CON­TEM­PO­RARY

Keen home dec­o­ra­tor Jess has turned a lit­tle fi­bro cot­tage into a charm­ing fam­ily home.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Jess Wal­sham put her DIY and bar­gain-hunter skills to good use, turn­ing a fi­bro cot­tage into a fab­u­lous fam­ily home.

“WHEN CHAD AND I bought our 1960s fi­bro cot­tage six years ago, it was in orig­i­nal – or poorly DIYed – con­di­tion. But we loved the nat­u­ral light flood­ing in, and it was the right size (and price). We could see it def­i­nitely had po­ten­tial!

START­ING AFRESH

Be­fore mov­ing in we com­pleted a mini-ren­o­va­tion, re­mov­ing a wall be­tween the liv­ing and kitchen area, in­stalling a new kitchen and bath­room and re­paint­ing through­out. Since then, we’ve worked on the back­yard, in­stalled shut­ter blinds that we or­dered on­line, and changed the colour of a few walls. We’ve also up­dated our fur­ni­ture choices to meet chang­ing needs as our fam­ily has grown.

With three fairly un­in­ter­ested males in the house, I am chief dec­o­ra­tor – but Chad and I do make big fur­ni­ture de­ci­sions to­gether. I’m in­flu­enced by fab­u­lous mag­a­zines, a few TV shows and the in­spi­ra­tional homes of friends, and my style is evolv­ing. When we first moved in I wanted a blank can­vas, so painted ev­ery­thing neu­tral.

But over time, as I’ve seen how the light bounces around the house, I’ve added fea­ture walls in dif­fer­ent shades of grey to cre­ate mood and def­i­ni­tion, as in the liv­ing room and kitchen nook.

I like to com­bine new items with pieces that have a his­tory, like the tim­ber stand and mar­ble-topped wash stand. And I love a bar­gain – I bought six din­ing chairs on eBay for $70! Stores like Tar­get and Kmart have great linen and home­wares – I seem to have an in­ap­pro­pri­ate num­ber of cush­ions, both in­side and stored in the garage.

DIY is also a bit of a hobby, creat­ing pieces that no one else has. Our din­ing ta­ble is a table­top I stripped back and sanded, on new tres­tles. I didn’t like the flu­oro yel­low legs of Jonty’s desk, so I sprayed them black. The black­board unit in the kitchen nook was easy to make, and the Lego fig­urines live in a round shelf to which I glued Lego mats – much bet­ter there than un­der­foot!

Hav­ing an open-plan area as the hub of our home is im­por­tant to me, and be­ing in a light-filled house makes me so happy and re­laxed. While our house isn’t pris­tine – there are nicks out of the paint­work and Hot Wheels tyre tracks up the walls – that’s all part of the charm. For now, it’s per­fect for us.”#

LOVELY LEGS Replica Eames DSW chair, $59, Sokol.

EX­POSED! Me­chan­ics 1 Light cage pen­dant in Black, $89.95, from Bea­con Light­ing.

FUN FOR KIDS In­stax Mini 8 in­stant cam­era, $99, Har­vey Nor­man.

All in the fam­ily The tim­ber stand was found in a beach shack Jess’s par­ents bought 40 years ago, and re­stored by her brother.

TROLLEY STYLE Vet­tre bed­side ta­ble in Turquoise, $49.99, from Ikea.

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