This Plant-Filled, Colorful Australian Home Is the Very Definition of Bohemian Maximalist
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Lee Alford and partner Matt McKinnon
Traralgon — Victoria, Australia
856 square feet
Owned 2 years
Welcome to “The World at Home: 31 Real House Tours Around the Globe.” Check out where else we’ve visited this month here.
From the outside, Lee and Matt’s home presents a modern but simple gray residential front on a country suburban street. But lurking behind the neutral facade is a bohemian wonderland! Situated in the country town of Traralgon—located in the east of the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region, approximately a two-hour drive from Melbourne—the entire home is a testament to the transformative powers of vintage finds and fun decor. Lee is the one in charge of all things interior design related, and she’s worked diligently over the past two years—filling the small space with rugs, plants, artwork, and secondhand treasure—to turn their home into the maximalist boho retreat it is today.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Colorful, eclectic, vintage maximalism.
Inspiration: The ’60s, ’70s, and my grandparents’ homes. Their homes were very different from each other, but both had amazing mid-century furniture and decor and a feeling of love. My maternal grandparents had an incredible home, full of pieces collected on their many travels. My paternal grandmother loved velvet furniture and houseplants. She instilled a love of both in me, obviously.
Favorite Element: The hanging plant wall behind my blue velvet sofa. I love how it’s helped create a room within a room and an intimate lounge area.
Biggest Challenge: Creating a cozy atmosphere in an open-plan, featureless white box! I’ve always lived in smaller old houses and initially, really struggled with making my vintage style work in a modern home. It seemed like such an insurmountable clash of styles.
What Friends Say: They love how fun it is! There are lots of questions about plant care. Friends visiting for the first time, that have only seen photos of the interior, think they have the wrong address. Surely I live in an old house. I adore that. Goal achieved!
Biggest Embarrassment: I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve heard this… all the holes in the walls from rearranging art. Transitioning from renting, it took me months to put a nail in a wall. I went a little crazy once I’d started, I’m constantly patching and sanding my pin cushion walls.
Proudest DIY: All DIYs are my own. Matt’s not interested in the interior and that works for me. He’s a man cave kind of guy and the shed is his domain. Successfully hanging my insanely heavy plants from the ceiling was a huge achievement. I get a buzz from doing it all myself.
Biggest Indulgence: The large Turkish kilim in the living room. It was worth every dollar though. It was essential for creating the different spaces within the larger space.
Best Advice: Only buy what you love! Get things that make you smile. Try looking for what you want secondhand. There’s so many platforms to do so. All you need is a little patience and the right pieces will show up. There’s a real joy in repurposing and finding beauty in what others no longer want.
- Jungle themed art: Karina Jambrak
- Leopard print cushion: Kip & Co
- Plant pouch: Gorman
- Psychedelic cushions: Colorful Boho Pillows
- Multi colored Moroccan rug: Nouvelle Nomad
- Orange velvet chair: Storytellers Workshop
- Woven plant basket: Arizona Living
- Blue sofa: Early Settler Furniture
- Hammered metal table: Early Settler Furniture
- Vintage Turkish kilim: Turkish Magic
- Turkish camel blanket: Turkish Magic
- Psychedelic cushions: Piffy
- Chunky macrame plant hangers: Slow Ties
- Painted pots: Gabby Love
- Adhesive art: Gussy.dup…2 x Misha Blaise, 1 x Patti Blau
- Plant pouches: Gorman
- Pink woven Moroccan cushions: Nouvelle Nomad
- Woven wallhanging: Warped Threads
- Neon: Neon Republic
- Wooden Elephant wall art: Umasqu
- Moroccan rug: Nouvelle Nomad
- Teal pelt: Society of Wanderers
- Round velvet cushion: Kip & Co
- Bedding: Zanui
- Neon cross: Neon Collective
- Kantha Quilt: Lec Homewares
- Bed: Early Settler Furniture
- Beaded Curtain: Urban Outfitters
- Small art on bath: Ali Fullard
- Adhesive art print: Gussy.dup…Artist: Patti Blau
- Moroccan rug: Nouvelle Nomad
- Art above bed: Gussy.dup…artists from left: Alja Horvat, Misha Blaise, Ponnopoz
- Paisley quilt: Shakiraaz Homewares
- Pink tasselled throw: Kip & Co
- Round velvet cushions: Kip & Co
- Leopard cushion: Gorman
- Shag cushion: Langdon LTD
See more of the home:
Thanks, Lee and Matt!