Vanessa’s Syd­ney home mixes down-to-earth warmth with a dose of con­tem­po­rary flair.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Colour­ful and light-filled, Vanessa’s warm sub­ur­ban home suc­cess­fully merges two dec­o­rat­ing styles.

“OUR HOUSE IS A 1930S worker’s cot­tage and was ac­tu­ally ren­o­vated just be­fore we bought it about 10 years ago. It was in a great lo­ca­tion, had a good-sized back­yard, and didn’t need any fur­ther work, which suited us per­fectly! We haven’t had to do a lot to it, but we re­cently gave it a fresh coat of paint and re­placed a bright pink fea­ture wall with some re­ally beau­ti­ful wall­pa­per.

Out­side, we’ve planted two veg­etable gar­dens and built a chicken coop for the girls – our Barn­evelder, ISA Brown and Speck­led Sus­sex chick­ens.


I hon­estly haven’t put much thought into dec­o­rat­ing the house as a whole over the years; I tend to trust my­self and buy pieces I re­ally love and some­how it all comes to­gether. It’s been all about merg­ing two dif­fer­ent dec­o­rat­ing styles so ev­ery­one is happy!

I’ve col­lected crock­ery, glass­ware, cut­lery and ta­ble linen for as long as I can re­mem­ber. Of­ten the most spe­cial pieces are gifts from loved ones or from hol­i­days. My col­lec­tion of ce­ram­ics has spilled from the kitchen to the din­ing room and re­cently to the spare room.

“I try not to have ‘spe­cial oc­ca­sion pieces’ – we sit down at the ta­ble ev­ery night and use good glasses, linen and cut­lery.”

“I love Dib­bern and have a thing for jugs. I use them for every­thing from milk and flow­ers to herbs on the kitchen bench. From $45 at Be­clau Home­wares.”


I spend a large part of the day in the kitchen – it’s where I am the hap­pi­est be­cause I love cook­ing, but the din­ing room comes a very close sec­ond, be­cause I love feed­ing peo­ple; it’s also where most of my cook­books live – I have around 200 of them.

Dur­ing sum­mer we leave the house open – there’s a big glass slid­ing door at the back and lou­vres and French doors in the mid­dle. We love hav­ing friends over for din­ner and in drinks in the back­yard.

I would love to ren­o­vate the kitchen, but it’s a big job be­cause I would want to move it from where it is now – it’s a medium-term project and I am al­ways clip­ping images from mag­a­zines for when the time comes!”

Grow­ing col­lec­tion

An an­tique hutch in English Oak houses part of Vanessa’s ce­ram­ics col­lec­tion, no­tably her 20 Dib­bern teacup sets.

Scented de­tails “There’s noth­ing more wel­com­ing than walk­ing into a house with a lovely scented can­dle burn­ing, per­fumed roses on the ta­ble, or a freshly baked cake com­ing out of the oven,” Vanessa says.

Splash of colour Two Aquabumps prints and cush­ions from Luru Home, Me­gan Park and Wal­ter G Textiles liven up the neu­tral liv­ing room.

Change up The cook­books Vanessa’s cur­rently read­ing are dis­played on her cof­fee ta­ble. Feels like home

A Harry Allen “Real­i­tyBank in the Form of a Pig” takes pride of place on the man­tel­piece. Soft touch

“I of­ten change the cush­ions on the lounge. It’s an in­ex­pen­sive way to freshen things up with­out buy­ing new fur­ni­ture,” says Vanessa.

Feels like home French doors lead to a small court­yard that’s the per­fect spot for breakfast.

Made to fit The an­tique bed was al­tered to fit a queen-size mat­tress. “When it was made no such thing ex­isted!” Vanessa ex­plains.

Clas­sic mod­ern

The bed­room has a mix of old and new pieces, in­clud­ing an an­tique mir­ror pur­chased at auc­tion.

Nice touch Vanessa al­ways has a good hand soap, scented can­dles and fresh flow­ers in her bath­room.

His and hers

The dou­ble basins are one of the things Vanessa loves about the bath­room.

Fresh look

“We painted the fire­place in the bed­room white when we first moved in – it re­ally gave the whole room a lift and made the space feel big­ger,” says Vanessa.

DAN­ISH DE­SIGN Replica Hans Weg­ner Wish­bone chair in Pre­mium Ash, $295, Matt Blatt. COLOUR HIT Dib­bern jug in Lemon, $62 for 500ml, from Be­clau Home­wares.

Light & bright “Dur­ing sum­mer we open up the glass slid­ing door at the back,” says Vanessa. “I love all the nat­u­ral light.”

Feath­ers & fame Alice, the Speck­led Sus­sex, is rather a star on Vanessa’s In­sta­gram feed, @the­hun­grychook.


Ghost rec­tan­gle cof­fee ta­ble in Clear Glass, $299, from Free­dom.

On show Di­nosaur De­signs ves­sels dec­o­rate the man­tel­piece.

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