(Joyce) #1


hat began with a plan to buy an investment
property in an area close to their youngest son’s
school evolved into something quite unexpected

  • and beautiful, in every sense – for veteran
    renovators Lesa and Greg. When a 20-year-old
    Queenslander-style home came up for sale in what Lesa identified
    as “the best street” in the Gold Coast suburb, the couple rushed to
    inspect the property. “I pulled up out the front and I just thought,
    ‘Oh my God, I could make this house so good,’” recalls Lesa,
    a stylist. “I know that you’re not supposed to be happy in front
    of the real estate agent, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!”
    That enthusiasm didn’t wane, even when she was confronted by
    “a big purple wall” and a “hideous green bathroom” inside. Sparkling
    in northern light, and encased by wraparound verandahs, the living
    spaces spoke their own language to Lesa. “I just thought, ‘Nah,
    green bathrooms, purple walls? I can do this.’ And we bought it.
    Thirty days later, we were in here,” she says.
    Four years on, Lesa’s signature warmth and infectious joy are
    evident in beautifully curated spaces – indoors and out – that inspire
    new friends to feel at ease and old ones to pop in on a whim with
    a bottle of bubbles. “Everyone loves it!’” says Lesa, who played up
    the wonderful natural light in the four-bedroom home by painting
    walls white, then injecting warmth and soul with one-off timber
    furniture, lush indoor greenery and unique collections. After
    renovating and living in more than 10 homes in the Gold Coast area,
    “I’ve treated it and styled it like it is my forever home,” she reflects.
    Melding Asian, Moroccan and “white rustic” influences, her style
    is best described as “eclectic”, sums up Lesa. “I’ve collected beautiful
    pieces and I’ve put them together and told my own story,” she says.
    Her treasures include intricate Indian and Chinese screens
    displayed as wall art, a collection of vintage brass, and vast coffee
    tables that, in their former lives, were Indonesian weaving tables.
    “The families would sit around those tables and weave; they all do
    the Ikat design, so they’ve got a lot of history behind them. The one
    inside has got the family’s name carved on the side,” she says. >

DINING ROOM Lesa’s penchant for reviving timber with white
paint is evident in the dining room ( below), where she has given the
table top a fresh look with Jolie Paint. Cane chairs and an inviting
vista of the verdant outdoor sitting area deliver a tropical, year-round
holiday vibe. “The cane chairs stole my heart,” she adds. “They’re
from a second-hand dealer. They’re solid and wonderful.” (To find
similar treasures, try Ebay and Gumtree). The relaxed feel extends
through to the kitchen (right), where cross-back stools sourced
from Pillow Talk create an impromptu bar at the all-white kitchen
bench. “The pendant lights jumped in my suitcase from Bali a few
years ago,” says Lesa, with a laugh (get the look with the ‘Cabana’
woven rattan pendant from Paradise Living Co.)

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