. I love to clash.

Inspiration: I take inspiration from the materials that I work with. Amazing vintage fabric has always been my first love. I get off on mixing and matching prints and I love that a space can be completely transformed with just a few new cushion covers and blankets.

I am inspired by the pieces of furniture that I bring home from the secondhand shop or the side of the road. Just one new piece found can trigger an entire reinvention of my home.

Favorite Element: Structurally, I love the polished concrete floors and the large old-fashioned windows. My favorite additions are the vintage wallpaper in the kitchen and dining and the agave wallpaper that was hung in the living room by 8 foot walls. What I love most is that it is easily removable without damaging the walls: perfect for renters.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping the house in order when you have a lot of stuff AND a creative business that is run from a home AND a creative five-year-old is a constant challenge. I have learned to let go of my desire to always have a perfectly-kept house. When I am busy making and creating for my business, I just have to go with the flow. That creative energy and desire to make comes and goes, so when it’s on, it’s on, and everything else takes a backseat for a little while. I am embracing the chaos.

What Friends Say: People love visiting my home. They always tell me that they feel happy and welcome and even when the house is a bit chaotic. I think they enjoy the visual feast of color and interesting objects. There is a whole lot of positive energy inside this little shack.

Biggest Embarrassment: If I was not renting, there are a couple of little changes that I would make. I would replace the large windows in the living room with French doors leading out to the deck. Maybe I would spruce up the bathroom, but honestly I love it all. The makeshift bathroom without a tub and the peeling paint and the fact that there is always sand in the bottom of the shower… It’s not glamorous but it speaks of happy summer days spent at the beach.

Proudest DIY: I hung the vintage wallpaper in the kitchen. It took me one full day to hang, a bit of trial and error, and a whole lot of acrobatics and balancing on the kitchen sink.

Biggest Indulgence: My sweet ride: a 1972 Volkswagen Squareback that gets me around town and looks so pretty sitting in the driveway.

Best Advice:

  • If it feels good, do it.
  • Take time to re-imagine the things you already have before buying new stuff.
  • New stuff doesn’t always have to be “new stuff” it can be “old stuff”.

Dream Sources: I would DIE to own the Dreamer couch by Pop & Scott with the gold velvet cover and then collect the soon-to-be released linen covers also. I’d then have to think about having my own covers made up in retro barkcloth… Also:

  • Everything by Mark Tuckey, but especially his MEGA DRUM coffee table and little side tables
  • The Electra table lamp in Great Shalimah by Retro Print Revival
  • A Smeg FAB28 fridge — my style and tastes have changed so much over the years but there has been one constant on my wishlist and that has always been a Smeg fridge.


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Lounge room walls: Taubmans Blackboard Paint
  • All other walls: British Paints Vivid White
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Jute rug: Beach
  • Wire storage units: Freedom
  • Storage baskets: Africa, Mauritius, and Indonesia
  • Heat lamps: vintage
  • Timber radio box: vintage
  • Tins and collectibles: vintage
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


  • Table: Ikea
  • Vintage chairs: bought at auction
  • Hospital privacy screen: vintage
  • Mid-century church pew: Gumtree
  • Lace and net curtains: thrifted
  • Macrame hangers: homemade and thrifted
  • Shell curtain: vintage
  • Timber ladder: vintage
  • Vintage Kantha rug: Sugarshack Market
(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)


(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

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Thanks, Rebecca!