Love It Or List It Australia

Love It Or List It Australia: Style inspiration from episode 8

It isn’t until you see a house from the 60s that you’re reminded how much the way we use our homes has changed over the decades.

And it was this incompatibility with the house design and needs of her family that made Margie want to list their family home.

With poky bedrooms and a laundry the size of the master bedroom, only one bathroom and disjointed living areas, it was clear that Neale Whitaker’s biggest job this week was to fix the floor plan.

He also needed to find a way to create a modern family home within the envelope of this swinging ‘60s house.

Here’s how he did it!

1. Respect the era

Before undertaking any work, it was clear that Neale developed a plan and an approach to balancing old with new.

It can be incredibly jarring when a house is renovated without any consideration to its origins and this home certainly had a story behind it – starting out as a prize home in a woman’s magazine!

Neale gave it a new lease on life by capturing the hallmarks of the modern architectural movement while opening up the floor plan and adding modern features throughout.


2. Outdoor styling

One of the biggest selling points of this house was that view, so Neale maximized this strength by creating a relaxing yet functional space on the verandah.

He created two outdoor zones on the verandah – a dining space and an informal seating area. Neale got the balance of contemporary and vintage just right out here, opting for modern furniture while adding a retro vibe with cushions and accessories.

The timber plank outdoor dining table paired with metal wire chairs is a modern combination and he balanced these angular lines with softer tabletop styling and loads of outdoor plants.

I’ve used a similar approach in my outdoor space below and here are some of my favourite products for you to create your own relaxing outdoor space.

LAGERBÄR pot from IKEA $7.00


Botanica cushion from Basil Bangs $75 

3. Chrome and stainless steel tapware

Before there was black tapware, it was all about chrome!

Neale kept with the era of the home by using chrome tapware throughout the bathrooms and laundry but added a modern twist by also using stainless steel tapware in the mix. ‘Titan stainless steel’ is the new tapware range from Caroma and it has the appearance of brushed chrome but with loads of other perks, such as added durability.

Chrome is a timeless tapware finish that works well in almost all colour schemes. Do as Neale did and select modern shapes, and consider using a brushed finish in some or all of the wet areas.

Titan Stainless Steel Basin Mixer from Caroma $413


4. Puddling sheer curtains

Neale created a parents retreat for Margie and Grayson, including a large walk-in robe and ensuite, but the showstopper for me were those puddling sheer curtains!

Nothing says luxe like designer sheer curtains – instantly adding a soft and romantic feel to bedrooms.

I recently added puddling sheer curtains to my bedroom and love the transformation it’s made. Before you think these would be totally out of reach of your budget, you might be interested to know there are a range of online stores that offer these for up to 50% off traditional prices like DIY Online Blinds where I sourced mine.

5. Mid-century furniture

To tie the whole look together and make the house gel, Neale replaced the furniture with iconic design pieces that fit the modern 60s brief.

Walnut timber and timber leg furniture, leather armchairs and a round dining table, were just a few of the new furniture pieces he sourced.

Prices for mid-century furniture vary significantly depending if you select an authentic or replica design. If you cannot afford genuine pieces but want to steer away from replica furniture, another option would be to find modern pieces that have characteristics of furniture from this era.

Denny armchair from Space Furniture $POA 

New York dining table from BoConcept $1149 


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