Leonie’s Queens­lan­der worker’s cot­tage in Coolum has been dec­o­rated to re­flect all the things she loves.

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Sec­ond-hand finds, fam­ily heir­looms and trea­sures from her trav­els adorn Leonie’s beau­ti­ful old Queens­lan­der.

“MY DAD BOUGHT THIS HOUSE in Coolum a lit­tle more than 10 years ago. The house it­self is about 100 years old, but it wasn’t al­ways here – it was moved in on a truck about 30 years ago. It’s al­ways been a fam­ily home, and I’ve lived here on and off while

I’ve trav­elled over­seas and spent time in other cities – but I’ve never had a prob­lem shar­ing my opinions about how I think it should be ren­o­vated and dec­o­rated!

Old is new again

I’ve al­ways loved the her­itage of the prop­erty – the beau­ti­ful de­tail­ing around the high ceil­ings, the clas­sic ve­ran­dah and the huge trees out­side. Dur­ing one of my stints away, my dad ren­o­vated the kitchen and main bath­room, and added a huge deck off the kitchen, as well as two sun­rooms off the bed­rooms. He also built a stu­dio granny flat. Much of the ren­o­va­tions were DIY, so Dad has worked away at them slowly over the last 10 years. Just when I think it’s fin­ished and there couldn’t pos­si­bly be any­thing more to do, Dad finds

some­thing to im­prove. Up­com­ing projects in­clude a fire­place and builtin bench seat in the din­ing room.

“I love eBay. It’s such a great place for vin­tage or an­tique pieces.”

Dif­fer­ent decor

I am usu­ally all about sim­plic­ity and take a less-is-more ap­proach to dec­o­rat­ing. How­ever, some­times a home needs more – and this is def­i­nitely the case here. I don’t col­lect any­thing spe­cific (though my dad does – chairs!) but I do love that feel­ing of scor­ing a great deal, like find­ing a vin­tage de­signer sofa hid­ing in an

unas­sum­ing op shop. I also love in­door plants and flow­ers – I’m al­ways buy­ing new ones, or col­lect­ing them from neigh­bour­ing trees and gar­dens.

Love your work

I work on my busi­ness from home, so I’m usu­ally in the study or on the back deck for tea and food breaks. Evenings are of­ten spent around the kitchen is­land bench cook­ing and chat­ting, and then maybe fi­nally set­tling into the liv­ing room for a movie on the pull-out pro­jec­tor screen or nes­tled into one of the chairs with a book. But the deck is my favourite space. There are 14 doors lead­ing to out­side – we like be­ing able to open up ev­ery room to the sur­round­ing gar­den. There’s a chair out there where you can cap­ture the morn­ing sun from 10am. With the trees so close it’s like be­ing in a for­est. Sit­ting with a cup of tea and a book while the lori­keets feed al­ways puts me in the best mood.”

Home & work Leonie works from home, ei­ther in the study or on the deck.

Plant it Leonie loves bring­ing the out­doors in with plants and flow­ers.

Field of flow­ers

The tapestry was bought at a mar­ket in Florence, Italy.

Open house

Large doors cre­ate a breezy liv­ing area.

Per­sonal touches The cof­fee ta­ble was hand­carved by Leonie’s great­grand­mother at the age of 16.

Sit­ting pretty

Leonie adopted the chair when a friend no longer wanted it.

Chair per­son Mal­colm of­ten buys chairs, then has to find places to put them!

In­dian in­spi­ra­tion The throw on the bed is made from cloth Leonie picked up in In­dia.

On the wall Leonie pulled a piece of Ba­li­nese fab­ric over can­vas to cre­ate this wall hang­ing.

Sit­ting pretty Each din­ing chair is in­di­vid­u­ally cov­ered with fab­rics from In­done­sia and In­dia.

Look here The home is filled with art col­lected from all over the world.

Clean slate Mal­colm ren­o­vated the bath­room him­self, with the help of a plum­ber. ON BASE Ar­mon ta­ble lamp, $54.95, from Zanui.

Flat out

The kitchen, a flat-pack from Ikea, cost just $5000 – in­clud­ing the tim­ber bench­tops!

RE­CY­CLED RUG Turk­ish Rust re­cy­cled mat, $85, from Raz­za­mat­tazz.

ALL NAT­U­RAL Paris Bent­wood bar stool, $195, from Huset.


The house was sur­rounded by na­tive trees and palms, but Leonie added more trop­i­cal species.

Se­ri­ous shade

Leonie painted an in­ex­pen­sive lamp­shade and used it to up­date an old base.

For the birds

The bird feeder, from a lo­cal mar­ket, at­tracts lori­keets ev­ery day.

In the sun­shine “The deck is where we live most of the time,” Leonie says.

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