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A renovated Gold Coast home’s magical handmade Christmas

Entertaining is at the heart of this Gold Coast abode, filled with enveloping colour and lovely layers.
A classic living area with green accents and a Christmas tree.Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes

When homeowners Hayley and Terry bought their Gold Coast home three years ago, they had to look beyond the particularly unattractive shade of ’90s pink which spanned carpets, upholstery, window dressings and even flanked the fireplace. “It was everywhere,” recalls Hayley. “The floor tiles though were even worse. They were a ghastly glossy pale blue with a squiggly pattern that looked like a wet slug trail!”

Hayley sitting in the games room on a light green panelled bench alongside upholstered furniture.
While Hayley wasn’t a fan of the existing bar area and pool table, she embraced the theme and created a cafe-style breakout area, which features Provincial Home Living tables paired with vintage chairs. “It’s where I always sit for a morning coffee and when the kids have friends over, they love to hang out there with snacks and play board games. It’s a really fun social area,” she says. The mantel provides endless styling scope to arrange pieces like these artworks and Bordallo Pinheiro plates. Freedom lamp base with a customised with a shade from Pip & Haze. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

With two adult daughters, Lucy and Bella, and son Orly who’s approaching his teen years, the couple saw potential in the split-level home, despite the dated aesthetics. The home, complete with a self-contained studio, had the space they were after, in a prime waterfront location. Experienced renovators and self-confessed serial movers, the pair relished the challenge of stripping away the home’s ’90s persona in favour of timeless finishes, character furnishings and warm tones – deliberately eschewing trends, which would inevitably date-stamp the home once again. “We did the living area and kitchen first, as it’s where we spend most of our time and, being in the centre of the home, the changes had a domino effect,” Hayley explains.

Who lives here?

Hayley, a stay-at-home mum; husband Terry, a commercial project manager; adult daughters Lucy and Bella and son Orly, 12; Holly a Spoodle; Skipper a Siamese cat, and black cat Salem.
What soft furnishings draw you? Hayley: “I love pattern, particularly florals and most of my curtains and blinds are William Morris.”
Inspiration for your Christmas look? “This year, it’s shades of blue, brown and green. I’ve been increasingly using them throughout the house.”
Favourite Christmas tradition? “One of our trees is a family tree and and has collectable decorations that we started collecting the year we met. We’ve continued the tradition with the kids.”

Christmas tarts on a marble table.
To add depth, VJ boards painted in Dulux Fennelly form a backdrop to a custom bench seat upholstered in Warwick ‘Orleans’ fabric in Fawn layered with Raine & Humble cushions. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

What followed was a fresh coat of Dulux Snowy Mountain Quarter throughout, new timber flooring on the lower level, updated window furnishings, statement lighting and clever additions such as integrated bench seating and an understairs daybed. Renowned for her DIY projects and decorating, which she shares with her Instagram community via @mumlittleloves, Hayley embraced the power of paint and bold colour throughout to revitalise key furniture pieces and rooms. “Our last house was all white and blue, but here I wanted to do something different so went with varying shades of olive-green downstairs to unite all the living and entertaining areas,” she says. “Upstairs, I played with warm colours for the bedrooms.”

A daybed under the staircase in whites and neutrals.
The area under the stairs was previously an indoor garden with a planter box. Hayley’s creative solution was to convert the space into a daybed, with a flip lid so it could also provide storage. Mouldings were added for interest, while ‘Seattle’ wall lights from Emac & Lawton make it a reading area at night. Wonderfully wide to stretch out for a nap, the custom upholstered seat in P/Kaufmann ‘Handcraft’ in Moonstone from Materialised is piled high with cushions from Hamptons Home, Lavender Hill Interiors and Hamptons Style. A Provincial Home Living vase, filled with blooms from That Pretty Market, sits atop a vintage table. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Coupled with an inspired mix of print and pattern, the effect is an entirely different look and feel, which is ever-evolving. “I’m always experimenting with new projects, changing furniture around, adding wallpaper, reupholstering or painting something,” says Hayley. “Using colour on the walls is my favourite way to completely change a space and I find painting relaxing, it’s my happy place.”

Classic vintage artworks and hats displayed in a decorative alcove.
Vintage artworks and tapestries are hung beside plates from Anthropologie in a display area under the staircase. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Living area

This year will mark the family’s third Christmas in the home and being on the water, with a pool in which to cool off and games room, complete with a bar, pool table and multiple spots to relax, it’s become an annual holiday venue for extended family. As a festive season enthusiast, Hayley is happy to host and goes to town with decorative trimmings which begin at the front door and flow throughout with ledges, walls, multiple trees and the family’s beautifully restored fireplace adorned with festive cheer and stunning floral touches.

A classic living area with green accents and a Christmas tree.
Christmas is celebrated with all the trimmings in this renovated Gold Coast home, belonging to Hayley and Terry who live here with their children Lucy, Bella and Orly. A French Country Collection mirror adorns the mantelpiece with candle holders from Nomadi and urns from That Pretty Market. Coffee table from Xavier Furniture.(Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

“I love doing something different each year and I’ll often begin dreaming up what I’ll do next Christmas, while the current Christmas decorations are still up,” she enthuses. “At the beginning of spring I’ll start looking for ribbons, papers, fabrics in my chosen colour palette or theme, then gradually begin making stockings and DIY touches for the table. At Christmas, I also fill the house with fresh flowers from my incredible local florist That Pretty Market, which has the most amazing selection.”

A classic Christmas wreath with a tartan bow hung on a mirror.
(Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

In the living area, a Sanibel Spruce from Balsam Hill, decorated with ‘Grand Forest’ and ‘Farmhouse’ ornaments (also from Balsam Hill), takes pride of place beside the fireplace, the first thing the couple tackled in this space. This involved removing pink plasterboard surrounds and a marble hearth to reveal original brickwork. Hayley and Terry then created decorative surrounds and added a shiplap backdrop painted in Dulux Olive Leaf.

Christmas stockings on a fireplace by a decorated tree.
A Sanibel Spruce from Balsam Hill, decorated with ‘Grand Forest’ and ‘Farmhouse’ ornaments from Balsam Hill. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)


Not only were the original white 2-pac cabinets and black and blue granite benchtops not to Hayley’s taste, but functionality was also an issue with the existing kitchen. “It was closed off on one side so it was a real bottleneck, and the main bench was split level with a bar height servery which affected usability,” she explains. The solution was to gut the zone, open up one side and install Kaboodle Kitchen cabinetry, topped with solid American Oak benchtops. Marble subway tiles from National Tiles form the backdrop where a Falcon oven is a feature. “I’ve always wanted one as I love the classic look and ability to simultaneously cook separate dishes in the dual ovens,” says Hayley. “On Christmas Day, we have the turkey cooking on one side and the pavlova in the other.”

A classic all-white kitchen with oak benchtops.
For added convenience, a Brodware pot filler is a stove top game-changer. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

“I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from renovating.”

A sitting area in bright white with rattan armchairs and a classic round timber table.
An area opposite the kitchen features ‘Martinique’ chairs from Early Settler, and a ‘Milton’ chandelier from Emac & Lawton teamed with shades from Soffle. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Dining room

Hayley loves a layered Christmas table setting, and this year’s festive colour scheme was largely inspired by ‘The Forest’ tablecloth and napkins from Hutch Table Accessories, teamed with plates (also from Hutch Table Accessories), Villeroy & Boch glassware and a ‘Lucille’ vase from Provincial Home Living filled with flowers from That Pretty Market. “I love a ‘more is more’ approach to Christmas table settings,” says Hayley, whose treasure trove of napery and table linen is stored in the Provincial Home Living Coventry Buffet and Hutch, customised with check curtains. Neutral, textural elements, such as the Rustic River Rock Sisal rug from Floorspace Australia.

The classic style dining area with a Christmas lunch displayed.
Rattan pendants from Emac & Lawton, enhance the dining area’s homely feel. The lamp is a Marketplace base paired with a shade from Magnolia Interiors. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

We love… DIY Christmas decorations

For a coordinated look, Hayley combines bought pieces with handmade touches. “Because I can’t always find what I want to suit my colour palette, it’s often easier to make what I’m after,” she says. “I love using napkins to make bon bons that I fill with socks, lip balms, chocolates, scratchies and bad jokes.

Christmas tarts and a cake on a brown patterned tablecloth and tablescape.
‘The Forest’ tablecloth and napkins from Hutch Table Accessories. Napkins for bon bons from Hutch Table Accessories, hutchtableaccessories.com. Fabric and ribbons from Spotlight, spotlightstores.com. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)
A vintage French armchair in a classic style dining room.
A French armchair and vintage artwork add charm to the dining area. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Main bedroom

Much of the renovation involved removing pink details but in the main bedroom Hayley reintroduced pink – albeit in the guise of Dulux Primal in half strength, which is classified as brown.

A classic style pastel pink main bedroom.
The bedlinen is a Rachel Elizabeth Interiors quilt cover paired with striped pillowcases from Ever You. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)
Pastel pink wall panels and a vintage style artwork on a bedroom wall.
‘Stradbroke Bobbin’ side tables from Abide Interiors are in the main bedroom. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Orly’s bedroom

The inspiration for Orly’s room, where Holly the Spoodle joins Orly, began with the ‘Bohemian Forest’ wallpaper from Edge Wall Art (in a custom colour). The neutral backdrop is accented with Early Settler furniture and a Koh Metalico mirror.

A classic neutral coloured kid's bedroom with son Orly and Holly the spoodle.
Bedlinen from Bed Bath N’ Table. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Lucy’s bedroom

Rooms switch between the kids as often as the walls change colour. Lucy recently laid claim to this room and requested a neutral scheme. “It’s actually the smallest room in the house and while some people think you should use light, bright colours to enhance the sense of space, I like to embrace the cosiness of a compact room, and went with chocolate brown,” explains Hayley of the walls painted in Taubmans Cowhide.

A children's bedroom with chocolate brown walls and patterned curtains.
The brown shade matches Emma Bridgewater fabric curtains from Tuiss, a Pottery Barn quilt cover and Luxe & Beau cushions. The bedside table is from Xavier Furniture. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Bella’s bedroom

With the myriad shades of green used downstairs, Hayley combined leftover paint to create the hue for Bella’s bedroom. “Rather than a colour feature wall, I prefer to paint the bedroom in one colour to create an enveloping feel,” says Hayley.

A children's bedroom with light green walls and green patterned furnishings.
The walls also make the Decor Mantra bedlinen and Luxe & Beau cushions pop, while a Madras Link lamp and vintage vase on a La Maison ‘Aime’ bedside table, round out the green scheme. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

“Rather than follow a particular style or trends, I’ll draw inspiration from a beautiful fabric, cushion or piece of furniture, and create a look from there.”


Laundry and mudroom

Previously an uninspired sea of white tiles and laminate cabinetry, the laundry is full of personality and doubles as a mudroom. Kaboodle Kitchen Alpine cabinetry in Kaleo provides a splash of blue, complemented with Kaboodle Kitchen solid American Oak tops, which serve as a bench seat. The floor was transformed with Chicago Brick State Street tiles from National Tiles.

A blue and white laundry room with a timber storage bench.
The hallway in the background features ‘Woodland Friends’ wallpaper from Milton & King. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)
Sky blue laundry room with timber accents and blue patterned shades.
The laundry has a William Morris ‘Willow Bough’ fabric blind from Tuiss. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Often a relaxed multi-day celebration, Christmas is generally a sit-down roast turkey and seafood lunch for 20 or so guests, who all bring a plate. With plenty of blow-up mattresses and comfy sofas to go round, most people stay the night and ease into a laid-back Boxing Day grazing on leftovers in between swims and a spin in the family’s boat. “It really is a magical time of the year!” says Hayley. “I love the anticipation, the fairy lights, quality time with family, and the opportunity to go over the top with decorating.”

Hayley by the dining table topped with Christmas lunch.
Hayley sets the dining table for an upcoming Christmas celebration. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

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