Organising your home — with style
This former reality TV star knows all about the struggle to create order from chaos, writes Jennifer Veerhuis
At first glance you wouldn’t necessarily consider mementos and decorative objects compatible with an organised home. But they are a key part of daily life for former Housewives Of Melbourne reality TV star Chyka Keebaugh.
A businesswoman and events organiser, Chyka had a former life as a styling expert on Good Morning Australia for four years and has become known for her eye for style.
Editor-in-chief of her own online magazine, chyka.com, she loves homemaking and the chance to change things up for the seasons, and moving furniture around. And she can now add author to her resume, with her new book Chyka Home released next month.
The bare necessities
For Chyka, home is all about family, which includes her husband, Bruce, two adult children, BJ and Chessie, and their two dogs.
“I think if you’ve got a beautiful space to come home to it makes you feel really good,” she says. “People forget how easy it is to do — it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
“Home is my sacred place, it’s somewhere I just feel comfortable and feel safe and it’s really important to have myself surrounded by things that are special.”
Piles of books and fresh flowers top the list, along with scented candles. “Fragrance is so important,” she says That also extends to the kitchen. “I love the fridge being full of beautiful food, so if someone calls past, or if we want to make a delicious pasta, it’s all there,” she says.
“I love knowing things are easy and at hand. I know that every corner of our house has a little vignette or a special story to tell.”
Back to basics
Key to a happy home is a well-organised space.
For those struggling to get organised while maintaining a stylish look, Chyka suggests taking everything back to basics.
“Take everything off your couch, everything off your coffee table and then you slowly add,” she says. “Work out the colours you want.
“I think if you try and do too much too soon, you actually confuse yourself and you can get yourself into a mess.
“It’s a ‘slowly, slowly’ process. Cushions, throws, coffee table books, flowers, they’re the key ingredients to make anything look absolutely gorgeous and beautiful.”
The road less travelled
If you’re looking to add some personal touches to a space, Chyka says buying something special when you are away is a great way to hold on to the memories.
“I think collections of things are beautiful
because they mean something,” she says. “Our home is very eclectic and very layered. I love so many different styles — Bruce calls our home a house of knick-knacks, because they’re everywhere.
“They are all placed in the right way and it doesn’t feel cluttered, because there’s a purpose to it. I just love anything that’s beautiful, pretty and gorgeous.”
For Chyka, having a sense of organisation within her home is important.
“I’m an A-type personality, everything has to be perfect,” she says. “I walk out the door and all beds are made, the washing machine’s on, so if someone comes past, it’s ready.
“But it’s not actually for other people — it’s purely for myself. If I’m organised, then life’s organised.”
A sense of order
If your space still doesn’t feel coherent, Chyka says grouping things according to colour, shape or type is a good option.
“I love clustering but it’s all about making sure you’ve got a variety of heights,” she says. “A glass dome is such an inexpensive thing you can get from Ikea.
“You can fill it up with anything, it just gives you a cool look at a very inexpensive price.”
Chyka says she also loves going to markets, bric-a-brac stores and the $2 shop.
“I walk in there and I’m gone, you can get such great things,” she says. “Go for things all one colour and you’ve got a really strong look.”
Chyka Home by Chyka Keebaugh, available from April 1, Hardie Grant Books, $39.99
Home is all about family for Chyka Keebaugh.
Chyka’s dressing room is her favourite space in the house because everything is on display and easy to access.
Baskets and jars are ideal ways to keep things organised.