Love where you live and every day will feel like a holiday – this is the philosophy of interior designer Gabrielle Walsh, and her cosy beachside home is testament to it.
Gabrielle and her husband Jarrod have been lovingly updating their 100-year-old workers’ cottage over the past five years, creating a haven for their young family just a short stroll from the beach.
When it comes to design, Gabrielle says it’s all about creating meaning rather than following any particular style — and this is evident through the eclectic mix of artwork and mementos lining her shelves.
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“As an interior designer my job is not to have a style,” she says.
“And in my own home it’s the same, I feel my style is evolving as I go along.”
But while Gabrielle is the interior designer in the household, she’s not always the one making the final decisions when it comes to decorating.
“My husband is sport obsessed, shoe obsessed and hat obsessed, and he has a huge collection of basketball jerseys,” she says.
“He wanted to display his collection throughout the home which doesn’t quite fit with my aesthetic, but I guess it’s the ultimate marriage compromise!”
The couple have more renovations in store for their home starting with the bathroom and Gabrielle says she’d rather extend than leave their cottage by the sea.
“We tossed up moving to a bigger house or extending this one – my preference is to stay put as we love the location and you can’t buy neighbours like the ones we’ve got.”
I am a senior interior designer at Studio Nine Architects. Early next year I will be launching a new blog, HowWeLive.com.au looking into the homes and lives of South Australians. I am also living the high life as a mother to a spirited two-year-old.
Being on the design team for The Moseley at Glenelg, Beau’s Pet Hotel at the Airport and 23rd Street Distillery in Renmark.
I’VE LIVED IN MY HOME FOR …
7 years. I live with my husband Jarrod, daughter Rayne, and our two fur children Kimba our golden retriever and Vegemite our cat.
MY HOME IS A …
Little 100-year-old double fronted workers cottage only a short walk from Semaphore beach.
I LOVE MY HOME BECAUSE …
There are so many reasons! It feels like we have escaped the city on a little holiday each day being so close to Semaphore Road and the beach. It’s a small simple home with just enough room for everything we love and the memories we collect on the way.
BUT I STILL NEED TO …
Renovate the bathroom and laundry so that it ties back in with our new kitchen. We also need to give our front garden some TLC and get that blooming.
MY DECORATING STYLE IS …
Meaningful. It’s true reflection of myself and my family. It’s a philosophy I carry into my work life. Every design should be meaningful and true to the people who use the space.
FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR HOME
I love every room for different reasons. Jarrod and I love spending time playing with Rayne in her room, but coming into summer, I can’t go past hanging around in our swing chair on the back veranda overlooking the garden.
Our new sofa has been one of our best purchases! We have gone from a small love seat that could only fit two people, to a huge lounge that can fit the whole family and some!
I COLLECT …
Little ceramics that are scattered throughout the house and shells which hold memories from all the beaches we explore.
— My hanging swing chair which is best enjoyed in the morning with a cup of tea when the sun is shining right on it. I may or may not have fallen asleep there on occasions!
— My Botanica Boutique terrarium which was a beautiful gift from work friends. Its designed by a very talented local design team.
— My Chrissy Jenkins painting which was a wonderful present from my parents. Chrissy is a close family friend with a full of life personality and her works are inspired by the intricate fabrics of the Middle East.
I COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT …
My dishwasher! I cannot believe we got by without one for so long! It has definitely been one of our more appreciated investments!
WHEN I GET HOME AT NIGHT …
My husband and I sit with our daughter in her room and we play tea parties and babies. She loves cooking us dinner in her kitchen.
AT WEEKENDS I LIKE TO …
Spend time with my family. Any time we get together on weekends is sacred to us. We go to the beach or laze around the garden. But I also love taking the time on weekends to take photos (mainly of sunsets, the water and the beach).
CLEAN FREAK OR MESSY BESSIE?
A little bit of both. During the working week I’m messy and on weekends everything needs to be clean and put away … but you could say mostly messy! Organised chaos is a thing right?
ON MY WISH LIST IS …
A big and beautiful Alysha Sparks painting and the Jardan Finley bed with a tan leather bed head. And who could say no to a family holiday!
WHEN I’M HOME I LIKE TO COOK …
All sorts of different salads and pasta dishes. But when I have the time, I love to put on a big roast dinner for friends!
IN MY GARDEN I HAVE …
Blue statice en mass, white convolvulus, pink and white buddleias, fuchsia bougainvillea and lots and lots of succulents (my favourite being the blue chalk sticks).
MY NEIGHBOURS ARE …
The absolute best! They are all so supportive, generous and the most beautiful friends. We consider them all family.
IF I COULD AFFORD IT I WOULD LIVE …
Still around the Semaphore and Largs Bay area, we love it here. It’s such a wonderful and close community.
HOME MEANS …
Our sanctuary. It’s the centre of our lives. We are happiest here and most at ease. We love having people over for meals and love to spend time here enjoying life and making memories.