Elegant interiors and rental apartments

Can elegant interiors and rental apartments coexist? Contributing real living stylist Kirsten Bookallil proves it’s possible. People know about her for her great styling aesthetic which doesn’t forgo comfort or function. It follows, then, that the apartment where she lives, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is at once a functional family home while retaining Kirsten’s refined decorating sensibilities.

Living stylist and housing furniture

Living stylist and housing furniture

“We love the hacienda style of the building, and internally, it’s like a house but has the character of an apartment,” says Kirsten, who rents the space with her partner Nik and daughters Stella and Bronte. The spacious home features charming quirks such as pretty Laura Ashley wallpaper papered over a bathroom wall, low-lying windowsills, elegant tables and chairs with colorful sofas and several tiny rooms – perfect for extra storage.

Stylish magic and Transform spaces in the house

Painted throughout in Dulux “Whisper White”, the apartment’s neutral palette and clean lines prove an ideal canvas upon which to weave some stylish magic. Although restricted in making major changes, Kirsten has employed a few tricks to transform the space into her home. Clusters of photographs and paintings lean on shelves above the fireplace in the living room, which avoids the need to make unnecessary nail holes in the walls; set it up with sofas and recliners. Many of them are by Kirsten’s uncle, acclaimed South African artist William Kentridge, which brings a highly personal touch to the space. “Artwork to us is emotive rather than just there for the aesthetic; they’re gifts from friends and family,” Kirsten says.

Sylist building interior

Sylist building interior

But it’s the home office/dining room that proves the piece de resistance. It successfully shows that one room can be used for two different activities. For example,  Kirsten bought several reclining chairs after referring recliner reviews from the online site, which can be used as working chairs, or for doing excercise, for relaxing purpose, or even sleeping.  Large, work-oriented moodboards easily morph into wall art when the room is used for dining, and the desk doubles as the dining table that it is!

Master bedroom

Kirsten’s most personal treasures are only on display in the master bedroom, making it the most intimate space in the house. A mainly neutral colour scheme was chosen to create a calming environment. A third bedroom has become the girls’ playroom, and contains all their toys.
To cap off the apartment is a verandah, with views over the courtyard. Kirsten has decked this out with a day bed and potted plants. “It’s great for thinking – and it has the benefit of being an outdoor space without any grass to cut,” she says. A few key touches, and it’s home.

Industrial Vintage Charming

by antimedia on

Furniture Industrial Vintage

Furniture Industrial Vintage


Industrial history of the building

Adriane enlisted the help of her good friend and building designer Bohdan Kuzyk because he understood what she was trying to create. “I wanted the second storey to reflect the industrial history of the building while still being clearly a new addition,” Adriane explains. She incorporated recycled timber and building materials, rusted iron and black corrugated iron to achieve this result. “From the outside the upper storey looks a bit like a shipping container dropped on the roof,” she laughs. As well as saving money, second-hand materials come with their own history. Using recycled products also reduces the impact on the environment, which Adriane has kept in mind throughout the renovations.

Kitchen Facilities in house

Kitchen Facilities in house

General feeling of space and light of the building

Adriane has created a relaxing, calm space using a soft palette of neutrals in chalky textures. “I like using a limited palette of natural colours with just an occasional small area of strong colour, such as table and chair set, reclining chairs, the blackboard wall off the kitchen. I wanted to keep the general feeling of space and light,” she explains. Adriane loves to use limewash on the walls. “It looks a bit more aged and gives a sense of depth to the colour and space. A solid colour would look wrong in this building,” she says.
Adriane is currently collecting a mix of recycled floorboards for the bathroom and Lucy’s bedroom. She also found some rusty perforated metal sheets, originally used for drying hops in an old brewery nearby. “I’m going to use them as balustrades on the balconies,” she says. “I imagine the guys that once worked here in the coathanger factory would have got their beer from that brewery.”
The space is constantly evolving and Adriane still has plenty of jobs on her to-do list. “I expect by the time the renovation is finished I’ll either be ready to do more with it or start another one,” she says. “Maybe it’s just another creative outlet for me – I don’t think you really clock off as a painter, builder or cook. I’m always creating something.”

French furniture brand Gautier

French furniture brand Gautier is proudly different from its competition in the growing UK home furnishings sector. Gautier is famous for recliners, sleeper sofas, and luxurious table sets. For over 50 years the family –owned business has designed and manufactured unique and stylish contemporary furniture ranges for their discerning customers around the world. And almost uniquely within the furniture market, Gautier continues to design and manufacture in France, at its triple ISO-accredited factories in The Vendee. It is this commitment to stylish French living that gives Gautier’s stunning products the unique look and feel that consumers find so appealing.
In the UK, the brand has exciting plans for expansion. At the centre of these plans is the rollout of its highly successful franchise store concept, which has already grown to 100 Gautier shops globally since its launch in 2005. There is a beautiful flagship store established in London and additional targeted locations have been pinpointed throughout the UK. All will showcase the signature furniture collections, which offer modular solutions for childrens’ bedrooms, adult bedrooms, living and dining rooms. With a comprehensive UK marketing plan and soon-to-be-launched new cutting edge UK website, Gautier offer all the tools required in order for its growing network of franchisees to enjoy commercial success.
French furniture

French furniture

Furniture Store Concept

Franchisees benefit from a proven retail concept and the support of dedicated teams both in France and the UK; Gautier provides the complete store concept and the backing of a 140million [euro] turnover global business. The highly experienced Gautier team will guide the franchisee throughout the set-up of their store, from designing the concept to training the franchisee and staff, and once the store is open the franchisee and Gautier work together to grow the business. It is no surprise that most Gautier franchisees go on to open multiple shops, such is the passion that develops in those that work with the brand.
Franchisees Furniture concept

Franchisees Furniture concept

Indeed, the satisfaction that comes from running your own Gautier store is immense. The shops are stunning and Gautier products are not only beautifully designed but are also manufactured to the highest quality and backed by a 10-year guarantee. Operationally, there is a proven logistics solution, which delivers robust and highly competitive product lead times so customers really can be delighted with the service that they receive. Many customers see Gautier as an expert in interior design and trust the sales team to give the best advice on furnishing their home, whether in-store or at the customer’s home. Gautier is always on hand to deliver training for the franchisee and sales people to give them the confidence to sell the full range of products. The global network of stores actively shares best practice and joining Gautier really is like joining an extended family–a value that is closely cherished by the Soulard family, the second generation of which continues to run Gautier to this day.

Innovative Furniture Product Ranges

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Gautier is that it is constantly moving forward and evolving, always ready to surprise with its innovative product ranges. Its collections are premium contemporary design pieces, but offer practical solutions to everyday living spaces (for example, reclining chairs is designed to create relaxing opportunities to home owners at home or officers at offices) and remain accessible through competitive pricing. This ability to offer great products for almost any room of the home at an accessible price point means that the potential for business is vast. Gautier are not standing still either; there is a constant focus on new product development coupled with consistent investment back into the business to ensure that the manufacturing and commercial capabilities of the business–and therefore the retail franchise opportunity–remain world class.

Limitation of current living space

MOVE TO THE COUNTRY was on the cards for Anouk Kapiteyn and her husband Gert-Jan when their home in the centre of town was proving too small for their growing family. “We wanted the children [Sem, 8, Floris, 5 and Mack, 1] to be able to play in the street without the busyness of a town around them,” Anouk says.

Too small house for a growing family, think about some changes?

Too small house for a growing family, think about some changes?

It took four years of househunting for the couple to find something they liked, but the disused block of land with only a shed on it wasn’t quite the dream home they had envisioned.

A new plan for a comfortable house appears

“Standing on the plot felt good and right,” Anouk says. “It was just a 20-minute bike ride to the beach. And the best thing was that the previous owner had permission for a house to be built on the plot.”

When the couple saw the plans for the house they immediately fell in love with the design – “A pointy roof, a verandah, 180 sq m It had everything we were looking for,” Anouk says. “It still had to be built but we were prepared to go on an adventure and went for it.”

And the family certainly had an adventure. “It was a year of utter madness,” Anouk says. “But all our fantasies about what our home should be like were coming true.”

After finding that place, they plan for interior painting the house

After finding that place, they plan for interior painting the house

Repairing and interior painting the house

Just one year later the house was ready and the finishing touches to the interior could be made. To help cut costs the couple did some of the work themselves including all the interior painting; they also built a few items of furniture, such as a table and baby recliner chairs or workbench for the boys and a bed for Seb. “We didn’t buy many new pieces of furniture when we moved in, but a lot of what we already had changed function,” Anouk explains.

Reclaimed materials were incorporated into the house, too, such as second-hand roof planks and salvaged timber panels from market stalls that Anouk painted white and attached to the wall to add character. “It was important for us to bring old materials into a house this new to create a warm atmosphere,” she adds.

Furniture the house with new set of table and recliner chair for relaxing in the corner

Furniture the house with new set of table and recliner chair for relaxing in the corner

After five weeks of decorating the family moved into their new home and they couldn’t be happier with the result. “Every day I find myself lucky to be living here,” Anouk says. “It’s in the small things. Breakfast in the garden, sitting on the verandah. That’s when I enjoy living here the most.”

But the best thing about living in their new house in the country? “The children have plenty of space to bounce around in and we are surrounded by more trees and less traffic.” Mission accomplished!


Creative intuition and a liberal dose of improvisation have turned this apartment into an elegant yet down-to-earth home that exudes the unrestrained style of its owners

Given the stereotypes attributed to creative professionals, you’d be forgiven for expecting the home of a magazine fashion director and an advertising creative director to be an exacting sequence of slightly intimidating spaces. Not so the home of Chris Viljoen and Christan Boshoff, whose apartment in part of a former 19th-century manor house is both seriously stylish and playfully informal.

When the couple bought the 140-sq-m apartment, it was woefully rundown and comprised one bedroom, lounge, lobby and an ill-conceived, low-slung kitchen and bathroom in what was once the back verandah of the original residence. “Our entire apartment is the dining room of the former manor house,” Christan says.

All that remained of the building’s glorious past were the spectacularly high ceilings, wide floorboards, marble floors and a festoon of decorative woodcut detail on the window frames in the main bedroom and the ceilings throughout the apartment. It was this faded grandeur that captured the imaginations of the creative duo and gave vital clues as to what could be achieved in the renovation they would take on with good friend and architect Phillippe Fouche.

The back of the home had originally been open to the now lush communal back garden by way of a verandah, so floor-to-ceiling industrial conservatory windows were installed in the kitchen, thereby connecting the interior space to the garden. “The windows were a great choice in almost every respect,” Christan says. “They’re affordable, locally made and readily available. But most importantly, they let in a lot of natural light as the back of the apartment is quite dark.”

Industrial conservatory windows in kitchen

Industrial conservatory windows in kitchen

Rather than build a fitted kitchen, the couple made use of shelves across the windows for storage and have assembled a “creative” central island including an old table and a hospital unit on wheels. “The kitchen is still very much a work in progress,” Christan says. Both Chris and Christan love the old black and white marble floor tiles on the front verandah, and luxious dining table and chair set and so replicated them in the kitchen and bathroom. New white subway tiles cover the bathroom walls, while contemporary fittings complete the makeover.

A spiral staircase leads upstairs to the home office that looks out through the conservatory windows onto the garden beyond. The spare bedroom, a more private enclosed area, is positioned alongside it.

The resulting home is comfortable with a wonderful mix of the old, the surprising and the unlikely. It’s laidback yet inspiring, much like Chris and Christan.

COLOUR is alive again. Expect interiors to become vibrant following fashion’s bright and bold combos in the spring/summer ’11 collections, which is where we took our colour cues from when creating these “wow” walls and great decor with furniture sets. It’s all about the stripes this season!



Hallways can easily become dark and boring, but they’re best suited to a bold design. After all, they provide the first impression of your home. To create interest here we painted the top half of the wall in a vibrant Hermes-inspired orange and the lower half in white. We then created a striking herringbone design after taking inspiration from a chic suit from the S/S ’11 Sportsmax collection (below). With such a strong pattern it’s best to keep the other walls in the space simple.

White and Orange color for hallway

White and Orange color for hallway



Classic stripes continue to be popular in fashion, and there’s no reason this look can’t be used in interiors – in a variety of hues. Softer shades were used here to create a cool and calming scheme. We marked a halfway line in pencil on the wall and used a soft blue shade for the complete top half section of the wall. When dry, stripes were drawn in pencil 10cm apart on the lower half of the wall and alternating colours of grey and blue were painted.



Yes, young girls often want pink bedrooms. To stay away from the sickly sweet trap, not only did we knock some of the pink out of the room by teaming the pink shades with a white stripe, but we also introduced a stronger, contrasting berry stripe. The wall was painted white and when dry a halfway line was marked in pencil horizontally along the wall. We then marked lines 10cm apart vertically on the top half of the wall, and 10cm apart horizontally on the bottom half. The pink stripes were marked off with masking tape and painted.

Pink bedroom for your girls

Pink bedroom for your girls



The bold yet feminine colours in this room were inspired by Prada’s S/S ’11 collection. Teaming fuchsia with black is a great way to introduce a girly colour in a palatable amount. To achieve this look we first masked off the sections on the wall where we wanted the pink stripes to be positioned – a 3cm width for the top stripe, 15cm for the wider pink stripe, with a 2.5cm space in between left unmasked for the thin black line. We then painted the remainder of the wall black. When dry we painted the pink areas. Simple yet effective.



This colour combo was inspired by an image taken at the Celine S/S ’11 ready-to-wear show. The bold blue and kelly green had been on the shoulders of the top and red was used on the waistband, which goes to show you can take colour inspiration from anywhere! To create this look we painted the wall white and marked off lines from the half-way height downwards in pencil – 10cm width for the blue stripe, 5cm for green, 15cm gap left for the white, 5cm for the green again, and repeated the pattern, leaving a 5cm width for the lower white stripe. The skirting board, like the waistband, is a bold red, as is the Starburst wall clock, which ties the look together. CELINE S/S 2011 runway photography getty images 56 www.



Stimulate conversation with bold colours in your dining room with a classical wood-based dining table and stylist chair sets. We used the bottom half of a Prada dress as inspiration for our scheme. The wall was divided into thirds, masked off and then painted. If you don’t feel brave enough to use such vibrant colours in your home, simply opt for a different colour combo – eg, three shades of the same colour (just double the strength for one option, and halve the strength for another option). Alternatively, find a piece of fabric you love and use three colours from that as your starting point. With such dominant walls it’s a good idea to keep the pendants in the space simple yet strong in form.

Bold colours for your dining room

Bold colours for your dining room

Clever furniture solutions and creative space with best recliners and sofas, an tables on wheels


FRIENDS often drop in to architect Sara Giese Camre’s apartment. So much so that she’s redesigned and furnished the place to accommodate the constant flow of people, as well as her ever-changing decorating schemes. The home features open-plan living spaces and clever furniture solutions, such as tables on wheels, recliner chairs, and sleeper sofas, so she can rearrange zones on a whim to suit the occasion or mood.

Redesign her apartment with open space

She wants to redesign her apartment with open space by exploiting new design of tables on wheels, sleeper sofas and recliners for saving spaces

Her apartment

Sara rented this 150-sq-m apartment for two years until she bought it with the intention of giving it a major makeover. “The apartment included a long corridor with six small, dark bedrooms,” Sara says. But she could see the potential. After sketching for almost a year, she came up with the design for a spacious apartment with a huge living room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus open-plan kitchen-dining area with a luxious dining table.

Open plan kitchen at her apartment

Open plan kitchen at her apartment


The timeline was tight, but with the help of an expert building team, Sara carried out the renovation in just six weeks. “It was a major project – walls were torn down, new water pipes and drains had to be fitted and a 10-metre-long steel-beam bearer had to be lifted in through the window,” Sara says. To save money, she painted the walls, ceiling and floors herself – and still keeps cans of paint on hand because she constantly discovers moulding or borders that need another coat. Sara chose white for all the surfaces because “it really makes the furniture stand out”.

…And what she does for interior design

The interior design is a patchwork of furniture that Sara has bought or built herself when the need arose. “A lot of my finances were used on the renovation, which meant I had to be creative when it came to the interior design,” she says. “I built the coffee table myself from MDF boards and had it coated with car paint.” Where Sara did choose to invest was on the sofa and lamps. “Lighting is important,” she says. “You can create an atmosphere with light, enhance a corner, hide something”

Light design is important in a house

Light design is important in a house

Sara is constantly surrounded by design and tries to keep herself up to date with the latest innovations, but is also fond of classics, “especially the Danish furniture designs”, she says.

Sara is inspired by travel, too, and adapts different cultural aesthetics to her own home. At the moment, she is strongly influenced by Japan. “On a recent trip there I bought a lot of fabric and rolls of fine paper that I have used to make cushions and decorate boxes with,” she says. But this scheme isn’t permanent. “In six months’ time everything will most probably look different, when I’m onto my next ‘thing’.”

“I’m passionate about creating,” Sara says of her evolving home. “Actually, I just can’t help it.”