Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Family Home Project: Chris and Kelly

Photographed by Kris Paulsen

Oh Glory. Would you look at this home. Kelly is one of the most intrinsically stylish people I know and  when teamed with the creativity of her husband Chris, who's trained in graphic design, you get a winning combo. This sweet little rental is filled with all things thrifted, second hand and curb side. Strictly colour coded and effortlessly hip, it's complete with hand crafted treasures from Kelly's online store Chief and Kewpie.

       Who lives here? 

My ridiculously handsome husband, Chris. Who happens to be a school teacher and also a drummer. I know right, I married up. Our 4 year old comedian of a son Noel, who has autism, which means he's smarter than anyone. In the world. Well, me at least. 

Delicious, chubby Coco who is 2 (I'm pretending to love the age of 2....) who insists on wearing a "beautiful dress" the minute her eyes are open in the morning and who tells me my chin and glasses are beautiful. And me, Kel, the one with the beautiful chin. 

What is your style ethos?
I had to google the meaning of ethos. Don't tell. What I probably should have done is ask Noel. He'd know. 
So my style ethos is this; anything goes! Maximum thrifted mirrors, maximum colour and maximum eras. One corner of my home will be totally 70's, where another might be 50's and who knows what's going on over there?

Who/what inspires your style?
I am inspired by the days of old. Some bold retro textile, some soft vintage tones, some clean sharp Aztec lines. The more the merrier. 

Where is your favourite place to sit?
I just really like to sit. Like, really. 
Nothing beats the couch with my best friend and a cuppa (or baileys) at the end of a hard day. We've put the kids to bed, we congratulate each other with a slap on the back and hit the lounge. We listen to our favourite tunes or watch an over-watched tv series on AppleTV quoting it all the way through. 
Its a gentle slap on the back... Thought I should clear that up. It might even be a metaphorical slap on the back. 
I LOVE to sit.

How does the layout of your home affect the way you live/function within it?
We. Have. Stairs. This means I try and gather up as many items as I can in the morning (bedrooms upstairs) and bring them down to our living space so as to avoid walking up them ever again. If I forget something or if the down stairs toilet is broken, it is with HEAVY sighs and huffing that I tantrum my way up them again. 
Sadly we spend a lot of time away from home with appointments for Noel, preschool and life. When we are home we love our downstairs living space. It's tiny and we can all see each other. It has a safe paved backyard which is perfect for trampolineing, bikes and the odd bow and arrow hunt. It's tiny- but if you're a kid, it's a jungle, an ocean, a pirate ship or a place to play "booma" which is essentially handball renamed. 

What are your future plans/dreams for your house?
We rent our little home, which I'm ok with. I'm not a builder- it's the decorating bits that I love! I have a dream of a floor to ceiling vintage mirror wall, some kind of velvet wallpaper feature wall, a succulent garden wall. I see a wall, I busy a wall. 

Any tips for someone who might like to emulate your style (places to shop, key items colours etc)?
My number one rule is this, get some shit on your walls! Asymmetric is the new neat. Already got a photo on the wall? Stick another three things near it. Not in line. Promise me not in line?
I obviously do a lot of shopping at op shops, I hand make a lot of my wall stuff and there are some lovely retro shops online. Gumtree is excellent. Yarn is your best friend. Got a wooden dining chair that's looking plain? Yarn bomb it.

What makes a house a home?
A solid family unit that operate and function out of unconditional love for each other. 
The sounds of laughter rolling off the walls, along with the sounds of ASD meltdowns and the assurance that both of those things are safe here. Ok here. 



Resource Guide

Hall - Clock:eBay // Trunks:eBay // Dining and Lounge - Dining table:gumtree // Candle:Golden Skull // Rug:Fab Habitat //Buffet:hand me down // Mirrors:thrifted // Ottoman:Adairs // Antique fridge:heirloom. Coco's Room: Peacock bed head:eBay (find similar) // Dolls house:curb side // Rug:Urban Outfitters. Noel's Room - Cardboard moose:Typo // Blanket:thrifted // Cowboy cushion:custom made. Master bed - Rackets thrifted and hand woven by Chief and Kewpie // bedding: urban outfitters.


  1. So much to love about Kelly and Chris's home. Especially the artwork (big but soft black and white portraits, the racquets, the lover sign... sigh). Nice shots by Kris (the use of mirrors is special). They seem like a fab family too. x

    1. Oh it's insane hey! Kelly just gets it PERFECT- seriously, the use of categorised colour, it's amazing.

  2. Gorgeous - I love all the green, the spaciousness and light - and some fantastic pieces!

  3. oh, those rackets!! Love them. what a lovely personality this house has, but my favourite part of this feature was Q&A with Kelly. what a character!

    I like sitting too.

    1. I like sitting too :)

      This hose does have character, just like yours! BAM!!

  4. I have ths same antique ice fridge! My dad converted the inside into a cd cabinet! Beautiful home & beautiful family.

  5. I think this house might have been my favourite.

  6. Wow, those answers! That is one of the best interviews I've read. Honest and beautiful responses that drip in authenticity! Ok, gush over. What a cool lady and cool house!

  7. Absolutely love this post/house/interview/photos on every level. Swoon!

  8. I love sitting too!!!
    Just thought i'd add that.

    Oh, and the house is just lovely.

  9. I love this post,such a stylish and beautiful person Kelley who puts a positive spin on everything and such a lovely decorated house with so much love and light........I am sure this is a Happy place.

  10. Kelly makes me chuckle, I rather love that girl.. now to see her house..it is simple but full of personality.. gotta love that x

  11. I LOVE their home. I see lovely rooms like theirs and want to kick myself for always playing it safe, boring and gray. I especially love their table and green chairs and that the whole place screams "happy."

    Thanks for letting us into their world. xo

  12. What a lovely home! So calm and happy. What I love especially is that the bones of my house looks similar, and I love their space. (I don't dislike mine, but I get a bit wanty after watching the block wishing I could put in floorboards or do some cool timber cladding in the kitchen.) so I feel inspired to do a bit rearranging here, and start looking on gum tree for a cute old/new dining table!

  13. LOVED. IT.ALL.Love the house, love the bits and pieces, love the fragility/humour/honesty in her words, love the rhetorical questions. loved it. did I already say that?

  14. شركة نقل عفش بالدمام الشرق الاوسط متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
    نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em