Love It Or List It Australia

Love It Or List It Australia: Style inspiration from episode 7

Team love it certainly had to work extra hard this week, creating more space for a family of 11!

These days people often consider a family of 6 or 7 people large… but what about a family of 11?! This week, team Love It Or List It Australia headed to the greener pastures of Park Orchards, Victoria, where husband Macca and wife Mel live with their 9 children.

Mel was beyond frustrated with their home that simply wasn’t functional for a family of their size. Her kitchen was tucked away from the living areas so she wasn’t able to keep an eye on her children while cooking, and the benchtop was far too small for meal preparation aka the production line. Add to that the lack of bedrooms and wasted additional living space, and Neale Whitaker really had a big job on his hands to turn this house around.

Let’s check out the most significant changes he made this week!

1. Create a beautiful first impression

First impressions most definitely count, so why not make it a great one?!

A simple console table, artwork above and some stylish accessories is always a winning formula as Neale has done in this home.

Try mixing up the accessories, for example a stack of books, a cluster of ceramic pieces, and a large vase of flowers or an indoor plant.


2. Invest in a quality sofa

With a family of this size, having a sofa they could all comfortably fit on was a big priority! Their new stunning sofa from King Living furniture not only fits 11, but it’s modular and can be reconfigured if needed.

No matter how many people live in your household, buying a quality sofa is always a sound investment.

A good tip is to buy one in a neutral colour, such as grey or oatmeal, as you’ll be able to easily change the look using cushions and throws.

Here are some of my favourite cushions and throws this season.

Home Republic ‘Dali’ cushion from Adairs, RRP $59.99 


KAPI cushion from Freedom, RRP $60 


Blush ‘Rylie’ round cushion from Greenhouse Interiors, RRP $69.


Home Republic ‘Casbah sea mist’ throw from Adairs, RRP $99.95.

3. Create a pantry of your dreams

I think it’s safe to say that the way to a woman’s heart is through storage. Whether it’s a large walk-in wardrobe, or in this case a pantry large enough to double as a small supermarket, you cannot undervalue good storage in a home.

What are the secrets to creating a dreamy butler’s pantry? Firstly, do as Neale did and combine open and closed storage solutions – if everything is behind cupboard doors, it will feel more like a filing room than a pantry, and on the flipside, if everything is out on display, it will be difficult to keep tidy and some foods can attract animals.

You can see in my pantry below, I have a cupboard as you enter with deep pullout drawers that are ideal for maximizing storage. Overhead there are large open shelves, which are suitable for storing anything from appliances, to foods in storage containers, as well as baskets that can hold smaller items. Integrated appliances like a microwave, dishwasher and the all-important wine fridge finish the space.

You can find these storage containers at Kmart and watch a short video on how to make the food labels here.

3 Rectangle containers from Kmart, RRP $8.00 .


4. Create the illusion of space with more light

You wouldn’t think it looking at this space but the ceilings in Mel and Macca’s home are quite low. Before the renovation, this created the feeling of the ceiling coming down on you.

Neale fixed this issue by adding large skylights from VELUX throughout the house, including this oversized one in the living room. It creates the illusion of a higher ceiling, while also flooding the home with natural light.

If you have a dark or poky area of your home, perhaps a skylight is the solution you’ve been looking for?


5. Inject colour with artwork

Whether you’re thinking of selling, like to change your interiors frequently or are just a bit shy when it comes to using colour in your home, a ‘safer’ approach to styling your interiors is to use a neutral colour scheme on the walls and larger furniture but to inject colour through large artwork and other décor.

Neale took this approach to style Mel and Macca’s home. The kitchen was completely white but he added warmth by placing an oversized abstract artwork on one wall and using a few timber accessories to style the benchtop. The living room was also very restrained with a soft grey rug and mid-grey sofa, but just a few scatter cushions and another bold artwork brought fun and interest to this space.

I’ve also used this technique to style my dining space shown below. White walls and neutral timber furniture could look boring but by adding the large abstract artwork by Annie Everingham, it has set a younger and more contemporary tone.

If you’re looking for original and affordable artwork, you can’t look past bluethumb – Australia’s largest online art gallery. You’ll find thousands of emerging and established Australian artists selling works in every style and medium.

‘Dancing in the rain’ by Marnie McKnight on bluethumb, RRP $1200.

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