laid BACK luxe

Aus­tralian stylist Kristin raw­son cre­ated a re­laxed, fam­ily-friendly beach house laced with de­signer panache

Living Etc - - CONTENTS - Pho­tog­ra­phy ⁄ Ma­ree Homer ⁄ Liv­ing In­side Styling ⁄ Kristin Raw­son Words ⁄ Jenny Tucker

THERE’S SOME­THING in­trin­si­cally glo­ri­ous about liv­ing close to the ocean. And in Aus­tralia that means sun­shine… Strong, daz­zling and con­sis­tent, and the surf… Pow­er­ful and preva­lent. But there’s also the feel­ing that when you rub along this in­ti­mately with na­ture, you get the op­por­tu­nity to ac­tu­ally live. Re­ally live a life that’s in­ter­spersed with scooter rides to the beach, 8am swims and im­promptu bar­be­cues on the sand at dusk.

‘I’m so happy with the beau­ti­ful out­doors en­vi­ron­ment,’ says stylist Kristin Raw­son. ‘I’ve never re­gret­ted mov­ing back to my Aussie roots af­ter I de­cided to leave New York five years ago.’

Back then, Kristin was a stylist, work­ing in Man­hat­tan as fash­ion ed­i­tor of US Harper’s Bazaar and Teen Vogue. She’s worked with the likes of Kate Moss and Jen­nifer Anis­ton and reg­u­larly teamed up with pho­tog­ra­pher greats such as Steven Meisel and Mario Testino.

‘But then I fell preg­nant with my son Jack­son and I started long­ing for fam­ily, friends, the beaches and the Aus­tralian life­style,’ Kristin re­calls. ‘I grew up by the sea. My dad taught us four chil­dren to surf at the beach where he was also a life­saver. With my own child on the way, the pull of the ocean was strong.’

When she hap­pened upon this Seven­ties bun­ga­low, Kristin knew she’d found a quirky and spe­cial home. ‘Yes, it wasn’t ex­actly my style in­side, but the struc­ture was all there,’ she re­mem­bers. ‘I didn’t make any ma­jor build­ing changes, just an in­te­rior up­date. The thing that sold it to me was the in­door/out­door liv­ing, with the big open kitchen lead­ing on to the pool and gar­den. Num­ber one on my tick list was a fam­ily home for the kids and I to share in a re­laxed way. This place feels so laid-back.’

Kristin’s choice of in­te­rior is tes­ti­mony to her chilled at­ti­tude. She ad­mits she veers to­wards a sim­ple and comfy Scandi style. ‘I adore linens!’ she says with a laugh. ‘And gen­tle colours, warm woods, nat­u­ral tex­tures, clas­sic de­signs. You don’t have to spend loads to make an im­pact. I reg­u­larly make small ad­just­ments to the house, like I’ll change a paint shade or plant new flow­ers in the gar­den, choose dif­fer­ent art, mix up the throws. A cou­ple of years ago I added the matt-white Span­ish tiles to the kitchen wall and they re­ally al­tered the feel of the room. Or I’ll treat my­self to one spe­cial ac­ces­sory, some­thing that catches the eye as soon as you en­ter that space. I love the pen­dant light in my bed­room and I’m so happy with the out­door sofa in the ca­bana. I can sit there and watch the kids play in the pool and, be­cause the cov­ers are wa­ter­proof, I don’t have to be pre­cious about it when they jump on it in wet bathers.’

There’s still a lit­tle fine tun­ing here and there that Kristin wants to do (‘The bath­room could ben­e­fit from a re­fit’). But, like her at­ti­tude to fam­ily life, she takes it one step at a time.

‘If there was any ad­vice I’d give to new home­own­ers it would be go slow, don’t rush, get used to the way your in­te­ri­ors look and feel be­fore you make any big changes. Cre­ate mood­boards, ex­plore Pin­ter­est, think about how you use the house, what you want to feel like while you’re in it… This place is where I in­vite guests, feel at ease and hang out. But, of course, I want it to look good too!’ Kristin adds, smil­ing.

Come the week­end, she’s ready to kick back. Kristin is de­lighted that her open-door pol­icy means the back yard will be filled with friends, young and old. ‘Ice creams for the chil­dren, wine for the mums,’ she says. ‘I love it when peo­ple just drop in – the more ca­sual, the bet­ter.’ But, true to her ever-stylish na­ture, Kristin just can’t help see­ing her home through the lens of a pro­fes­sional, as she waves good­bye to the dec­o­ra­tor who was called in to add a new shade to a bed­room wall. ‘I can’t re­sist tweak­ing,’ she says, laugh­ing. ‘My poor painter is on speed dial!’

To check out Kristin’s In­sta­gram feed, visit @kristin­raw­son

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