Home Tours

A Brisbane bungalow decorated in luscious Hamptons colour and pattern

Tones and pattern collide gloriously in this adored home, where the unexpected delights.
Blue and white Hamptons living roomTim Salisbury

From the street, Kate’s home nestled in a leafy Brisbane suburb has all the hallmarks of a Hamptons home, with its decorated gables, white weatherboard cladding, plantation shutters and a pretty-as-a-picture cottage garden that comes complete with topiary trees.

Inside, you might expect a palette of restrained blues and neutrals synonymous with Hamptons style – yet what awaits is a kaleidoscope of contrasting colour at every turn. Spaces are drenched in feel-good hues from mint green and teal to Pool Bar blue, layered with a mix of pattern and objects which vie for attention.

“Walking through the door is like I’m coming home to an old friend,” enthuses Kate of the interwar bungalow she has owned for 35 years. “It fills me with so much joy and a wonderful sense of comfort.”

GREEN ROOM Originally a sunroom, this space has been renamed the green room since being enveloped in one of Kate’s favourite colours. “We like to do things that are outside of the box, and you should always have something beautiful to look at when you look up,” says interior designer Anna Spiro of the space, colour-blocked in Dulux Apium with Dulux Florence trims and adorned with Pierre Frey ‘La Pannonie’ wallpaper on the ceiling (try Milgate).

While Kate has always loved colourful interiors, an extensive renovation in 2019 and the opportunity to engage interior designer Anna Spiro prompted her to take it to the next level and beyond. “For years I’d bought fabrics and pieces from Anna’s store and always wanted to work with her,” she says. “When I decided to renovate, I chose to get everything I’d ever wanted. I couldn’t think of a more talented person to create something unique which I’d never tire of.” Kate wholeheartedly embraced Anna’s concepts, even wallpapering the ceiling.

GREEN ROOM “It’s a beautiful room to sit and read, and I have a desk here so I can work from home,” says Kate. An armchair in Turnell & Gigon ‘Bannister Hall’ fabric (try Tigger Hall Design) and a custom upholstered sofa in Thibaut ‘Malibu’ fabric in Sky Blue (try Boyac) adds depth, as do cushions in Clare Louise Frost ‘Lydia’ ikat fabric (available from Style Revolutionary) and lampshades in Anna Spiro Textiles ‘Grandma’s Quilt’. The tray atop an ottoman upholstered in Seema Krish ‘Juhu’ fabric in Panna Green (try Tigger Hall Design) is from The Lacquer Company.

Working initially with an architect, the plan was to maintain the original facade, footprint and beautiful character details such as the ornate plaster ceilings and wide timber floorboards, yet enhance functionality to allow wiggle room with the layout by removing several of the internal walls.

LIVING AREA The sense of intimacy is enhanced with a cluster of armchairs in Anna Spiro Textiles ‘Cartouche’ fabric and a pair of sofas in her ‘Camona’ textile range, sprinkled with cushions in Kettlewell Collection’s ‘Aiko’ fabric (contact Anna Spiro Design). A gold coffee table Kate has owned for years was reimagined in Dulux Blue Lobelia and collected Charles Blackman artworks were spread across walls and shelves.

(Credit: Photography: Eleanor Byrne)

“This is my favourite spot in the house,” says Kate of the library/lounge area awash in shades of blue. A significant change to the space was the addition of custom joinery that hugs several walls and frames doorways. “The walls of books add colour and a wonderful sense of homeliness and comfort, which I just love,” reflects Kate. “Whenever friends stay, they’ll often pull out a book to read and it’s a great conversation room. There’s plenty of cosy spots to sit and chat.”

Treasured pieces Kate had owned for years – including a timber dining table inherited from her parents and an occasional chair adorned with cherry fabric that she bought from Anna’s store two decades earlier – were incorporated into the new scheme, along with select furniture which was repainted or reupholstered.

KITCHEN The walls are enlivened with Thibaut ‘Sherrill Paisley’ wallpaper (try Boyac) teamed with matching upholstery on barstools. “When you wrap a space in one pattern, it can create a fabulous atmosphere – and that is what we wanted to achieve here,” explains Anna.

(Credit: Photography: Eleanor Byrne)

“I wanted to come home and feel like I’m on holidays,” says Kate. At the top of her wishlist was the addition of “luxuries” like a butler’s pantry and laundry room, plus an ensuite and walk-in robe for the main bedroom.

BUTLER’S PANTRY Space for a butler’s pantry was carved out by adjusting the location and shape of the new kitchen. “It’s a luxury to have everything in this room, all the appliances, a steam oven and a second sink – I feel like I have two kitchens,” says Kate of the space with cabinetry in Dulux Pool Bar.

(Credit: Photography: Eleanor Byrne)

The perfect butler’s pantry in a symphony of blue.

(Credit: Photography: Eleanor Byrne)

“This home has many traditional elements that will transcend trends and endure the test of time, like many homes in The Hamptons,” says Anna.

KITCHEN The walls are enlivened with Thibaut ‘Sherrill Paisley’ wallpaper (try Boyac) teamed with matching upholstery on barstools. “When you wrap a space in one pattern, it can create a fabulous atmosphere – and that is what we wanted to achieve here,” explains Anna.

With Anna and her team given full creative freedom, the bathroom and kitchen were also transformed and extensive joinery was designed to complement the era of the home, with swathes of unexpected, yet harmonious textiles, wallpaper and furniture combinations cleverly chosen to ensure there wasn’t a dull corner throughout.

ENSUITE Green and pink is an inspired combination, with striking Stroheim ‘Edie’ wallpaper in Jade (try The Textile Company) and an antique mirror repainted in Porter’s Paints Rosewood.

(Credit: Photography: Eleanor Byrne)

Just like the seamless modifications to the house, the combination of new and old throughout the interior melds effortlessly and makes for a home layered with personality and imbued with memories. “The house has always had a special feel which was further enhanced with the renovation,” reflects Kate.

MAIN BEDROOM The walls are in Anna Spiro Textiles ‘Cartouche’ wallpaper, and there are florals in custom curtains in Anna Spiro Textiles ‘Marigold’ fabric, Travers ‘Beaumont Indienne’ textiles on the bedhead and scatter cushions (try Unique Fabrics), and a vintage Suzanni quilt. Shape also comes into play with cushions in Clare Louise Frost ‘Lydia’ ikat fabric and a custom lamp in Vanderhurd ‘Flower Cut Out’ fabric (try Tigger Hall Design) with a Cromwell lamp base painted in Dulux Midas Touch base.

The main bedroom has seen many iterations. During the 1970s it was a general practice surgery, when the home belonged to a doctor and his family. After Kate bought the house, it became her son’s room, and during the renovation it became the main bedroom with the addition of an ensuite and walk-in robe. French doors were added to its foyer and a Charles Blackman artwork provides a burst of colour.

Three years on, she’s never loved it more. “I get more and more attached to it. It’s such a pretty home, which I can’t imagine wanting to leave.”

LAUNDRY This was relocated and now boasts a stone-topped bench, butler’s sink and ‘Bianco’ subway wall tiles from Groove Tiles & Stone. Jatana Interiors floor tiles and a door curtain from ASH Block Printing infuse the space with deep blue. “After years with a make-do laundry, I was so excited to have a big bench and deep sink,” says Kate.


Interior design: Anna Spiro Design, (07) 3254 3000, annaspirodesign.com.au.

Styling: Anna Spiro

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