Leonie’s Queenslander worker’s cottage in Coolum has been decorated to reflect all the things she loves.
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.”
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.
Large doors create a breezy living area.
Personal touches The coffee table was handcarved by Leonie’s greatgrandmother at the age of 16.
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.
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.
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.