The owners of this short-term holiday rental property also like to come to stay every once in a while. So when reaching out to Box Clever Interiors to step inside and redesign the interiors, their wishlist extended beyond mere functionality. They wanted it to feel like home, furnished and decorated in their favourite plantation style. Combining classic British colonial with a nod to contemporary living, designer Hilary Sharp has done just that (and more!).
“My clients value ethical and sustainable choices and wanted us to source pieces that were at the high to middle end of the market,” says Hilary of the plan for the house’s new look. “Later in the design phase, it became apparent that the owners had spent time living in Africa, which gave us the perfect intro to incorporating a subtle African theme in the new interior, which suits the colonial styling so well.”
Located in Flaxton on the Sunshine Coast, the property is surrounded by subtropical greenery, which inspired the designer’s choice of colour palette and lifestyle considerations. “We were guided by the brief and reflected on the surroundings of the house and the beautiful, lush Queensland bushland. Given the location, it was clear to me that this home was likely to be popular with families and as a destination for weddings and couples getting married. Our aim was to create a very special place for the owners and their guests to call their home while away.”
Accommodating the various styles required into a harmonious scheme and ensuring that all items specified could be sourced within a tight time-frame was a design challenge. “While the requirement was for a plantation-style home with British colonial interiors, this wasn’t a period house and lacked the architectural features that some older properties may have,” Hilary explains. “When we began the project, there were also some vibrant feature walls of lime green and orange. We chose to mute these! However, on the plus side, the house had high ceilings and amazing views. We chose pieces of interest and placed furniture to enhance flow, drawing the eye to the amazing views and lush gardens,” she adds.
Box Clever Interiors source from suppliers throughout Australia, and take time to attend trade fairs both here and internationally to keep up to speed with what’s happening in the market. “However, we believe in supporting local, and where possible we will source locally,” says Hilary. “We took field trips to re-visit our favourite showrooms in Brisbane to find pieces that would be right for the job. Sometimes we stumbled upon pieces of art or furniture that we knew would work well in the house. For example, we really wanted to use a round dining table, and it had to seat six people. One showroom stop was into Xavier Furniture, where we saw the stunning Savoy table on the first floor. It had a sophisticated elegance and the modern, clean lines we were looking for, so we snapped it up.” Hilary also spotted the handcrafted Bistro Wil Stanley chairs at Xavier and said she instantly knew that they would be perfect for the dining space. “It delivered a modern look and feel within a plantation setting.”
In the master bedroom and the queen twin room, Box Clever Interiors have used a feature wallpaper to transform the spaces, injecting another layer of texture and visual impact. “I particularly love the queen twin room, with its bold floral wallpaper and simple white furniture and striped accessories,” the designer says. “The wallpaper wasn’t actually our first choice – the original paper we specified couldn’t arrive on time. This one is British, made by Sanderson. As the owners are originally from the UK, it’s a nod to their heritage and the English countryside. We love that Sanderson sources pulp from certified, sustainable forests that are FSC and or PEFC forestry, and that all steps of the manufacturing process are driven by environmental controls and management systems.”
All the beds were made locally on the Sunshine Coast by The Mattress Company Yandina, with environmentally friendly latex toppers upholstered in bamboo. The bedding is organic cotton supplied by Blessed Earth, located in nearby Maleny.
“We kept the eco-sensitive approach to sourcing the indoor/outdoor rugs used on the terrace and also internally as runners in the hall, all made from recycled polyester (PET) and sourced from Winton House,” adds Hilary. “Even the gorgeous dusky pink rug in the master bedroom, while it looks like a flat-weave rug, is actually made from PET yarn, from The Rug Collection.”
The artwork selected by Box Clever Interiors was from four suppliers, including Queensland’s own Designer Boys and Urban Road, who provided oversized botanical prints and a stunning range of African animal prints.
“My favourite finished space in this home is the entry. We have used a mix of natural textures, including the Armadillo & Co jute rug, iron and marble table from OneWorld Collection, oversized rattan pendant light fittings from Bisque Traders, a mirror from Wisteria Design, artwork by Designer Boys, and a porcelain table lamp from Canvas + Sasson. It all comes together as being very Queensland. It’s tropical plantation, with a modern twist.”
Photography: Venita Wilson