weetness meets strength at this vibrant home on Victoria’s
Surf Coast. Owner Jodie, a florist, is adept at balancing
the elements – adding and subtracting until the mix feels
right. “I go by feel,” says the mother-of-two (pictured),
who started her business, Flower Bowl in East Geelong,
15 years ago. “When I might be heading too far in one direction,
I add in something out of left field to even it out.”
Her approach to the home she shares with her two little ones,
Annie and Tommy, takes a lot from her fancy-free way with
arranging flowers. In both fields, she subscribes to
the usual rules of proportion, colour, texture,
harmony and balance, but also adds in an
element of surprise. “I like to shake it
up,” she says of her fearless blend
of eras and influences. Here,
concrete, brick and steel are her
structural base, just like the
foliage to a bouquet, while
pops of dusty rose, sage green
and teal bring the pretty.
Plant life and artwork
provide the X factor that
sparks the home to life.
Back in 2012, when the
house became Jodie’s home,
it was a humble but
one-bathroom beach cottage.
A two-storey extension in 2018
saw the house grow to include
an open-plan kitchen and living
area out the back, which flows
through to the deck and pool.
A guest bedroom, ensuite and laundry
were tucked along the side of the ground-floor
addition and the new upstairs area was turned into
a main suite. Jodie worked with interior designer Melanie
Hustler from MHI Studio to fine-tune the vision, while Geelong
Building Co took care of project management and the build.
True to stylish form, Jodie relishes the contrast of the classic
weatherboard cottage details with the cleaner lines of the concrete
and brick extension, although a similar palette of colours and
materials bridges the two areas. VJ panelling has migrated from the
front of the home into the kitchen joinery and the matt charcoal
colour from the steel window frames in the extension was introduced
to the original rooms in the form of carpet and floor tiles. The
homeowner kept her base as simple as possible. The concrete
floors are a cement with no aggregate and the paint colour is white
- not natural white or chalk, but the pure, untinted base colour.
As Jodie explains, “I didn’t want it to throw any colour.”
On the styling front, the mix of classic, retro and contemporary
influences throughout the property is anything but
safe. “Colour is how I make it work,” says Jodie.
“If I love something, I buy it, but I tend to
be drawn to a lot of pink, green and other
colours that work with those tones.”
As a florist, her passion for plants
permeates the home in the guise
of lush potted plants and loose
flower arrangements. “Plants
have a way of softening
everything up,” she says.
“And it’s exciting to have
a layer of living things in
the house, watching them
grow and change.” Jodie’s
flowers also show up in
artworks by local artist
Kimmy Hogan, which
enliven the entry and living
room. “Kimmy buys her flowers
from my shop,” she explains.
“I love supporting her and seeing
my flowers in her work.”
Jodie’s ethos of supporting local
artisans from Geelong and Melbourne also
extends through to the Sage & Clare and
Society Of Wanderers textiles featured through the
living room and bedrooms, and the Toast & Honey planters
grouped en masse around the home for high impact.
Jodie is delighted with the way the elements have come together.
“Walking in at the end of the day, there is so much space and we
have all our favourite things around us,” she reflects.
All in all, it’s a spectacular arrangement.
A FLORIST’S PASSION FOR PLANTS, NATURAL MATERIALS AND BURSTS OF COLOUR
HAS CREATED A HARMONIOUS FAMILY HOME WITH A LIFE OF ITS OWN
Story ANNA McCOOE Styling JULIA GREEN Photography ARMELLE HABIB