Home Tours

This 1930s Brisbane bungalow is an entertainer’s delight

A renovated Federation home keeps its classic charm yet grows in size and style, complete with hilltop views and poolside alfresco dining.
A manicured lawn and garden with Lisa walking along the travertine steps.Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes

Real estate listings are often heavily seasoned with superlatives, but when this Brisbane home came on the market it truly was a ‘rare find’. The 1930s Federation-style bungalow sits on an elevated quarter-acre block with extraordinary sweeping views of the city and hinterland Scenic Rim, which could be enjoyed from the swimming pool or while having a hit on the tennis court.

White travertine steps leading to the pool and entrance.
The house originally had two entrances, which led to some confusion with visitors as there was no clearly defined front door. To resolve the issue, Andrew realigned and enlarged the travertine steppers leading to the newly designated sole front door on the eastern side and designed an arbour to give the entrance presence. “The client wanted to add a glass roof over the arbour for weather protection, and we installed three large pots with Pandorea ‘Lady Di,’ a flowering white creeper, which softens the pillars,” he says. Nearby, a stylish rain chain helps direct water runoff. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

For interior designer Lisa Alward’s client, who bought the property in 2020, the home ticked all the major boxes. “He grew up just down the road and, as his parents still lived in the area, he’d been looking for the right property to move closer to them and this was it,” explains Lisa. “The location was perfect, he loved the home’s heritage features and the potential it offered for entertaining and adding his own touch.”

Who lives here?

A Brisbane-based property developer and fund manager.
Best design decision? Lisa: “Increasing the size of the terrace to enhance the indoor/outdoor flow and entertaining space around the pool.”
How do you approach interiors for heritage homes? “I like to pay homage to the home’s history, while incorporating the client’s specific needs, to create functional spaces that are beautiful and timeless.”
What’s your favourite feature? “From the minute you step through the gate, the house and beautiful gardens are revealed and it feels like you’ve entered a serene paradise.”

A white timber cladded bungalow with an arbour covered with creeping plants.
For similar cladding, try Cemintel Street Style ‘Balmoral’ weatherboards. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)
The white cladded bungalow entrance with a stained glass door.
Weatherboards, fresh in Wattyl White. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

The bungalow had previously been renovated, yet with a desire to further enhance the home’s size and level of luxury, the owner engaged architect Salvador Farrajota of The Artificial. He was tasked with extending the footprint, adding a cantilevered gym, hot tub, lower-level alfresco area, massage room and sauna. “This home was rich with character appeal, which we needed to balance with the client’s desire to modernise,” says Lisa.

A manicured lawn and garden with Lisa walking along the travertine steps.
For Brisbane interior designer Lisa Alward of Bella Vie Interiors, a great client with an incredible hilltop Federation home provided a wonderful opportunity to flex her skills. “This home is all about lifestyle and entertaining, and at every stage the creature comforts have been taken to the next level,” she tells us. The result is a stunning home that mixes old and new, and a delighted client. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Wonderful Federation features include the terracotta-tiled gable roof, jewel-like leadlight glass, bedroom bay windows and a long central corridor, all of which were retained and enhanced with a fresh palette and decorative elements that paid homage to the home’s era. Lashings of Dulux Natural White and Dulux Lexicon Quarter were used inside and out, original floorboards were sanded and stained a warm brown, and personality was added with wallpaper, artwork and beautiful lighting.

Entry hall

The original timber floorboards came up a treat with a thorough sanding and a fresh coat of warm stain, and the existing leadlight front door was refreshed with Dulux Lexicon Quarter and new hardware. “Adding all brass new window and door hardware was a subtle yet effective way of elevating a luxury feel with a hint of lustre,” says Lisa.

A white entry hall with a stained glass door and chandelier.
A ‘Winslow’ chandelier from Beacon Lighting adds stately style. Artworks, ‘Cafe Van Gogh’, ‘Paris is always a Good Idea’, ‘Sacre Coeur – Carousel’, all by STARR Fine Art. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

In the hall, a custom ‘Chromatic’ hand-knotted wool runner in Ginger from Halcyon Lake leads the eye to where a Rachel Prince artwork, In the Clouds, takes pride of place. “To help protect the floor in high-traffic areas I specified rugs, which blend subtly with the scheme,” explains Lisa of the newly refreshed timber floors.

A white entry hall with an ochre runner and brass table.
Artworks, ‘In the Clouds’ by Rachel Prince and ‘Cafe Van Gogh’ by STARR Fine Art. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)


As the kitchen’s existing Corian benchtops in Deep Night Sky and white gloss vinyl-wrap joinery were in perfect condition, a major overhaul wasn’t at the top of the agenda. Instead, Lisa updated the space with new Grazia and Co ‘Diiva’ swivel stools, a Timothy Oulton ‘Iceberg’ dining table and ‘Mimi’ dining chairs from Coco Republic.

An all-white kitchen and dining area with timber hardwood floors.
Country Road vases filled with faux blooms from Provincial Home Living make stylish no-maintenance table toppers. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Living room

The homeowner’s love of the Mediterranean and desire to be surrounded by a sea of blue saw waves of cerulean sweep through the interiors. “A simple yet really effective alteration was switching the living room windows to French doors, which opened the space out to the pool and gave the interior an incredible sparkling blue backdrop that is echoed with turquoise accents in soft furnishings,” explains Lisa.

A classic white living area with a white sofa and blue rug looking out onto the pool.
Providing a subtle glow, aged metal accents feature in the bronze ‘Oki’ side table from Living Edge and a Le Forge coffee table in antique brushed gold from Boyd Blue. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Inspired by the owner’s love of the Sicilian coastline and the home’s pool, which forms an azure backdrop to the living area, Lisa chanelled a palette of Mediterranean blues. The Armadillo ‘Agra’ rug in Kingfisher is paired with a plump Molmic ‘Hudson’ sofa and custom cushions in Kelly Wearstler ‘Graffito’ fabric in Teal/Pearl.

The living area with open doors to the pool and cabana.
When desired, Cuchi motorised Roman blinds can be drawn for a more intimate feel or opened to reveal the Lavita Furniture cabana outside. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)
A white boucle armchair with a blue cushion beside open windows.
An acrylic Coco Republic ‘Sebastian’ armchair with ivory boucle preserves the living room view beside a Visual Comfort ‘Clarkson’ floor lamp from Bloomingdales. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

“The brief was to create an interior with a timeless, elegant aesthetic.”

– Lisa
Interior designer Lisa Alward standing by a stained glass door.
“Plans are underway to excavate under the home to add another ensuite bedroom, large walk-in cellar and private theatre,” says Lisa of this project’s second phase. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Main bedroom

Spaces were reconfigured on the upper main level, with a former games room converted into a spacious main bedroom, perfectly positioned to take in city vistas and benefit from a clever reshuffle that allowed for an ensuite, walk-in-robe and office.

A white bedroom with stained glass doors and a white and timber bed.
A former games room morphed into the main bedroom. The client’s existing bed joins cushions from Linen & Moore and Adairs, and a Bayliss ‘Carter’ rug in Lake. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)
A timber and white topped side table beside a bed.
Coco Republic ‘Crystal Column’ lamps complement Rachel Prince’s Time Will Tell artwork and a Provincial Home Living vase. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

“The biggest change with the bedroom was relocating the leadlight doors, which now open to the living area, allowing an unobstructed view to the pool.”

– Lisa
An ensuite with a black oak and white marble topped vanity.
In the ensuite, Carrara marble floor tiles with a nero marquina marble inlay form a striking feature below white subways, both from Amber Tiles. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)


Casamance ‘Gustav’ wallpaper in Sable defines the study within the main suite. Lisa teamed a Barolo desk with a Timothy Oulton ‘Mimi’ dining chair, both from Coco Republic.

A classic styled white and ivory study with open stained glass windows.
An Armadillo ‘Agra’ rug melds perfectly with Provincial Home Living cushions on the seat upholstered in Chivasso ‘Bonsai Reboot’ fabric. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)


The previous owner had recently renovated the first-floor bathroom, so it was easily finished with a Coco Republic ‘Knox’ side table and Aura Home towels in Clay.

A classic white bathroom with a freestanding tub and black and white vanity.
Plush Aura Home towels in Clay. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)
A black oak and white marble topped vanity below a mirrored cabinet.
An existing vanity with black-stained American oak and Calacatta Oro marble. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Guest bedroom

A velvet bedhead in the guest room is teamed with L&M Home cushions and Coco Republic ‘Amsterdam’ bedsides.

The guest bedroom with a black velvet bedhead and dark bed cushions.
Artwork, ‘Meet Me Here’ by Rachel Prince. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Pool and garden

The large block also lent itself to a complete garden overhaul, with Andrew Munro of Define Landscape Architecture at the helm of the redesign. This involved reimagining dishevelled garden beds to create a cohesive leafy space, layered with a variety of foliage, colours and textures. “A significant undertaking was excavating the front yard to provide the perfect foundation for a large expanse of soft fine-leaf Zoysia that flowed between new paths,” he explains.

The entry arbour draped with creepers.
The entry arbour, draped with creepers. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

The verdant, manicured and low-mow lawn is a focal point that perfectly offsets the home’s white exterior. “As the area can be quite shady, ‘Sir Grange Zoysia’ was chosen as it handles low light well and has a lovely fine blade,” says landscape designer Andrew Munro. “To help establish a strong, healthy root network, we prepared the site with a deep layer of sand under a quality underturf blend.”

We love… lush lawns.

A go-to entertaining area, the pool zone was upgraded with glass fencing and the surrounding travertine from Amber Tiles was extended to increase the outdoor living space. Poolside loungers from Lavita Furniture are scattered with cushions from Provincial Home Living.

The outdoor pool and entertaining area with loungers and an arbour with climbing plants.
Refreshing drinks find a place to perch atop stools from Boyd Blue. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Although the project has since evolved, with Lisa sourcing additional furnishings and consulting on subsequent additions, the bulk of the work was finished in time for the homeowner to enjoy Christmas 2021 at his stunning abode – surely the best gift of the season.

A coach lamp on the side of the home above green bushes.
Plantings are illuminated by an ‘Ibiza’ coach lamp from Discount Lighting. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Interior design: Bella Vie Interiors, bellavieinteriors.com.
Architect: The Artificial, theartificial.com.au.
Builder: Winacres Property Group, winacrespg.com.au.
Landscaping: Define Landscape Architecture, definela.com.au.


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