SYDNEY INTERIORS STYLIST KIRSTEN BOOKALLIL OPENS UP THE DOORS TO HER CALM AND COLLECTED BONDI HOME
THE LIFE OF AN INTERIOR STYLIST provides plenty of beautiful new wares and ideas on creating a home, but Kirsten Bookallil prefers adding layers rather than overhauling what already exists.
“I’m a modern collector,” the Sydney stylist says. “I like things pared back but I enjoy the memories of mementoes. I enjoy looking around and seeing my memories and things that give me a sense of place.”
STARTING POINT When Kirsten moved to her current home in Bondi Beach with her two daughters, Stella and Bronte, and Monte the cat in September 2016, she wasn’t tempted to start again or create a new look. Instead, she preferred to work with her existing mix of antiques, modern pieces, accessories and art. “I’m exposed to lots of trends, but I’m less trend-driven for myself,” she says. “When I come home I just want everything to be in order and have a place to lie down and feel comfortable.”
LESS IS MORE Kirsten does confess, however, she is an avid sorter. “I hate cupboards stuffed with items, so I continuously edit,” she says. “I like to have less but my children like more. They’ve got used to things disappearing. I am prone to a little OCD but having kids has kicked it out of me a little.” Kirsten was enticed to live in the three-bedroom Federation bungalow mainly due to its location. It’s two blocks from the beach and walking distance to the girls’ school. But the place also had a lovely feel too. It had been renovated 15 years ago and was in good condition, as the previous tenants had lived there for many years, treating the place as a home.
HAPPY PLACE Kirsten is friends with the owners and they encouraged her to do what was necessary to make the house somewhere she was happy to be. Subsequently, she has updated light fittings, painted the bedroom and hallway, and replaced the vanity and mirror in the bathroom.