PHOTOGRAPHER KARA ROSENLUND’S GORGEOUS QUEENSLAND WORKERS’ COTTAGE CHAMPIONS HER LOVE OF NATURE, TRAVEL AND ANTIQUE FINDS
Photographer Kara Rosenlund has filled her “rambling” Queensland workers’ cottage with nature, curios and antiques
THINK BACK TO YOUR FOURTEENTH BIRTHDAY. Can you remember what you asked for? Probably not. For photographer, stylist and interiors lover
Kara Rosenlund, the answer comes easily: polished floorboards. “I’ve always been into interiors and textures and how rooms make you feel,” Kara says. Combine that with a passion for photography and the crystal ball was pretty clear on Kara’s future. Starting out as a photographer, Kara credits a stint working in London, in an antiques store and as a prop stylist, for igniting her passion for interiors.
DREAM JOB These days Kara juggles a combination of the two – shooting for magazines and selling photographic prints as well as working on her lifestyle collection, a mix of homewares and fashion. Her long list of accomplishments would give anyone a case of the envies if she wasn’t the definition of delightful. Warm, with boundless energy, her drive is teamed with a well-trained eye and effortless style. She shakes off the stuffiness of antiques, mixing them with her own collections and pieces for a classic yet fresh take that’ll have you searching salvage yards faster than you can say “it’s vintage!”.
OWN STAMP Kara found her 1890s workers’ cottage in 2010 while perusing Realestate.com.au from London. The three-bedroom house, situated on Brisbane’s north side, was “just rambling enough,” Kara says. “I didn’t want to have to pay a premium for someone else’s ugly kitchen and bathroom renovation. I wanted their bones and that’s all
I could afford. It felt really honest, the timber floors, the high ceilings, these workers’ cottages are really transparent and quirky. It was also in a great spot, there was just something about it.”
DIY ATTITUDE It took the couple a year and a half to renovate, while living in the cottage. First the bathroom, then the kitchen, before adding a dining room, planting up the garden and filling the space with Kara’s mementoes. At the same time, Kara
was starting the next phase of her career. She had shipped back a container of antiques from London and purchased, off Gumtree, a 1959 caravan (in need of a hearty makeover) to sell them from. “It was really hard. I was doing the market, getting up at 2.30am, sleeping on a mattress. It was just a bit gross and we were about to get married as well. Everything was happening at the same time,” she says. Enough to warrant heart palpitations. But not for Kara. “It was fun, something was always happening.” This sums Kara up, her positive nature and ability to launch herself wholeheartedly at a project. Case in point: when she had a spare 10 days, she set about sanding and whitewashing all the floors by herself.
TRUE TO YOURSELF Kara’s love of old pieces comes from memories of garage sale hopping with her dad and heavy dessert spoons and bone-handled knives at her grandmother’s house. Her top tip is to surround yourself with what brings you joy. “I want to walk into one of my rooms and feel like me,” Kara says. “I don’t want to walk in and go ‘because I have the top 10 on-trend pieces, this room must be on trend’. It has to go beyond that because it’s a reflection of you and how you live your life.”
Cosy space The dining nook was built by Kara and features one of her photographs taken in Namibia, ship lights bought in London and vintage Danish leather cushions found at a second-hand shop. The cane chair is also vintage and the table is an antique from Vieille Branche. Also in the collection of cushions are finds from Francalia, Design Twins, Jardan and KR Home. The throw is from Città and ceramics by Bridgette Bodenham.