An interior designer’s tropical inspired Queenslander home

Interior designer Kate Connors puts her expert touch to her family’s Queenslander home and creates a relaxed, comfortably cool tropical retreat.

Connors and Co Queenslander home lounge room

Kate Connors, director and designer at Connors & Co, lives in this delightful Queenslander home in Bulimba with her husband, Matt, and children Stella, four, and Louis, one.

A longtime lover of our state’s unique Queenslander homes, Kate purchased the home in 2016 with the view to renovating it into her family’s dream retreat. “It was the first house we looked at, and it was love at first sight – even though we weren’t serious about buying at the time, we put an offer in, and it was accepted!”

The Queenslander suddenly became the couple’s driving motivation for making the big move interstate from Sydney and has given the interior designer the perfect canvas to wield her signature Connors & Co. magic. Kate has thoughtfully combined contemporary finishes with the home’s original features to showcase the beauty of the original VJ walls, a front porch, leadlight casement windows, fretwork, high ceilings and mature tropical gardens.

Connors and Co Queenslander home back verandah

Connors and Co Queenslander home staircase

Connors and Co Queenslander home dining room

Kate’s favourite space? “The dining room: we eat outside mostly, so I’ve adopted it as my office for my interior design studio, Connors & Co. (even though I have one downstairs). It has the most beautiful natural light, and I feel so relaxed and happy working there.”

And while the original heritage colour scheme made the house feel dark and dated, the new grey colour scheme with lots of white highlights has transformed the house from traditional to contemporary. Kate has used the same muted colour scheme throughout allowing for colour to be injected with the furniture and furnishings, which also gives the flexibility to swap rooms around as the family grows.

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The green leadlight windows and surrounding tropical gardens inspired the colour palette which flows from inside to out. Fabrics and furniture are a response to the location and climate, while natural fabrics like linen and wicker furniture from Cotswold are a nod to Queensland living.

The interiors are relaxed, a reflection of the couple’s personalities and lifestyle but also a reflection of where they are at in their lives with small children. “I want my home to be liveable. I mostly design homes for young families, and like those projects, I want my home to be timeless, with quality selections that withstand passing trends – and children!” says Kate.

Connors and Co Queenslander home verandah styling

Connors and Co Queenslander home light fitting

Connors and Co Queenslander home

Connors and Co Queenslander home window treatments

“My current obsession is wicker furniture, and 
I have been collecting Cotswold furniture 
for a few years now. I am also conscious of supporting locally designed and made products and will only live with natural materials. My house is full of wood, wicker, linen, sisal and wool,” adds Kate.

Purchased in what the designer terms a “perfectly imperfect condition”, the home has been redecorated and furnished, but is still a work in progress and continues on its journey to becoming their long-imagined family haven.

Related article: Design originality gives this inner-city cottage a modern new life

Connors and Co Queenslander home VJ walls bedroom

Connors and Co Queenslander home bedroom

Connors and Co Queenslander home children's bedroom

Photography: Hannah Puechmarin