A delightful family home in Brisbane with pops of colour

A major overhaul of their family home in Brisbane created space and harmony for a couple and their five children.

Embarking on a major renovation can be disruptive. Throw five children into the mix and the prospect is even more daunting. Yet for Brisbane couple Victoria and Steven, renovating proved to be more appealing than moving.

“We love where we live, it’s leafy and close to the city, which is one of the big reasons we bought 10 years ago,” reflects Victoria. Back then, the couple had Daniel, now 14, Gabriella, now 12, and their third child, Ben, now nine, on the way.

The birth of their fifth child prompted Queensland couple Victoria and Steve to embark on a major revamp of their Brisbane home to create a welcoming abode for the entire family.

Then after Sam, now six, arrived, their spacious home started to feel a little crowded. So when Victoria discovered she was pregnant with their fifth child, Tom, who’s now three, a family of seven proved the magic number to prompt a renovation.

The deep-sea tones of ‘Schwarm Gruen’, an Andreas Nicolas Fischer artwork from Otomys, creates a striking backdrop in the dining area, furnished with a ‘Huxley’ dining table and ‘Brooklyn’ dining chairs in American Oak from Jardan. Above the table, a ‘Line’ pendant in Brass from Douglas & Bec adds a little luxe.

The three-level home already had six bedrooms, so the initial plan was simply to build out over the garage and add another two bedrooms. But as is often the way, the scope of works grew to encompass a total overhaul inside the house and out.

“I wanted to maximise storage space and I love white kitchens,” says Victoria of her brief to interior designer Gabrielle Reinhardt. Well equipped to cater for a crowd, the kitchen features Shaker-style (and appliance-concealing) cabinetry in Dulux White On White and a generous central island (below), spotlit by a trio of Bestlite ‘BL9’ pendant lights from Cult Design and framed by super chic Muuto ‘Nerd’ bar stools from Living Edge.

During the year-long build, the house was essentially gutted and the layout reworked to make life more streamlined. The new key features: an open-plan kitchen and dining area, an abundance of integrated storage and several separate living-and-play areas for the kids who range in age from three to 14.

Since this zone is ‘snack central’, the benchtops and splashbacks are in Smartstone Statuario Venato – a more practical choice than natural marble. “It looks like the real thing, but I don’t have to worry about staining from beetroot or wine,” explains Victoria.

To create a modern, cohesive palette, Gabrielle Reinhardt of Berkeley Interiors came on board to select a swathe of fresh finishes and furnishings, featuring pops of pretty pink. “In a family with five males I felt Gabriella and I needed a feminine touch around the place and pink is such a happy colour,” says Victoria.

In the serene living area on the central level, the Armadillo & Co ‘Agra’ rug anchors a pair of Jardan ‘Nook’ sofas and velvet ottomans, while a custom window seat by Berkeley Interiors, below Gabi Lee’s ‘Pastel Horses’ from Otomys, is an invitation to curl up with a book.

From dusty blush and coral to deeper rose tones, the pretty hue is offset with fresh Dulux White On White walls and a timeless palette of timber, marble and calming greys and blues in soft velvets and linen.

“The old living area had no storage – now we’ve got great custom joinery so I can hide away clutter and display a few pretty things,” she says, of the shelves showcasing vases and a candelabra from Cult Design.

On the lower level, original tiled floors made way for Maple Oak, with timber flooring also reviving the upper floor, where an open-plan library creates a breakout zone between the kids’ bedrooms. Gabrielle was brimming with clever ideas, recalls Victoria.

Part of the extension built over the garage, the library was designed to encourage play, reading and relaxation.

“One of my favourite additions was colour-coded lockers in the garage for each of the children,” she says. “It provides a spot for everyone’s bags and sports stuff and helps stem the flow of clutter.”

The library has floor-to-ceiling shelving and comfy day beds by Berkeley Interiors, with books grouped to create blocks of colour that tie in with accessories.

Meanwhile, in the new-look kitchen and laundry, “there’s two of everything,” she notes. “Double fridges, freezers, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers and, where possible, everything is kept behind doors which helps keep spaces neat.”

Navy block print cushions from Style Revolutionary, and pink velvet cushion by Berkeley Interiors dress up a reading nook.

While landscaping is next on the to-do list, for now the family is savouring the extra space they’ve gained in which to live, laugh and be themselves. “It’s so important for a family to have spots everyone can retreat to and also come together,” says Victoria.

The home office offers plenty of storage and desk space.

“We have that now and it’s just great. We’ve created a home that will comfortably accommodate us all for a very long time.”

In the ensuite, the custom-made mirror cabinet makes a statement, with two thirds of the frame defined in Dulux Parchment Paper. Aura Home Paros Bath Towels in Pink Clay complete the look. Visit

“Everyone is not on top of each other. It’s a nice big house to run a big family.”

~ Victoria

Textures abound in the couple’s bedroom, courtesy of a linen upholstered bedhead by Circa 64 and the handcut paper artwork – ‘Pink Swan’ from Mondocherry hanging above. Atop the bed, custom cushions by Berkeley Interiors in Anna Spiro Textiles’ Kandilli and Mokum’s ‘Bespoke’ velvet in Blush draw the eye, as does a ‘Double Gourd’ lamp from Bragg & Co with custom-made shade on a ‘Pearl’ bedside table from Zuster Furniture.

“The kids love that their rooms are their space and with all our bedrooms on one level, we’re still close.” ~ Victoria

At first, Steve and Victoria’s ensuite wasn’t on their hit-list, but once the renovation ball was rolling, they realised it too would need a cosmetic upgrade. Sticking to the same layout, they switched fixtures to a neutral, timeless scheme featuring large-format Anthracite floor tiles from Stone And Tile Studio and beautifully slender Yohen Border YB1 tiles from Artedomus on the vanity wall. Below the window, a Reece Kado ‘Lussi’ cast bath makes a wonderful spot to unwind and the Vitra cork stool from Living Edge ensures toiletries are in reach. A ‘Line’ wall light in Brass with a brushed and lacquered finish, is from Douglas & Bec.

Shades of pink appear in subtle and unexpected ways to lend a feminine touch throughout the home. “Pink is Victoria’s favourite colour, so we had fun with it but were careful not to overdo it,” explains interior designer Gabrielle of Berkeley Interiors.

With countless hours of doing the laundry the norm in this household, Victoria thought she’d add a splash of her favourite colour to the space. Aglow with handmade Manuel gloss tiles in Rosa from Di Moda Collective, the pink splashback injects a modern edge to classic fixtures, including a butler single bowl sink and ‘Nicolazzi’ sink mixer from Reece. Below the bench, pull-out baskets from West Elm keep the surfaces neat. “Theoretically everyone has their own basket, which I fill with clean clothes and they put away – but the system needs a little more practise,” says Victoria with a laugh.

The family often relax on their outdoor dining furniture from Cotswold InOut Furniture.

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