Home Tours

The relaxed Southern Highlands home of food writer Louise Keats

A peek inside her comfy and stylish family abode.
Loading the player...

We head to the Highlands where food and nutrition writer Louise Keats invites us into her home and shares the importance of comfort and style for family living.

Louise Keats house southern highlands living room
(Credit: Abbie Melle)

A home that embodies comfort is a must in the NSW Southern Highlands, where Louise Keats and her husband John have built a dream country retreat for their family. And it’s all about the soft furnishings. “They’re important for creating cosiness in our home, which is especially important in the Southern Highlands where the weather can be quite harsh. I prefer a gentle, relaxed, lived-in look over anything too formal and stiff. The right furnishings – soft linens and quality wools– can help achieve that,” says Louise of her decorating style. “I also prefer earthy tones that are at home in our rural setting here over any loud, bright patterns.”

country living room coffee table jute rug
Layers and textures in the living room create a pleasing effect and even Jasper the straight-haired cavoodle fits in with the colour scheme. (Credit: Abbie Melle)

The sofa is the biggest purchase you will make for a room, so we asked Louise how she chooses furniture for different spaces in her home that meet all of the family’s needs. “For me, comfort and function is king when it comes to sofas, especially because we have children. I want everyone to feel like flopping on the sofa is a joyous, relaxing experience that encourages family conversation or nestling into a good book,” says Louise. Read on for sofa and armchair inspiration for every room.

“We have the larger sofa for relaxing and lying down and the armchairs are lovely for creating a sense of gathering”

tub chair with sheer curtains by window in living room
‘Bronte’ rug in Pacific Blue, and ‘Oliver’ swivel tub chair in Bronte Natural, both King. Handmade bud vase 11 in White, $80, Authete. (Credit: Abbie Melle)

“In our bedroom, the armchairs are there for our children to feel welcome to sit down and chat to us about whatever might be on their mind,” says Louise. For similar curtains, try ‘Byron’ in Smoke, Driftwood and Pure White curtains, from $255, Luxaflex. ‘Bronte’ rug in Pacific Blue, $3585/300cm x 200cm, and ‘Oliver’ swivel tub chair in Bronte Natural, $1471, both King. ‘Enes’ throw in White, $139, Saardé

green outdoor sofa
‘Avalon’ indoor/outdoor rug in Stone, ‘Oasis’ outdoor pedestal side table in Slate/Weave Dawn and ‘Zaza’ outdoor 2.5-seater sofa in Malibu Eucalyptus/Rock, all King. (Credit: Abbie Melle)

The alfresco area allows for easy entertaining and gives guests and Queenie the quarter horse a view of the gorgeous surroundings. “We get four seasons in one day here, so our furniture needs to be able to withstand sideways rain as well as sun exposure,” says Louise. 

green outdoor sofa outdoor living room horse
‘Avalon’ indoor/outdoor rug in Stone, ‘Oasis’ outdoor pedestal side table in Slate/Weave Dawn and ‘Zaza’ outdoor 2.5-seater sofa in Malibu Eucalyptus/Rock, all King. Vintage wash cushion in Nutmeg, $89/45cm x 45cm, and ‘Enes’ linen throw in Natural, $25, both Saardé. ‘Raami’ tumblers in Moss Green, $44.95/set of 2, Iittala. Recycled glass carafe, $69, Saardé. ‘Odemis’ urn in Whitewash, $985/large, Garden Life. (Credit: Abbie Melle)

Related stories