Located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, this stylish family home combines disparate yet complementary elements and eschews trends for a look that is set to endure. “My personal design aesthetic is classic, traditional and homely, with a focus on great quality pieces,” says the home’s owner Kate Walker. “My style is American traditional with a touch of Chinoiserie. I like to buy pieces that will be as relevant when I’m 80 years old as they are today. I avoid trends, because I don’t want to have to keep redoing the décor!”
With a successful design business, based near her home, it seems Kate was always destined for a career in design – her mother was an interior designer and her father a tile merchant. But her own home’s aesthetic is quite the departure from her professional environment. “The style for the KWD Studio is white, minimalist, clean and pristine, so when I go home I want to feel like I am being wrapped up in comfort with a really friendly environment and gorgeous textiles. I always have fresh flowers everywhere too,” says Kate, who lives with her two children, a puppy and two rabbits.
While the home has a coastal chic feel, it conjures a Hampton’s vibe and manages to avoid the beachy clichés – a conscious design decision by Kate who designed the home with her sister Amy Spargo of Maine House Design.
“It was very important to me that the interior design was traditional but relevant. And because we are so close to the beach I wanted the look to be light and breezy, but not beachy. The style is coastal chic really, in a traditional way,” says Kate.
A work in progress (the wet areas are yet to be completed), Kate has referenced the 1930’s and 1940’s throughout the home – a nod to its provenance. “I like traditional pieces, from Chesterfield lounges to wing back armchairs to an antique kauri pine bed for my son, but I mix these with pieces from IKEA.”
A keen proponent of landscaping, Kate’s garden is spectacular and one of the home’s standout features. “I feel strongly about bringing the outside in, and I always recommend that my clients leave money in their budget for their landscaping design. For me, the house starts at the front fence, not at the front door, and people get a feeling, even from the nature strip, about what they are going to experience when they come into your home. The outdoors is an extension of the indoors,” says Kate.
Another highlight of the home is its gorgeous master bedroom – a vision in blue. “I love my bedroom. It’s painted in a really strong yet calming blue, Blue Oar by Dulux. My bed pays homage to the Asian influences I love with a Chinoiserie pagoda-style bed head and I always have crisp, white bed linen and gorgeous decorator cushions.”
“My bedroom is where I keep all my personal photos of my children when they were babies, photos of my family, pieces of china I have collected over many, many years and even my grandmother’s last piece of knitting, complete with knitting needles, that she was working on the night before she died. It sits under a cloche. So, my bedroom is really personal,” says Kate who sleeps with her windows and blinds open to take in the morning vista. “From my bedroom, I have a view across the property and see everything that is happening around me. When I wake up, I see the leaves of the jacaranda tree outside. It’s beautiful, just beautiful.”