Home Tour: Family Friendly Home in Australia

Hello friends, how are you today? I received such a nice email from Stella, a blogger and homeowner living along the central coast in Australia with her family, who wanted to share her home with all of us. Yay! It is surprisingly quite rare that homeowner's contact me, why is this? I don't get it, I'm not a tiger, I won't bite. They seem so shy or think I would not be interested for some reason but please don't be, I love seeing how people live and though I cannot publish all home stories, my goal is one per week so help me people! Saratoga-5017

Ok! So come out from hiding you people with your stylish homes, because we want to feature your world on decor8.

Okay, enough about that. How about a little show and tell? Stella, her husband Michael and their children Eva Grace (2.5 years old) and Luca (14 months) live in this lovely space in a part of the world that I'm longing to visit- Australia. What's with Australia anyway? Beautiful beyond words but then you have all of these great blogs and foodies there, incredible stylists and the homes. Oh the homes. Always so light-filled and posh.

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Stella teaches English studies and literature at their local University and her husband owns a golf business and they live about an hour away from gorgeous Sydney. That's their dining room above. Their home was built in the mid century and hasn't been renovated in about 30 years so, despite how aged it was, when they were shopping for a home in a neighborhood they'd be hoping to live, they snatched it right up in "as is" condition because all of the homes were selling so quickly and they were tired of missing out. 

When they viewed their current home they commented that, "We instinctively sensed this was an opportunity that we had to jump on. The waterview, the outlook, were its greatest features. Other appealing features were; loads of natural light, north facing, corner block, high ceiling and of course its natural backdrop. The home is very bright and airy." Since moving in, they knew it was the best choice as they never tire of the water views and find it a tranquil spot after a long day chasing toddlers.

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"Another plus to our home is the layout. It feels seamless and flows well from one space to the other because it is so open I can be preparing dinner in the kitchen and I can see the kids playing in their rooms." When Stella mentioned this is made me think about how layout is so critical when you have children. When you are a single couple, you have more freedom at home. You don't think about whether the children can hear the television at night or whether you can see the baby playing on the living room floor while you are preparing dinner. These things suddenly become very important once children arrive.

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I asked Stella where they like to shop for furniture and decorating objects and she confessed, "Our home is littered with bits and pieces from our travels, flea market finds and some pieces from furniture stores like FreedomCountry Road and for the furniture in the kids room we love Ikea because it is extremely functional and durable." Stella loves Scandinavian style best and tries to bring a nordic vibe to her home, "Our home feels open and fresh, we don’t have a lot of accessories. I like functional furnishings with a neutral palette. We have clean lines, whitewashed floors and a warm colour theme," all are the hallmarks of Scandinavian decor.

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There is lovely Stella and her little one shown above and below, there is a bit of an interview I had with her so she can share her house pride with you in her own words. I love it when people talk about where they live and you can tell their faces are glowing as they speak...

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What do you love the most about your home? 

Stella: Being so close to the water is a blessing. We often take the kids down to the water for a picnic and to feed the ducks and see the pelicans. We find it such a joy to unwind at the end of the day in a home we love with the people we love. When we have no schedule or events to attend, we love our time together as a family. Most weekends will start with eating pancakes around the kitchen breakfast bench. Michael loves to cook on his days off and the open plan kitchen makes it possible to be cooking and still engaging and interacting with the family. The kids will usually do some craft and drawing on the dinning room table and then we might go for a walk to see the ducks and fish at the waterfront. At the end of the day Michael and I will unwind with a cup of coffee on our deck, catching up on some reading and watching the sunset over the water. Our home is bright and charming and it’s always easy to just stay at home.

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What is your favorite piece in your home?

Stella: The cream David Edmonds Platter on the bench top is one of my favourite pieces in the home. My husband bought it for me soon after we got engaged. It is a sculptural piece that adds a touch of art to our kitchen. Also our bed linen is Vintage Washed Linen. It is pure, lightweight linen and gives a lovely lived in look. It is extremely soft and durable and always looks so fresh. 

How do you define “home”?  

Stella: Simply this -- All the riches in the world mean nothing without a home. 

What are some tips for keeping a stylish home with children? 

Stella: When you have children it’s important that they know where their things should go. That way tiding up time is more easier.  We have baskets scattered around the house, canvas bags and natural baskets that store lots of books and toys. It helps us feel organised gives everything its place.

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What is your dream piece for your home?

Stella: I would love to find a piece of art that I can not live without. That would make a statement and would stir something in me overtime I looked at it. 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to decorating?

Stella: Trying to find pieces that are multifunctional and still beautiful. 

What comes natural when you're decorating?

Stella: Matching things with our clean lines and natural tones because I know our palette and the colours I am drawn to... I know if something will find its place in our home fairly quickly (or not).

How do you make simple, easy changes to the style of a room when you get bored and how often do you redecorate?

Stella: I play around with a vignette and change pieces around, I might add an unusual look vase with fresh flowers- that is a quick easy way to add life to a space. I am often rearranging things, I'll be looking through an interior magazine and walk away to change a single item around, for instance. It might be moving a frame or pulling similar items together like a vignette of similar coloured vases. I find inspiration to decorate all around me. 

Thank you Stella for sharing your corner of the world with us today. And dear readers, you can follow Stella on her Instagram if you'd like - just click here.

(photos: Maree Homer via Homes+ magazine)