By the seaside
It’s no surprise that these stunning surrounds proved to be the decorating inspiration for the home that Selling Houses Australia’s Charlie Albone and his wife, Juliet Love, share with their delightful sons Hartford, two, and Leo, four. “I wanted it to feel open and airy and almost like we’re on holidays all the time,” says Juliet, an interior stylist, TV presenter and author of Love Style. “I wanted it be coastal, without being obvious.”
Here, in the living room of the open-planned abode, white lightens and brightens. Ikea ‘Erktop’ armchairs provide family-friendly lounging, while gilt trimmed Bandhini Homewear Design cushions and metallic pieces make an elegant statement. “I like combining textures and love metals to bring in a bit of interest,” says Juliet. Fittingly, plants are a must; the greenery-filled clam is from Style My Home.
Juliet and Charlie met in 2009 on a screen test for the Lifestyle Channel’s The Party Garden. “The producers wanted to see whether we had any chemistry on camera,” says Juliet. “It worked out well,” adds Charlie. The gardener, who has won two Silver Gilt medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for his work, happily left most of the decorating of their home to his savvy wife, who opted for a Nick Scali coffee table for the living room.
Deep blue accents and the occasional pop of sunshine lend a chic coastal vibe while darker-toned heirloom pieces – including the dining table that belongs to Juliet’s dad – provide an elegant contrast to the all-white scheme. Custom-made washable slip covers on the dining chairs are both sophisticated and practical. “Charlie and I are big foodies so we like to sit down here at the dinner table when he’s home,” says Juliet.
A sunny corner – originally a verandah – has become a creative play hub for the boys with a table set and book shelves from Mocka
The couple’s bedroom is a picture of serenity thanks to a soothing palette of neutral. Sea blue hints are supplied by a framed print from Urban Road and pretty ‘Blue Spot’ cushions from Gilles & Franck. Sea urchin-like wall adornments are from Freedom.
An Ikea cabinet forms the base to create a dramatic entry to the combined living areas. “I changed the handles and put glass on top,” says Juliet. “Mixing is great – you don’t have to spend a lot. Where people run into trouble is when everything is from Ikea or everything’s cheap. It’s good to mix it with a few key pieces.” A feature lamp that once belonged to her grandmother forms the centrepiece here, while a pair of arched mirrors instantly enlarges the all-white space.
“I rarely get a moment to myself these days, but I’ll sit down here with a magazine,” says Juliet of this inviting spot. A lounge that belonged to her father is layered with an Adairs knit and grounded by a Target rug. More precious is the handpainted pot. “My grandfather gave it to my mum and mum gave it to me for my last birthday, which was really nice,” she says. “I think it’s these individual things that make a home’s interior.”