MAX­I­MUM IM­PACT

This cre­ative di­rec­tor’s colour­ful and eclec­tic pad re­flects her “more is more” mantra

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents - WORDS AND STYLING BY AMY STARR

A print- and colour-packed Mel­bourne cot­tage.

LIFE­STYLE

THE SIM­PLE WEATHERBOARD FAÇADE OF

Bon­nie Ash­ley’s cot­tage in the Mel­bourne sub­urbs be­lies the car­a­van of colours and pat­terns that fill ev­ery square inch in­side. Along with hus­band Neil Downie, Bon­nie founded the de­sign stu­dio and home­wares line Bon­nie and Neil, so the sweet two-bed­room space is packed with plenty of pieces of their own mak­ing. “A lot of props from our shoots find their way into our home,” ex­plains Bon­nie. A new ac­qui­si­tion is the bed­head, cov­ered in the brand’s lat­est cre­ation, printed fab­ric, which is sold by the me­tre and hand­crafted by Neil. The gi­ant can­vas, hand-painted by Bon­nie, which takes pride of place above the green vel­vet sofa in the liv­ing room, was also orig­i­nally com­mis­sioned for a Mel­bourne Cup mar­quee.

The pair’s highly cov­etable, of­ten-colour­ful wares are sold in the most beau­ti­ful bou­tiques and re­side in chic homes all over the world, but nowhere have they found a more ap­pro­pri­ate spot than in their own cot­tage. When you see the vivid prints, flora and fauna mo­tifs and clash­ing tones en masse, it’s near im­pos­si­ble not to crave a lit­tle more colour in your own life. “Our busi­ness is all about cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful prod­ucts that peo­ple would want in their homes, and our own home is no dif­fer­ent,” says Bon­nie. “We love pat­tern on all sur­faces – tex­tiles, walls and floors – com­ple­mented with bold­coloured fur­ni­ture, dec­o­ra­tive ob­jects and plenty of plant life for good mea­sure.”

The part of the home – which the pair share with dogs Rosie and Foxy, and Pos­sum the cat – that gets the big­gest work­out is the shared kitchen and din­ing space, with its con­ver­sa­tion-start­ing tiled walls and floor-to-ceil­ing book­case. “One of our favourite things to do is host our friends and fam­ily for din­ner par­ties, so we love the open-plan din­ing area where we cook, make cock­tails and so­cialise,” says Bon­nie. “It fea­tures our printed tim­ber tiles on one wall, plenty of nat­u­ral light and flows out to our gar­den. The ta­ble is al­ways set with napery, flow­ers and dec­o­ra­tive pieces.”

Not con­tent with just in­flu­enc­ing how your home gets dressed, this cou­ple’s next trick is go­ing to be to in­fil­trate your wardrobe. The pair have founded a re­sortwear fash­ion la­bel called La Bonne Souer (labon­nesouer.com.au), com­piled of dresses, slips and robes in vin­tage-in­spired shapes and sport­ing hand­painted prints. There is also their sec­ond col­lab­o­ra­tion with T2, con­sist­ing of painted china and linen napery, set to ar­rive in stores this month.

“In­spi­ra­tion comes from our trav­els – we love ex­plor­ing the world and see­ing how in­te­rior de­sign trans­lates in dif­fer­ent places,” ex­plains Ash­ley. “I love col­lect­ing and re­search­ing his­tor­i­cal tex­tiles, but also keep up to date with in­te­rior and fash­ion de­sign. What­ever is sea­son­ally hap­pen­ing in our gar­den and the flo­ral world plays a huge part in how our home looks – fresh flow­ers and green­ery are al­ways on dis­play.”

“WE LOVE PAT­TERN ON ALL SUR­FACES, COM­PLE­MENTED WITH BOLD-COLOUR FUR­NI­TURE, DEC­O­RA­TIVE OB­JECTS AND PLENTY OF PLANT LIFE”

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY NIKOLE RAM­SAY

TAKE A SEAT: These Grazia and Co stools are cus­tomised with Bon­nie and Neil’s linen

Cof­fee ta­ble, $1,000, FEN­TON & FEN­TON, fen­to­nand­fen­ton.com.au Stool, $350, FEN­TON & FEN­TON, fen­to­nand­fen­ton.com.au TREA­SURE HUNT: The ce­ramic tiger – on one of Neil’s cab­i­net cre­ations – was found at an an­tique mar­ket in Gee­long, Vic­to­ria Sofa, $2,095, CLICKON FUR­NI­TURE, click­on­fur­ni­ture.com.au Touch lamp, $59.95, LUCCI DÉ­COR, bea­con­light­ing.com.au

Stool, $350, FEN­TON & FEN­TON, fen­to­nand­fen­ton.com.au Art­work, $300, BON­NIE AND NEIL, bon­nie­and­neil.com.au Sheep­skin, $319, SO­CI­ETY OF WAN­DER­ERS, nathan­jac.com.au TESSELLATED TONES: The bed­head – an­other of Neil’s hand­crafted pieces – fea­tures the duo’s mo­saic fab­ric

Cush­ion, $200, BON­NIE AND NEIL, bon­nie­and­neil.com.au

Cush­ion, $130, NATHAN + JAC, nathan­jac.com.au

Art­work, $300, BON­NIE AND NEIL, bon­nie­and­neil.com.au

Can­dle, $60, NATHAN + JAC, nathan­jac.com.au Bowl, $189, KRISTINA DAM, them­i­ni­mal­ist.com.au

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