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Our Living Room Update

Here is our latest home update – it’s the living room! I’ve been excitedly waiting to share these changes with you!

Before we launch into it I just want to say that this isn’t a room reveal,  cool your jets, it’s a ‘progress update’. I’m taking this home slow and steady, with no rushing. However, seeing this empty shot below of the living room reminds me how far we have come.

Let’s dive in.

Above left: Our living room once the midcentury ceiling and floor had been ripped up and is completely empty  / Above right: My father laying the crazy pave travertine up onto the living room wall.

If you have been following along here for a while you would recognise my Dad. I wouldn’t be able to bring these ideas to life without the help of my father.

While gathering these ‘behind the scenes’ shots of Dad working on the living room wall and my daughter Edie playing, I was struck by how familiar these scenes felt.

Above: This scene of my father working on the wall and my mother looking after my babies Edie and Alby reminded me of my childhood.

These shots remind me of the atmosphere of how I grew up, my childhood, with mum and dad doing various  renovations and ‘add-ons’ to our family home.

I think it’s obvious now where my deep love for interiors and renovations has come from, but more importantly where that deep love for a sense of home has come from.

Above left: Pieces of the travertine being supported vertically onto the wall  / Above right: My father and daughter, playing and chatting together, as Dad tiles and Edie plays with her toys.

The last time I shared our house was here, after I had given birth to our son Alby back in June.

We had just finished the crazy pave on the floor, though since then I have gone a little crazy for crazy pave and decided to creep it up onto the wall above a purpose-made platform we built for the fireplace, which was recently installed.

The crazy pave has been a painstaking job, it’s really an art laying each of the pieces of travertine and achieving effortless balance. It means so much to me knowing my father’s hands have smoothed over each piece of stone and laid each piece.

Above left: Bringing home an extra large framed photographic print from my shop. I love how we package the framed pieces in the wooden travel boxes so they arrive safe  / Above right: Unboxing ‘Salt Haze’ at the entrance at home. The scale is incredible.

When it comes to that deep love for home,  I feel a room is rarely complete without art. Spaces often feel empty and soulless without having a visual grounding to bring them together. For this room it was important for me to create a space that felt relaxed and open, yet not overdone.

To help me achieve this feel I ordered two pieces of my own photographic pieces from my shop, ‘Salt Haze’ and ‘Rhythm’, in my extra large size, and had them framed in my signature framing. I love how they come ‘ready to hang’.

Above left: The blank wall in the living room before adding the art  / Above right: Positioning and leaning ‘Salt Haze’ for a casual relaxed look.

 With our home I really wanted the room to look relaxed and laid back, and with two young babies, I personally wanted to feel as relaxed as possible here.

We are so often on the go, that when we are at home in this room I just wanted to be able to forget about the bigger picture of life and spend quality time playing with the babies. Then in the evenings connecting with my husband Timothy O, talking about the day that was, before we both fall into the lounge to watch Netflix.

Every minute is important to me to connect with my family in this room.

Above left: I just love the atmosphere this piece created within the room, so calming  / Above right: Love being able to see all that detail and quality of both the print and the art framing.

Instead of hanging my new framed prints, I leaned them against the wall. I’ve found over the years that this way of styling my framed works adds a casual atmosphere to the room which I’m always looking to achieve, and it’s exactly how I want this room to feel. Plus, it adds a contemporary modernist feel.

It also gives you options to be able to move the pieces around the house when you want a refresh, like pieces of furniture.

Above: Personally I don’t think you need to see the blue of the sea for a photographic print to evoke that relaxed coastal feeling. I positioned ‘Salt Haze’ on the left and ‘Rhythm’ on the right.

Originally I wanted to try a pair of photographic pieces together in this spot, or what I like to call companion pieces. ‘Salt Haze’ and ‘Rhythm’ are the perfect match and ideal for a stylish take on the iconic black and white beachscape.

In the end, I decided to not lean them together as a pair, as I wanted more air. So I split them up and leant ‘Rhythm’ in the entrance. See, that flexibility of the lean is just so practical.

Above left: A midcentury cork side table found on Facebook marketplace  / Above right: Love a pile of neutral linen book spines stacked together.

I’ve also been collecting objects and adding layers of furniture to this room. I’ve always been a big-time lover of vintage and this lives on in this home.

When you live in a house of a particular era, or you want to create ‘the style of an era’ you really need to keep your aesthetic on the straight and narrow.

People talk about blending all eras together and that there shouldn’t be rules, but I personally find that approach too much, boundaries are good.

Above left: These secondhand lamps are influenced by a personal favourite style icon of mine, Milanese designer Gabriella Crespi / Above right: The timber used in all our frames is sustainable Tasmania Oak and is handmade in Australia.

Nowadays post Covid lockdowns and having babies, I don’t get to go to big flea markets and antique fairs anymore sourcing unusual and vintage pieces, however, I’m having a blast searching for things on Etsy and Facebook Marketplace. I swear you will be able to find just about anything you wish.

When it comes to Marketplace I’m a loyal follower of @midcenturyjo instagram, Jo curates a daily feed of what’s hot for that day. Check her out, I love her!

Above left: The recently installed fireplace  / Above right: I love this secondhand coffee table so much, again, found on Marketplace. If you aren’t on it, it’s time to get on it.

To make it easy I’ve made a list of quick sources for you. None are sponsored or anything like that, I just want to share them with you because I think you will probably like to know and they might be helpful for your dream renovation :)

  • Crazy Pave – I bought our travertine crazy pave from Eco Outdoor. I went with this style as the house feels a bit flamboyant in places, so I wanted to stay true to the soul of the home.
  • The Fireplace –  is from Brisbane Fireplace and Heating, and I bought a Cheminee Philippe corner model. It’s a wood fireplace and the next thing on my list is to enclose the mechanism of the fireplace with travertine fluted tiles. I’ll let you know when that happens.
  • Art – The Photographic Prints I used are ‘Salt Haze’ and ‘Rhythm’ in my extra large size 44 x 66″ and I had them both framed in my signature framing style.
  • Ceiling – the original ceiling was ripped out as it had ‘strong office ceiling panel vibes’ and was replaced with Papua New Guinea Rosewood.
  • Coffee Table – Marketplace
  • Lamps – Marketplace

Hot tip: I’ve mentioned it before, but I stick all my objects down with this earthquake glue, yes, seriously. It’s removable and protects my bits from my 20-month little earthquake, Edie.

Above left: The lean is just the best way to display larger pieces of art, so casual, so chic  / Above right: Playing with Edie on the sofa.

Above: Mucking around with Edie in the living room together.

The thing I love about *most vintage pieces is that you don’t have to be too precious with them, like this 1970’s modular sofa for instance.

I hope one day Edie and Alby will move the sofa modules around and play cubbies with them in this room.

Above left: The cuddles, the cuddles are my absolute favourite  / Above right: The finished room, for now, with your  eye going straight to ‘Salt Haze’.

Time spent in this room is just so precious and important. Our time together and those fleeting moments of nothingness are extraordinary.

When I look into this room from the kitchen and see my little family in there, I feel a wavelike rush of joy wash over me, moments of complete happiness happen in here.

Above: The house is slowly coming together and I’m just loving bringing it to life.

If you feel like your living room is missing something, I would love to help you

Check out my print shop here or if you’ve got any questions about introducing prints into your home just let me know.

I’m always happy to help.

Kara x

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One Comment to “Our Living Room Update”

  1. Absolutely gorgeous living room with such a comfort vibe! I’m also in love with vintage pieces and love your marketplace finds. The thing I don’t love with vintage is the mold that lurks hidden, especially in upholstered items. It can really hurt your immune system especially those of little people. You may think, ah my items don’t have that but even the tiniest bit of mildew smell and that could be enough. My son developed a mold sensitivity as a baby and wish I would have known this information to keep my baby safe back than. Pls don’t post if you don’t want to Kara. I absolutely adore your incredibly beautiful work.

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