There’s something very special about the home of Olympic gold medallist Lydia Lassila. Nestled among the gumtrees in a sleepy enclave on Victoria’s rugged Surf Coast, with breathtaking ocean views as a backdrop, this is a home at one with its glorious surrounds. But what makes this eco-friendly abode a true joy to step into is knowing it’s a home Lydia and husband Lauri helped build from the ground up.
To the creative couple, who have two sons, stamping every corner of the home with their style was an at-times arduous, yet infinitely rewarding, three-year journey. “We designed the house ourselves and worked on each stage of the build, because we knew exactly what we wanted,” says Lydia, who enlisted the help of her father, and local tradespeople, to help create their dream abode.
And now, explains the fearless five-time Winter Olympian – who was the first woman in history to execute a quad-twisting triple somersault – she and Lauri simply can’t imagine putting roots down anywhere else. HB had a chat with Lydia to discuss the tips and tricks of her home renovation and decorating advice.
So, how would you describe your decorating style?
“It’s fairly simplistic and I love a lot of greenery – I’m a big fan of hanging plants at the moment.”
What was the first space completed in your renovation?
"In the Finnish culture, the sauna is the most important room of the house so, with Lauri [Lydia’s husband] being Scandinavian, in our house it was the first room that was finished. Having a sauna is part of our weekly ritual and it’s a really nice thing to do as a family.”
Did anything go wrong during the build?
“There were a few scary moments. Things can go wrong in an instant, but we were pretty organised and managed to stay on top of things.”
Is anything off-limits in the house?
"Nothing. The only rule we have is that it’s a no-shoes house. It’s a really helpful rule when you’re living near the beach and dealing with constant sand, so we have an outdoor tap to wash sandy feet."
Is there anything still on your wishlist?
"Yes, we’ll be building a little yoga studio downstairs for me, as well as more landscaping and putting in a trampoline.”
Finally, what is your best piece of decorating advice?
“We didn’t rush with the decorating. Once you’ve lived in a space, you realise what the space needs. We’ve just dribbled it in as we’ve grown into the home, which was a nice way to do it because it’s all things that we like and that we’ve chosen.”
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