Monday, February 16, 2009

Sisters are doing it for themselves

Over the last few years I've noticed house magazines featuring more and more homes owned by single women, often single mothers.

I see this as a hopeful sign - broken families aren't ideal, but it is great to see that women can flourish under the circumstances.

Take Gillian, a single mother of two, a florist, caterer and stylist. Doesn't she look like a laid-back, cool kind of mum?



Here, her house is shown just 10 months after moving in. In that time she's repainted the entire house, ripped out carpets, knocked out walls and put in a brand new kitchen.



I love the elegant, French feel Gillian has created in her home, with lovely little touches such as the window seat and the blackboard. Her look is classic, but fresh.



I adore this kitchen - light-filled and so warm, inviting and homely looking, in a fresh kind of way. Gillian said she was aiming for a 'French diary look'.


Clearly, Gillian's home is one of her creative outlets. She says, "I'm always changing things and moving things around. It's like an ongoing project." Love the console table, the arrangement of family happy snaps, and the blue and white ginger jars.


This is Gillian's decorating philosophy: "I do things and buy things because I love them, not because they happen to be fashionable or stylish at the time. I think that's how you create a home that truly reflects who you are." Couldn't agree more.
Here (below) you get a glimpse of some old shutters Gillian picked up at an auction and placed on her wall as artwork.

A French tapestry livens up the dining room.

Gillian has incorporated lots of storage in to her kid's rooms. Smart woman!



Gillian's serene, neutral bedroom looks like a haven to get away from it all. How special to have a fireplace in your bedroom. Great place to lean a beautiful big old mirror, like this one....


Love the gorgeous, textured taupe bedspread.



Gillian has done a quick-fix in the bathroom. The tiles on the vanity were a navy and orange floral. She painted the tiles in the shower, and retiled the vanity with tumbled marble tiles (my favourite) to give the bathroom a lift until she tackles a full renovation.

Like most people with a passion and talent for decorating, it seems that Gillian had 'big plans' for the bathroom, and also intended on installing french doors in the dining room.
I'd love to know how it turned out. In fact, I've asked Home Beautiful, which featured this home two and a half years ago, to get in touch with Gillian and find out what she ended up doing. Let's hope they do!

My own 2009 house projects are coming along, a little. The fabric to put lose covers on my couch seats has been ordered, so once that is in, they are off to the upholsters. It will be so nice to just chuck the covers in the wash when they are dirty from sticky little fingers. I've also visited a couple of door shops, and will be sending off some photos and measurements to one of them to get a rough quote on french doors. Hopefully it won't be jaw-droppingly expensive!
On another note, my dear friend Jacinta has moved back to Adelaide, after 10 years living in all the hip places of Melbourne. She's planning to buy herself a small apartment, so when that happens I'll be lending her a hand with furnishing and decorating it, so that should be fun!

All images from Australian Home Beautiful
Best wishes,

22 comments:

Lee said...

I remembered this gorgeous little house when it appeared in HB - it was one of my favourites (and still is). A woman with a wonderful sense of self and sense of style. Thank you for refreshing my memory. I hope HB does an update!

mondo cherry said...

Although I love the whole house, the window seat is the absolute clincher for me! Bet you are going to love your loose covers - I couldn't live without mine.
Clare

Caroline @ Absolutely Unique said...

This is the house of my dream! Absolutely gorgeous. Love everything!

Willow Decor: said...

Such a warm and inviting home - She has a great sense of self and style and combines the two so well. Great post!

Maya@Completely-Coastal said...

Her place is gorgeous very much my style and if I had kids (or pets), I would definitely have slip covers, it's a great casual look and so practical..., I wonder how difficult it is to make them.

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

Amen sister :)!

I'm totally smitten with this house. I want everything in there, including her cute laid back outfit. I think I need to subscribe to Australian Home Beautiful. I love everything you post from there.

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

Ooh, I just checked on Amazon and it's $104 for someone from the U.S. to subscribe for a year. On second thought I may just need to enjoy your photos :).

Marie said...

Of course Catherine! That's coz women are multi-talented and are multi-taskers! I love those pictures and as you know I love french design! Thanks for leaving me a comment, and speaking of house projects, when you have time, check out a new project I just completed this weekend...converted an antique dresser to a modern sink.
-mariesmarche

Terri said...

A gorgeous post - I love her home and style. The bedroom is my favorite!

Alison Gibbs said...

She has created a beautiful environment for her family. I think it helps when like her you have a job that makes it easier to cope with the 'single parent' thing!! For some girls in 'lesser paying' positions it is really difficult.
Alison

Romana said...

gorgeous Catherine! I hope HB thiks a follow-up is a good idea too, it would be great to see the results.

A-M said...

What a beautiful, beautiful home. It would be great to see a follow up on her bathroom! A-M xx

{My Flip Flopz} said...

What a beautiful article and post - thanks! I thoroughly enjoyed that! Glad I've stumbled upon your blog :)

manon said...

j'aime!

manon

Rachael said...

I love the centre console table the best. She has done a great job!
great post - thanks for sharing...

Fiona Taylor said...

It is no surprise to me to see a single gal doing such a fabulous job, 'cause women rock! Great post sweet!

ness lockyer said...

I loved this house and had it earmarked for a post for a while...now I don't need to. Her home is just the sort of feel I would love here.
Your projects sound great and I cant wait to see the couch done...and your friends house.
Ness xx

Kimberlee said...

Can't wait to see your new covers for the sofa and what you do with your friend's apartment.

Oh and I totlally remember that house, love. The blackboard and crate of wines totally get me - love it! and great to see some good SA wine bottles in the crate! xx

LaurenFaythe said...

I love this house - so peaceful. I really like that chalkboard!

Pink Wallpaper said...

what a beautiful house...love that first picture!

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