After years spent devouring interiors magazines, Olivia couldn’t wait to get her teeth stuck into building a new home for herself, her husband, Ivor, and their children, Ava, eight, and Henry, five.
This soothing space first caught HB’s eye as one of the 2017 Beautiful Rooms finalists, when the kitchen seduced with its polished East Coast-inspired design.
After finding a beautiful block in rural Victoria, decorating addict Olivia drew on East Coast inspiration to fill her newly finished abode with classic Hamptons-style features, including Shaker cabinetry and a soothing grey-toned palette.
With free rein to choose the finishes she loved, plus 10 years of magazine-flicking, Olivia had an overflowing file of inspirational pictures and ideas. She has given the scheme a feminine twist with modern floral touches and the couple took the project to local building designers Project Now, who translated Olivia’s ideas into a plan that ticked off every wish-list item.
The drawing up a family home included an office for Olivia’s business and an overall feeling of airy, Hamptons-inspired elegance. “I wanted it to feel really light and airy,” she says.
The kitchen is pure simplicity – white Shaker cabinetry, handle-free overhead cupboards and matt Essastone benches allow the splashback tiles to shine. Though pretty details and muted neutrals abound, there’s nothing saccharine or washed-out about Olivia’s style, thanks largely to the judicious use of black accents. “I wanted black handles and tapware throughout the whole house,” she says. “It’s classic, but really quite striking.”
"I knew the splashback was going to be a really big show stopper - it was either going to be an epic win or an epic fail"Olivia, Homeowner
A preference for matt textures, as well as the palette of pale greys and whites, gives the home a softness and a feminine charm, brought back from the brink of sweetness by selective hits of black.
Olivia was aided in her design endeavour by builder Andrew Madigan, a friend of the couple before he was their builder, which not only gave Olivia and Ivor confidence, but also made the process more fun. Olivia laughs as she recalls accidentally going berserk with her tile purchases. “I thought the tile budget was just for the tiles, not to buy and lay the tiles, so I blew the budget out of the water,” she says. “But it was funny – Andrew and I were going to get T-shirts printed saying, ‘Why stop now?’”
In the living room custom joinery by Ideal Cabinetry on either side of the gas fireplace provides a place to display mementos and artworks.
“I’m drawn to classic colours, such as black, whites and greys, but every now and then I will go bold when I can’t resist; for example, the Ellie Cashman wallpaper in our bedroom – it’s such a pop when you walk in, I love it.”
"I love textures - linen and velvet. gone are the days when beds have to be absolutely perfectly made - I prefer a more organic feel"Olivia
Like something out of a fairytale, the Ellie Cashman wallpaper is at once bold and ethereal, and it was love at first sight for Olivia. “I really love The Sound Of Music, and this wallpaper reminded me of the garden where Captain von Trapp and Maria got together in the gazebo, with moonlight coming through onto a beautiful floral garden,” she says. With such a dramatic statement on the wall, the bedlinen needed to take a step back – the Rebecca Judd Loves collection for Adairs gives Olivia the muted blush and navy tones she wanted.
Olivia and Ivor’s old bedhead was reinvigorated with a beautiful floral Warwick fabric for daughter Ava’s bedroom. With walls in a slightly pinky paint (Haymes Lone Rock), bedding from Adairs and a marble-based lamp with a faceted globe from Freedom, Ava’s room is pretty and romantic, but mature enough for her to grow into.
Planning the ensuite bathroom was a labour of love for Olivia, who knew she would be appreciating it daily. “I’m someone who has a bath every night, so I knew it had to be special,” she says. Tiles were the answer to creating a gorgeous space; the wall tiles are a beautiful white lantern shape, but the floor tiles steal the show. “As soon as I saw that beautiful pattern, it appealed to me,” says Olivia, who found all the tiles at Carpet & Tile Gallery.
For more amazing makeovers pick up a copy of the June issue of Home Beautiful - on sale now!
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