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Kara Rosenlund Photographer

Stradbroke Island House Tour

Left: The Stradbroke Island House is a place which I feel an enormous connection to. It has such great energy. Right: The landscape surrounding the home.

Before we made the Stradbroke Island house available for holiday lets, I wanted to refresh the whole house, so that it felt really abundant and layered for our incoming guests. I wanted to set an atmosphere where when you arrive the house makes you feel relaxed, calm and connected to the landscape just outside the door.

I love using layers of golden tones and natural textures when working with interiors, from soft cushions on the sofa, tablecloths and linen napkins on the tables, and collections of objects and artworks on the walls to set the mood. So it really does feel like a haven away from normal life, where you can feel immersed in the artfulness of the layers of the house.

If you want to give your rooms a change, I’ve found the easiest way to make them feel fresh is to change up the artworks.

My art collection ranges from my photographic prints, to little oil paintings and pastels on boards from the local island market. They all mix together to help tell a story about the house and its place within the landscape.

Here’s how I decided on which prints and where…

Above: The inside/outside feel of the house is one of my favourite things about it.

Left: When you walk through the front door you are greeted with ‘Australian Summer’. Right: Through the artworks I wanted to create an atmosphere where you feel connected to the landscape.

Tip 1 – Consider where your home is and where you enter it

I always want to create a strong connection to place through colour palette and subject matter.

North Stradbroke Island is a place of natural beauty so I selected prints of the coastline, the lifestyle and the sea to evoke a feeling of endless summer holidays.

In the lounge room I have an extra large ‘Australian Summer’ on the lean. When you walk into our home you walk straight into the lounge room and this piece has always set the mood instantly. So I knew I wasn’t going to change this, it’s perfect where it is.

I wanted the other pieces in the house to match the impact which ‘Australian Summer’ achieves.

Think about the space where you arrive home each day. Is it through the front door into the entry? The hallway from the garage? Consider the wall that you see when you first step into your home. This is the place to start.

Left: I love to have lots of layers of natural textures and colours through out the island house. A medium ‘Coastal Symphony‘ hangs on the wall. Right: It’s always a good idea to add a point of interest to small nooks, ledges and shelves. I used a small ‘Summer Holiday‘ here.

Tip 2 – Look for different-sized wall areas for a variety of artworks

For the opposite wall in the lounge room I selected ‘Coastal Symphony’. This is a print I shot on my square format film camera and the photograph has really beautiful grain and nuances that only come with the beauty of film.

The nuances and the slight soft focus makes the print feel very nostalgic. The feathery sheoaks and the pandanus frame the vista of the seashore so perfectly. It’s a very artful beachscape print and perfect for that ‘holiday feel’.

Keeping with this nostalgic feel I introduced a smaller print ‘Summer Holiday’ which I also shot on film. It too has the same artful qualities as ‘Coastal Symphony’. I decided to lean it on the ledge of the fireplace and I choose a smaller size for this print.

Choosing the smaller size for somewhere like a ledge, nook or shelf makes you want to come up close and take a closer look at the artwork. I love the intimacy and point of interest which smaller prints create.

Above: From the dining room you can see how the lounge room connects with the start of the hallway, with a hint of the kitchen bench. An extra large ‘Afternoon Sun‘ and ‘Traditional Pandanus‘ hang in the hallway.

Tip 3 – Treat the hallway as a gallery

I felt like I wasn’t utilising the walls in our hallway very well. The hallway is such a great zone for hanging art, so I decided to make my biggest impact here, and wow, was I surprised by the outcome!

Left: Looking up the hallway into the entrance of our home. I love all the strong lines. Right: My ‘bold move’, to create more large scale art down the hallway.

Our hallway shoots off from the lounge room and can feel a bit dark in the afternoons when the sun starts to fade. So I decided to continue the size and scale of my extra large ‘Australian Summer’, which leans just around the corner on the white fireplace, and create a set of extra large scale photographs running down the hallway.

I love how it worked out. Playing with scale in a hallway is a bold move.

Left: You can see the artworks from all directions of the house, from almost every room, benefiting all the spaces. Right: A glimpse of ‘Afternoon Sun’ through the glossy green leaves of the kitchen.

I was so surprised by the impact the framed print had and the complete change in atmosphere that occurred by adding eye-catching pieces in the hallway.

All the bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and dining rooms runs off the hallway, and now whenever I’m zipping in and out of these rooms I’m taking in the beauty of the landscapes on the walls.

I wish I had done this sooner. It positively impacts almost every room of our home.

Above: The first thing I do when I arrive here is to bring some greenery from the garden in.

Having the repetition of the extra large prints down the hallway really opened up the space.

 I choose three pieces in sepia, all in my extra large size 44 x 66″size and all of the prints depict the beach in some form. ‘Pandanus’, ‘Afternoon Sun’ and ‘Sealife’.

This set really connects the outdoors to the indoors in such an artful way.

Left: A very special pair of prints. ‘Underwater Play’ and ‘Underwater Frolic’. Right: I love to look out at ‘Wallum Squiggle’ in the hallway from the comfort of bed in the mornings.

Tip 4 – Choose pieces that are personal to you

A really special memory I hold onto is of my ideal beach day. I have had a handful of these days and it’s a memory I love to run through my mind.

I’ll describe it to you – It’s early in the morning, the sea is all calm and flat and the water is crystal clear. The water feels a little cooler than usual and I swim and float and I can see the sandy ripples on the bottom of the seafloor and hear the gentle lap of the water against my skin.

I have a pair of prints which depict this key memory, ‘Underwater Play’ and ‘Underwater Frolic’. I decided to hang a pair of small 11 x 14″ prints closely together, to remind me of that special feeling in the sea.

Then, nearby I choose a large size sepia ‘Wallum Squiggle’. This is such an iconic vista of the East Coast of Australia – paperbarks lining the shoreline, where the bush really does meet the beach. I love that I can see this print in the hallway when I’m laying in the bedroom of the mornings.

Left: Moving in my new print ‘Cylinder Magic’ I love how the colour pops! Right: The end of the bed would have to be one of my all time favourite places to hang art.

Tip 5 – My favourite place to hang art in the bedroom

And lastly I decided upon a very new print for one of the bedrooms. ‘Cylinder Magic’ which I only just added to my Print Shop a couple of months ago. I wanted some full – on and uplifting colour in this bedroom.

I decided to install a large size print on the wall opposite the queen size bed, so in the mornings when I wake I’m waking up to those brilliant aqua tones to get me excited for the day.

This print reminds me of the fun of endless beach days and the absolute joy of being by the sea.

Above: I’m so happy with how the atmosphere feels now.

Start Here

If you’ve fallen in love with a piece from my Print Collections you can shop each piece in the Stradbroke Island House Collection here. I offer all my prints in 5 sizes.

If your home is instead in the bush, you can shop my Country Collection here.

Kara x

P.S: If you would like to book your next holiday at our island house click here.



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