Something special

When you buy a house with a very distinct design heritage, it takes a certain flair of your own to honour the original vision and to make it your own.
This house in Sydney's Rose Bay boasts interiors by the legendary designer Marion Hall Best.  Originally installed in the 60s and 70s, newish owners Susan and Michael have embraced Hall Best's bold backdrop and meshed it with their own fabulous style.

Fresh ideas from decades apart marry in timeless style.
Hall Best's grassy shade of yellow makes a big impact and 
 a modern light fitting makes a statement of its own.  
See http://www.ecc.com.au/ for more stunning

Susan and Michael haven't shied from using 
more colour with Hall Best's bold flooring.
Sofas in deep red and blue and a
multicoloured kilim rug stay true to Hall Best's
anti beige stance.

Beautiful pieces collected from worldy travels sit with
finds from local stores. 
An ornate French table holds an urn from
Howell and Howell Antiques in Woollahra,
candle sticks from Parterre 
(www.parterre.com.au) and a flat bowl from Ted Muehling in 
New York. 

Family photos and pieces collected from abroad
 make an eyecatching display. We love the touch of 
colour from the butterfly wings.

Botanical print fabric by Josef Frank circa 1940's looks as 
fresh as ever. 

  The original 1920s kitchen was later revamped with
Hall Best's dramatic red ceiling, floral walls and Marimekko
window coverings. Susan and Michael's addition of a simple
Kartell light and rustic furniture is eclectic perfection.

Josef Frank's beautiful wallpaper makes us want to take the

We love a grand welcome.

A trio of pears from Parterre perch in front of a 
luscious landscape by Sydney artist Helen Gauchat.

Milo enjoys his sunny spot.

We love the teaming of the heavy framed artwork
and antique English chair with a sleek dramatic light
from ecc. And we love that the landing is as exciting
as the rest of the house.

Susan loves Hall Best's choice of wallpaper here.  
A portrait of Susan's grandfather wins pride of 
place against the bold backdrop.

This gorgeous bathroom has stood true since the house
was built in 1924. 
Sometimes a flair for design is knowing when to do nothing.

A minimal Kartell light fitting is just right with a busy wall.

Yes, we really are in Sydney.

Rustic pots of succulents, trailing vines and falling
frangipani blossoms.
Just beautiful

Thanks so much to Susan and Michael and Amelia
and Henry and Eva for having us. 
Your home is a slice of heaven!
And... Thank you to our guest stylist this week,
Joanna Mae Park


House on the Hill

Looking out over the city of Mackay, this homestead and surrounding buildings housed generations of the locally prominent Cook family. Although the family originated from England, the home is quintessential Australia. We can almost hear the cicadas singing and feel the heavy humid heat of a Queensland summer.  Built in 1915 and preserved in time, welcome to Greenmount. 

A feathery jacaranda shades the side of the homestead built by
Albert Cook who bought the land to breed cattle. Gifted to the city 
by the family in1984, the museum is immaculately captured 
as it was during the time of its last residents, Tom and Dorothy Cook.

Protector of all things edible.
A meat safe was indispensable for keeping flies at bay.

Taking advantage of the tropical Queensland climate,
the grounds were planted with exotic trees like longans,
avocados and mangos.

It seems so many houses being built in the Southern States
around this time were closed in and shut off from the
outdoors (which many a renovator is now rectifying!)
Here there was clearly an appreciation of the outdoors.

This is how to do a house in a hot climate.
Large shady outdoor rooms capture breezes 
and invite lounging about.  

The Blue Room.
Tom and Dorothy furnished their room with furniture
bought at the time of their marriage in 1950.

The busy family farm and homestead needed two desks to attend 
to administrative matters. 
One for Tom and one for Dorothy.

The Cook's original Singer... 

and carpet.

Samual Wellington Cook keeps watch over
dinner. The oak dining suite came from England
with the original founding family

The sitting room has a partition used during
formal dining occasions to 'close off' the
area from the dining room. This was to
allow the men to retire to the dining room
with their port and cheese while the women
remained in the sitting room. hmmm...... 

We see these and we think gin and tonic.

We love that this museum has a worn and
rustic appeal but has maintained the homely
grandeur of its hey day.

Greenmount is located just outside Mackay
in Queensland and welcomes visitors.