Daily Archives: January 27, 2016

At First Sight; A graphic designer brings a clutter-free aesthetic to her picture-perfect country home

Published by:

AT FIRST SIGHT is how Lynda Evans describes her reaction when she first spotted this picturesque cottage in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. “Whenever travelling to the Sunshine Coast beaches, I would make a detour through the hinterland,” she says. “Like most day trippers, I thought to myself, ‘I’ll live up there one day’.” And that dream came true sooner than Lynda expected when she came across this pretty two-storey weatherboard cottage online.

One-bedroom guesthouse to the main house Renovations

At only eight years old, the cottage wasn’t in need of major renovations, although graphic designer Lynda, who lives in the cottage with her boyfriend Sascha, says there were still many small jobs that needed to be done – either the previous owners had left them unfinished, or they had been done in a bit of a rush. “There were a few owners before us, many of them DIYers who went a bit wild with a paintbrush and probably a glass of wine, or two!” Lynda says.

One bedroom guesthouse renovation

One bedroom guesthouse renovation

In the short time she’s owned the place, Lynda has completed or tidied up the house – from sanding and painting skirting boards and staircases to stripping paint off brass fittings and adding waterproof sealant to the kitchen sink area and weather seals to drafty doors.

“The cottage was originally built as a small one-bedroom guesthouse, with plans for a second, main house on the block, but these plans never came to fruition,” Lynda explains. Two years later the guesthouse was extended to include a large open-plan livingdining- and-kitchen area, and a mezzanine area, which includes a guest bedroom and ensuite, bringing the number of bedrooms to two.

With its high-peaked roofline, rounded attic windows and dormer windows, Lynda says the house has no clear style. “I think it’s a little bit Cape Cod crossed with Scandinavia,” she says. “It’s storybookstyle and very cosy with stained-glass windows, high beamed ceilings and beautiful timber flooring.”

The one-acre property, which also has extensive fields, lawns, a henhouse and stables, as well as a wonderful vegetable garden, is surrounded by dairy farms, deciduous gardens and spectacular views. This really is a picture-perfect home!

Your Decorating Dilemmas Solved!

My mum has recently moved into a lovely new modern studio unit (see photos, right). We have tried to arrange the furniture to make the living area – which needs to double as a sleeping area – work but we’re having trouble getting the layout to look right in such a small space. Could you please help with suggestions on how to get the living zone looking less like a bedroom but still able to function as a multi-task area? The wall colour needs to stay the same, but the unit has a great picture rail to hang frames. I’ve shown Mum previous issues of your mag with suggestions you’ve made for other readers and she loves your work!

living room

living room


There’s really only one answer for studio apartments and that’s to decide which section of the apartment is the “big idea”? Is the bed the design priority or is it the sofa? Consider how much time is spent lounging versus sleeping. The reason why the furniture is hard to figure out in this space is because there are conflicting focal points. The bad news is, to get the best results, you need all new furniture, which means the good news is you get to completely reinvent your look.




PLAN OF ACTION Utilise a sectional sofa that can be one part sofa, one part bed. The benefit is a very spacious sophisticated modern look, and a space that has the capacity to seat 4 to 6 people well. This idea could also be used with another style of wall bed that folds into the space of the existing wardrobe. The mirrored doors you currently have on the wardrobe just make it look way too bedroom-y in the lounge, so remove these and replace with full height, modern doors. Panelled doors with a white polyurethane finish will work well, as will repeating the existing scheme of a dark charcoal shade. Fitting the bed into this space creates a nice little bedhead nook and utilises valuable centimetres.

A pedestal-leg dining table will allow it to be positioned a little over the sofa, just like in a restaurant, and then only one other chair is required. A swivel armchair-style dining chair means that it too can lead a double life. A gatefold table is another great option for small spaces allowing for different table sizes. As good for dinner parties as it is for TV dinners!