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A Hamptons Haven With an Australian Flavour

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Situated in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria’s Ferntree Gully, Jessica Tynan of @samalexx has been a part of the stunning transformation of a tired 1950s weatherboard house into a Hamptons haven with an Australian flavour. Designed for her family of six – hubby, three young boys and Spike the mini schnoodle – they wanted to achieve a bright and airy Hamptons home with soaring ceilings and beautiful finishes, yet without blowing the budget.

How would you best describe your style?

My style is a bit mixed – I would call it Australian Hamptons. It’s definitely a more relaxed approach to the Hamptons style, but with all the classic features, such as high ceilings, beautiful timber flooring, subway tiles, shaker cabinetry, stone benchtops and a light airy feel. I love greys, whites, blues and greens. Lots of lush indoor plants in beautiful pots and baskets and timber elements create life and warmth in my home. I mix vintage with new pieces, and love creating little vignettes throughout the house.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I love looking through everything on Instagram – from interior design to travel – and I follow a lot of designers and retailers, such as Canvas & Sasson, Kate Walker Design, Early Settler and The Stables. And I devour home magazines like Home Beautiful, House and Garden, Real Living and Inside Out. Pinterest is also an inspiration and I subscribe to lots of blogs and websites to keep up to date. I also love visiting retail spaces to see how they style their pieces – I lust over them!

How do you begin a new room?

To start, I use mood boards and rip pages out of my magazines or catalogues to get a sense of what style direction I want to head in. There’s usually a style or theme that emerges once you start putting all the images together. Budget is a priority as we don’t have unlimited funds to buy everything at once. So, I try to see what I already have that can be used or repurposed and identify what else might be needed and I gather pieces over time. I like changing things around regularly – just for fun!

What’s been your favourite project?

My favourite project has definitely been building our house. I loved the whole process from design and layout to selecting colours, finishes and materials. Selecting furniture, soft furnishings and décor to style the space to reflect our family and how we live was also fun. I think it’s important to be as practical as possible too – there’s no point in making a pretty room that serves no purpose or isn’t family friendly. We bought our lounge room Trellis wool rug, a gorgeous Provincial round dining table and crossback chairs and two Clover display cabinets from Early Settler. They have gorgeous Hamptons/Coastal stuff and we purchased them all on clearance.

What’s next for you?

Decorating the kids’ rooms. I’ll also be working on a big project with my mum soon, as she’s just about to purchase a property. We’ll be updating the interiors and having lots of fun styling – and lots of painting will be involved! Beyond that, as my youngest begins school next year, the next step for me will be studying interiors or styling.

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR OTHER DIY DECORATORS?

Put together a mood board or collect images of what you like. You’ll start to see the style you’re attracted to, and that’s a great place to start. Next, work out your budget, taking into account your “must” haves and your “nice to” haves. Think about the purpose of the room and who is using the space so you can be practical and open to solutions. For example, a white couch might not be great with young kids, but one with washable slip covers will work. Take time collecting items that mean something to you and invest in quality hardwearing items like rugs and furniture. Finally, keep wall colours neutral and use art work and décor to liven it up.

Quick quiz …

When I was young, I wanted to beA hotelier – I read Hotel Pastis by Peter Mayle, which is about an Englishman opening a hotel in Provence and thought that sounded wonderful 😂
Every home should havePersonality – and excellent storage.
I would describe my style as … Relaxed Australian Hamptons – a bit classic but with a more laidback approach.
Number one tip for DIY decorators? Spend on hardwearing and hardworking items, save on the trend décor pieces.
If in doubtGo classic. It never dates.
My favourite room in the house isMy kitchen and butler’s pantry. The raked ceiling is so stunning.
Comfort or style? Comfortably stylish 😉
See more of Jess’s Hamptons haven with an Australian flavour on her Instagram page at @samalexx. Or get some bohemian inspiration from the Little House of Boho.

(Images courtesy of @samalexx)

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