Riza’s charm­ing fam­ily home is full of cre­ative ideas, vin­tage col­lec­tions and adorable out­door rooms. It’s the per­fect sum­mer house.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter liv­ing over­seas in apartments, Riza and Cameron found the ideal fam­ily home: an old Queens­lan­der on a large block.

“WE HAD BEEN LIV­ING in Asia and Africa for more than a decade when we de­cided to come home to Aus­tralia.

The ma­jor­ity of our time over­seas was spent liv­ing in high-rise apartments with no gar­dens, trees or grass of our own to en­joy, so we longed for wide open spa­ces. But lo­gis­ti­cally, we both needed to live in a city for work pur­poses. I’m not from Bris­bane but my hus­band is, so we started there. We thought a Queens­lan­der on a big block would give us ev­ery­thing we needed.


We started out look­ing for a block that was at least 800 square me­tres – the house it­self wasn’t as im­por­tant, as orig­i­nally we in­tended to build. Then we found our 115-year-old Queens­lan­der, nicely ren­o­vated in tra­di­tional style. With its her­itage charm and 1200 square me­tre block, we were smit­ten.

For the past 12 years we’ve been up­dat­ing the house to suit our needs and style. We put in a new kitchen, which is now 10 years old, con­verted the front for­mal din­ing space into two ex­tra bed­rooms, added a bath­room, in­stalled a pool and built a pool house com­plete with a bar­beque, kitchen and shower/bath­room.

Cameron is a civil en­gi­neer and very an­a­lyt­i­cal, whereas I’m driven by both aes­thet­ics and the de­sire to ef­fi­ciently use the struc­tures we have rather than adding on more square me­ter­age. We use every area of our house and block, cre­at­ing spa­ces that sup­port the out­door life­style for which Queens­land is so fa­mous.

The con­ver­sion of our dou­ble car­port into a pool house has ba­si­cally given us a sec­ond din­ing space, kitchen, bath­room and liv­ing area, with­out chang­ing the orig­i­nal foot­print.


Liv­ing and work­ing in south-east Asia and Africa has re­ally in­flu­enced our style, so it tends to­wards Asian colo­nial. Cameron and I love the cool, re­laxed lux­ury, dark tim­bers and ex­otic decor with an air of so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

Ours is an eclec­tic col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture and art from op shops and an­tique stores in Aus­tralia and over­seas. Plants and palms are a big part of this look and we have them ev­ery­where, in­doors and on the decks. I have a cane ad­dic­tion, and I love any­thing Chip­pen­dale or Blanc de Chine. I like peo­ple to feel com­fort­able in my house – I don’t want any­one to worry about where they sit or how. The vibe I want is re­laxed lux­ury – spe­cial and beau­ti­ful, but not pre­cious.


We’ve tried to cre­ate seam­less in­doorout­door spa­ces. The liv­ing room opens out with dou­ble French doors to the back deck, which has an­other sit­ting area sur­rounded by green fo­liage and hang­ing bas­kets. We of­ten use these spa­ces as one ex­tended liv­ing area, par­tic­u­larly in sum­mer.

An­other favourite space is the kitchen, where fam­ily and friends drink end­less cups of tea and eat count­less meals. I have a se­ries of pho­to­graphs I’ve taken over the years of my kids at the ta­ble. Each photo is shot the same way – the ta­ble is the same, but the kids have grown from ba­bies to teens.


Styling a home is about so much more than pretty cush­ions and flow­ers. It’s about cre­at­ing a place you love to be, that tells peo­ple who you are with­out words. Your home is some­where you should want to be.

Our home is lived in, every bit of it. The girls draw on the front deck, I work from my lap­top in every room, we en­ter­tain out on the back deck and every even­ing we eat to­gether in the kitchen. In a sen­tence, our home is some­where we en­joy be­ing and miss when we are away.”

Fresh face The ex­te­rior was re­cently re­freshed with a coat of paint in Du­lux Snowy Moun­tains.

Come on in A long hall­way wel­comes visi­tors and stretches to the liv­ing room at the home’s rear.

To the floor In strik­ing con­trast to the walls, the front deck is painted in Du­lux Black Or­bit.

In the fam­ily The ta­ble was from Riza’s grand­mother. The mar­ble top is new but the tim­ber legs are orig­i­nal.

Touch of tra­di­tion A stove has been placed in this orig­i­nal al­cove for more than 100 years.

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