With unfettered access to the private retreats of Australia’s finest interior designers, writer Jenny Rose-Innes discovers how they express their true, unfiltered style
A JAPANESE DESK IN THE TURQUOISE SITTING ROOM OF DESIGNER ANNA SPIRO. IMAGE: SIMON GRIFFITHS
There’s something about Australian interior design that sings of warmth and sunshine, while retaining a feeling of cosiness and comfort. Happy colours that may feel cold in our dreary winters have a unique vibrancy, while rich, earthy hues, greenery and botanical prints reflect the rugged landscape beyond the windows.
Writer Jenny Rose-Innes moved to Australia 15 years ago, buying a small farm in the Southern Highlands, 60 miles south of Sydney, with a beautiful old stone house that needed restoring. As she set about creating a home and a garden for her family, she started to meet like-minded friends, including many interior designers.
In her new book, Australian Designers at Home, Jenny is guided through the very beautiful homes of 20 of the country’s most eminent designers, all of which have a common thread. She also shares a few of their trade secrets along the way. “The homes I’ve always been drawn to are portraits of the people who live there, and it’s something I’ve also tried to achieve in all the houses my family and I have lived in,” she says, adding: “Home is the place where they can express their true, unfiltered selves.”
Here are some of our favourite rooms featured in the book…
BELOVED ANTIQUES SIT IN THE ENTRANCE HALL AT THE HOME OF DESIGNER CAMERON KIMBER, WHICH HE BUILT FROM SCRATCH. IMAGE: SIMON GRIFFITHS
Having bought a plot of land in the countryside and certain about the Georgian-style weatherboard house he wanted to build, Cameron Kimber sketched it on the back of an envelope. It was handed to a colleague to draw up properly and the result is this beautiful antique-filled home in the Southern Highlands, an hour and a half from Sydney. Even before he had built the house, Cameron bought the lantern at auction which now hangs in the entrance hall, over the beautiful herringbone brick floor and commanding fireplace.
THE ENTRANCE HALL PAPERED IN ‘GREAT VINE’ BY COLE & SON AT THE HOME OF DESIGNER LISA BURDUS. IMAGE: SIMON GRIFFITHS
Lisa Burdus‘ passion for the great outdoors flows through every room in her country house, with its beautiful palette of rich earthy colours, natural materials and botanical prints. Foliage and cut flowers fill vases and potted plants, grasses and herbs abound, giving a nod to Lisa’s commitment to always having something of the outside inside. She admits to constantly changing things and being inspired by aged objects: “I’m drawn to the patina of life, nothing flashy or glitzy.”
AN OTTOMAN UPHOLSTERED IN A BEAUTIFUL ANTIQUE RUG SITS IN THE TRANQUIL LIVING ROOM AT THE HOME OF DESIGNER LYNDA KERRY. IMAGE: SIMON GRIFFITHS
Designer Lynda Kerry‘s signature look of white walls and dark hardwood floors is punctuated with stronger elements throughout her house, such as industrial lighting and internal and external doors painted in black. There is an easy, open-plan feeling to her home, yet with individual living spaces that suit the whole family. Lynda’s love of vintage fabrics is evident throughout the house, as is her love of family, with inherited antiques and family heirlooms adding a sense of history.
DESIGNER ANNA SPIRO’S BRISBANE HOME SITS IN A GARDEN OF LAWNS AND TALL PALMS THAT RUSTLE IN THE BREEZE. IMAGE: SIMON GRIFFITHS
Known for her love of striking colours and bold, mismatched fabrics, we adore Anna Spiro‘s family home in Brisbane, which she shares with her husband and two sons. The turquoise colour on the walls in the living room was the starting point for the decor which was then “just pulled together without a formula.” There is a place for art on almost every wall in the house and vibrant colours wash through to the bedrooms; with one guest room painted in vivid orange, another in rich pink and Anna’s own bedroom cocooned in a deep electric blue.
Australian Designers at Home by Jenny Rose-Innes, published by Thames & Hudson. Photography by Simon Griffiths.