Michael and Carlene Duffy just completed an interior transformation on a character-filled Queenslander. Here, they reveal styling tips in every room for making the most of a home’s architecture.
From sold, to styled! We’ve had a blast following renovating duo Michael and Carlene Duffy as they transformed this empty Queenslander into a character-filled home over three action-packed weeks. As they look back on the styling journey, they’re revealing the room-by-room tips that had the most impact on the space.
A character-filled kitchen and dining area
True to the cottage-like nature of Queenslanders, this quaint kitchen seriously lacked storage. As modern storage ideas would have stuck out like a sore thumb in this zone, the renovating duo opted for a solution more in line with the home’s architecture.
“With some easy black brackets, we erected this recycled timber shelf,” says Michael. The DIY solution provided extra storage, but also created interest in the space and provided a place for the new owners to display keepsakes. “Open shelving with exposed brackets really lends itself to a classic Queenslander aesthetic,” adds Carlene.
The adjoining dining area featured original ornate window shutters that brought tons of personality to the space, but something more was needed to ground the zone and create a second point of intrigue. Michael and Carlene opted for a fluted glass pendant light with matte black hardware. “I would say it’s a slightly more modern take on a classic light,” says Carlene of this perfect pick.
A small but mighty living room
Michael and Carlene have a knack for creating extra space seemingly out of nowhere, and their styling of this cosy living room is no exception. By taking accurate measurements of the room, they ensured they purchased furniture in proportion to the rest of the space. “We’ve seen people make the mistake of getting excited and buying furniture before they’ve worked out where it’s going to go,” says Carlene, adding: “Good planning means mapping out your space before going shopping.”
Hanging art is a great way to add character and personality to your home, but in smaller rooms, hanging frames on every wall can actually box you in and make the space feel smaller. Michael and Carlene’s solution? The humble gallery wall.
A gallery wall is a great way to pull the eye to one area, plus, it’s a great way to mask unsightly technologies, says Carlene. “Let’s face it, the TV is a bit of an eyesore and positioning a gallery wall behind it does well to pull some focus.”
A moody bedroom
While it makes sense to keep a neutral colour palette in the common areas of your home, your bedroom should be a reflection of you and your personal style – no matter how loud or quirky.
In this master bedroom, Carlene wanted to create a cosy atmosphere by embracing an Australiana-inspired colour palette of rich earthy hues, and she fell upon this idea by taking cutes from one single source of inspiration: a print of iconic Uluru.
“I found this incredible print and allowed it to dictate the colours of the whole space. Some of which I perhaps wouldn’t have considered pairing together had I not seen that they could work so well in the print,” says Carlene.
If it’s not a print that inspires your space, Carlene suggests creating a mood board in the pre-styling process. “A mood board is so important for you as a designer for refining your vision and keeping you on track with your chosen theme.”
A durable and delightful outdoor room
With decorative wood panels and proximity to lush greenery, this front porch was packed with heritage charm. This meant it needed no more than a few gorgeous touches to bring it to life.
The duo added character-filled outdoor wicker furniture with durable, weather-proof fabrics, cushions and an outdoor rug to cosy up the space. “Choose fabrics designed for outdoor use – even if the space has cover. It’s washable and resistant to fading and stains,” says Carlene.
“The tip here is to treat outdoor areas an extension of the interior,” adds Michael.
Source: Real Estate Lifestyle