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Tips and Guides

5 Ideas to Steal from a Colorful Family Home in Australia

Homeowners Sher Lo and Gary McGowan welcome us into their eclectic and vibrant house

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Photography: John Downes

What are the things that can make you happy in your own home? For many of us, it can be relaxing on our favorite chair, enjoying a delicious meal, and spending time with our loved ones. And, for homeowners Sher Lo and Gary McGowan, they can also look forward to coming home to a place that they planned, furnished, and decorated on their own.

Inspired by Ralph Lauren's vacation house, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's holiday home, and Moorish, Indian, and Santorini design influences, the couple created a unique yet comfortable haven for their family.

If you like this sanctuary in Australia as much as we do, here are 5 decorating ideas that we can learn from Sher and Gary's bold and beautiful place:

Start with a neutral-hued sofa

Begin by furnishing your living area with a fully upholstered couch in cream, beige, taupe, or even gray. A neutral-colored sofa can look good in practically any home! To spruce up the plain piece, you can choose a woven blanket and mismatched throw pillows.

Pay attention to your kitchen

We have fallen in love with Sher and Gary's white-and-black kitchen! If you look closely, they placed black labels on their drawers and cabinets! This will help family and friends easily locate plates, glasses, and other essentials.

If you would like a similar feel in your own space, you can paint your walls, drawers, and cabinets white. You can also use black labels on your drawers and cabinets. To brighten up the place, you can use colorful kitchen organizers and other accessories.

Update classic furniture pieces

Traditional furniture pieces can make your home feel dull, drab, and dated! You can make these pieces look more interesting with throw pillows that have different colors, patterns, and embellishments. Find pillows with beads, sequins, and other baubles.

Use mismatched pieces

Another way to change the feel of your home is to invest in accent pieces, soft furnishings, and different artworks. For example, you can use a charming pink crystal chandelier, a floral fabric used as a tablecloth, and different pieces of art.

Look for unusual finds

For their formal dining area, Sher and Gary opted for wicker chairs from... the Philippines! You can also complete your personal haven with furniture and accessories from unexpected places.

RL Tip: Start by looking for items in locations that hold special meaning for you and your family. For example, you can buy woven baskets from your hometown or ceramic jars from your significant other's province. 

Photos courtesy of Queensland Homes.

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