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“Our previous home was a small one-bedroom, and we were in the middle of working through extension options, when we realized that it was going to be a lot harder than it looked on paper, as we also work from home. We decided to have a look at some properties for sale, and it was a case of the right place, and right time,” begins Kristina. She says that this house, which covers four levels and has four bedrooms, a large kitchen and breakfast nook, two bathrooms, a big entryway, and even an in-ground concrete swimming pool, was not only big enough for them to live in, but also for them to have space for a dedicated studio and office for the business.
“Jason grew up in the area, and he loved the home as a child. Living in various parts of Australia since then, and some decades later, we ended up finding ourselves back here on his home turf. When we saw the house was for sale, we had to see it! The rest as they say… is history. Just quietly, I think it was always Jason’s dream to live in this house. Mission accomplished.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: We’ve been collecting all sorts of things for several decades now, so it’s a bit of a mix of styles here. Most of our furniture is mid-century modern onwards. We’d probably describe our style as quirky, kitschy, art-fixated, and always aspiring to improve and make it better. We only keep the things we love. Books, ceramics, music, and art feature a lot in what makes us happy.
Inspiration: Mid-century modern architecture, as well as Japanese garden design. The open spaces, and celebration of materials in their raw form is something we are both drawn as well. Natural materials, light, textures, and color.
Favorite Element: One of the nicest things are all the separate outdoor spaces. The terrace above our studio is really beautiful at night. You can look out to the mountains, and see all the lights in town. The original half of the kitchen cupboards is one of our favorite things. We’ve never seen one like it. The details that went into this home, like the kitchen are very special. The wood paneled ceiling in the lounge, and the texture of the solid plastered walls is quite lovely, too.
Biggest Challenge: I think injuring my back when we first moved in, and being unable to get up the stairs was probably the hardest part, but we were very fortunate in that there is a bedroom and bathroom downstairs, so we mixed things up a bit, and eventually my back got better (although it took a good year to recover) and the stairs aren’t an issue now. It’s nice to go upstairs and sit out on the terrace and listen to all the cockatoos, parrots, and lorikeets in the trees.
Proudest DIY: We haven’t taken on any renovations since moving in, although we did paint the studio white, which made it a lot easier with art work, and the natural light available. In future we plan to renovate the bathrooms and kitchen. The glass in the old windows is very thin, so some double or triple glazed windows are on the list, too.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Don’t buy a big house with no storage options! Ha! It’s true, this house is all windows, and not too many places to put things. It might have also been very much a case of we just had too much stuff. Since we moved here, we go through wardrobes and cupboards a few times a year, and do a good spring clean. It certainly helps clear the brain, and calm the emotions.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Buy the things you love, and celebrate your own vision and style. Practicality is so important (as we discovered with the stairs) and we always look at the comfort factor. Beauty is important too. Artwork is a big one for us. It makes us feel great having lots of art in the home. Lastly, growing plants has been one of the greatest joys. Seeing little wrens, wagtails, lizards, bees, beetles, etc. in the garden is really decorating to the max!
The studio is a working and ever changing space. We have a small collection of vintage toys, ceramics, and wooden models to keep us company, but it’s mostly a place for making mess, and cleaning mess, and then doing that all over again.
Thanks Kristina and Jason!