Inside Out Open for Inspection

Inside Out magazine in collaboration with Bugaboo recently invited The Home Journal to attend their renowned Open for Inspection event at a newly renovated home in Geelong. Imogen Lamport from Inside Out Style blog attended on behalf of THJ and today shares her experience.

Like you, I’m rather obsessed with interior design and am always keen to nose around other people’s houses. I do it via blogs, interiors magazines, sometimes going to open-for-inspections when houses are being sold and recently I got the chance to do so at the invitation of Inside Out magazine in collaboration with Bugaboo as they showed us through the recently renovated family home of Lauren and Matthew Wilson in Geelong.

We were led on the tour not only by homeowner Lauren, but also by Rebecca Judd from blog Rebecca Judd Loves, Editor-in-chief of Inside Out magazine Claire Bradley and Market Editor Joseph Gardner who talked us through the many interior design delights.

The last in a series of renovations for homeowners Lauren and Matthew (who is a builder), Lauren shared some of the lessons she’d learned from previous experiences with renovating and what she did in this home to ensure both form and functionality.

1. Create the Feeling of Space
The old house had great bones with 3m ceilings throughout. In the extension the ceilings were matched in height to continue that feeling of openness. All of the doorways in the house are 2.4m, which makes them feel more generous. The kitchen island is around 1.5m away from the bench, which allows you to open a cupboard fully and still have space for another person to move around and past you.

2. Family Friendly Spaces
There were so many examples of this in the house. The kid’s playroom is one of these and features a huge daybed, which is great for readings stories on. Replaceable carpet tiles by Bolon that can be lifted and cleaned or replaced easily have been installed. They are super durable and fantastic in a kid’s area like this where drinks or food may be spilled. The huge ceiling hung sliding glass door between the lounge and the playroom becomes a protective cover for floor to ceiling open shelves which stop small people from going on search and destroy missions.

The bar stools at the kitchen bench are easily cleaned and are ideal for kids to climb up on, plus the stool backs stop the kids toppling off them.

Lots and lots of storage has been built into the house including a great storage unit that hides the kids toys when they’re not playing with them. There are also built in wardrobes in every bedroom with really great wooden handles, both a great design feature and easy for hands of all sizes to grip. If you want to see more of the thoughtfully designed but cost-effective walk-in-wardrobe you can see it on my blog here.

3. Buy Art you Love and Frame it Harmoniously
This house has many pieces of art. Lauren advised not to try and match artworks or only buy from one artist, but to buy what you love. It should then be framed in a way that every artwork frame relates in material (here it was mostly oak frames with white matt board) to the other pieces which helps to create a harmonious appearance. In fact the dining area artwork by Ubabub from Mark Tuckey, had a nook built into the wall to frame it creating a delineation of the open plan space, plus some storage underneath, a brilliant idea!

4. Add Colour, Texture and Wood
One of the mistakes Lauren felt she’d made in a previous home renovation was using too much white so the space felt quite clinical. This home has lots of wood including solid American Oak on the floors as well as the dining table, which was made by Matthew from leftover floorboards, plus oak veneer cupboards in the kitchen and wooden door frames.

Lauren also added lots of wool rugs to soften the space, and gorgeous layers of texture and fabrics on the beds. For example the guest bedroom featured a beautiful wool carpet, velvet pillowcases and throw rugs, which made you just want to climb into bed, curl up and read for a few hours.

The home’s colour scheme is mostly soft white walls with accents of soft turquoise and cameo pink, created by the decorative details that tie the home together.

5. Let There Be Light
The use of skylights in this home made it feel so open and airy. There is a fabulous skylight void above the kitchen bench and there are even skylights in the outdoor covered deck area which stop it from feeling dark.

Then there are the window-framed views. The kitchen splashback is a window looking out over a gorgeous green vertical garden, which not only brings more natural light into the open plan space, but also brings the outdoors inside.

The master bedroom has a highlight window, framed by the built in wooden bedhead that gives you a glimpse of the sky and creates the feeling of a moving and changing artworks as the clouds move past.

This is a gorgeous home where much thought has gone into the design to make it both a liveable and family-friendly stylish space.

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