There's something about the Australian vibe that keeps drawing us Down Under. Their energy is super chill and laid-back, but they're also some of the most hardworking people around. I know because I'm one of them. Okay, so maybe I'm slightly biased, but I do know one thing for sure: Australian design is cutting-edge. Just take Kip & Co, a cool, under-the-radar brand with an incredibly bright future in addition to a bright aesthetic. The brand has become one of Australia's most sought-after resources for soft furnishings with a colorful array of tasseled throws, velvet pillows, and bedding in vibrant hues and unique patterns.
Co-founder Alex Van Der Sluys' Melbourne home is the epitome of the brand's artful, inventive, and insanely cool mood with a nod to modern bohemia. From the gold metallic backsplash in her open-plan kitchen to the sorbet tones of her guest bedroom, this is what pure joy looks like—the home of her fellow co-founder, Hayley Pannekoecke, is just as vibrant. So step inside, and take notes, because this home will leave a lasting impression, and we guarantee you'll want to pin all of them to your inspo board.
This gorgeous double-fronted weatherboard home was built in the early 1900s. "All the houses in my tiny street (there are only about 12) were built in the same period and are mainly identical," says Van Der Sluys. "It's a pretty cute little place in the world." But don't be fooled by its minimal and monochrome exterior. Step inside, and that's when the color really comes alive.
Since it's a small space, Van Der Sluys' personal goal was to make sure there was a sense of "openness" while still offering different spaces for different occasions. This was important but proved challenging. "I think we also have a weird orientation, so making sure we got enough light into all the rooms was a big challenge," she adds. "I really wanted to create a space that was warm and light, and I think because of that, it has a natural sense of home about it without having to do anything too styled or contrived."
Van Der Sluys tells us she lived in this "very dilapidated cold little home" for seven years, and only last year did they decide to renovate from head to toe, excluding the front facade, which has a heritage overlay.
Van Der Sluys wanted the interior to be "a reflection of me," so she set about making it "bright, globally inspired and with a sense of fun." We think she nailed it. Especially in the kitchen. Can you just die for that metallic cabinetry and marble backsplash?
Since the renovation was pretty much a total rebuild (other than the fireplace inside and the front facade), Van Der Sluys started new with the décor too.
Interestingly, Van Der Sluys reveals that the biggest challenge was "finding ways for a tiny space to house a big personality," but she managed to make it work, and the kitchen is now her favorite place in the house. "It actually makes me want to cook (shocking!)," she says.
This would have to be the coolest little laundry room we ever did see. Who knew green lacquered tiles with chipboard cupboards could look so chic?
Deciding on the color scheme didn't take much planning. "I just knew I didn't want white walls, so almost the first thing I did was find paint colors that had some personality but that I also felt I could live with every day," she muses. "And from there, each time I had to pick another element, I just made sure it 'sorta went' with the other things I'd locked in. There was no grand plan, but I have so many different colors and textures in my own pieces that I knew it was never going to be a pared-back project."
Everything looks better on flooring this beautiful. We love the hint of green to freshen up the vintage aesthetic.
Did anyone say sorbet? This is what sweet dreams are made of.
It might be a small bathroom, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in style. Cool concrete is warmed up with timber drawers and the natural light of a slim window.
The seamless mirror is sleek against the concrete tiles, topped off by gold faucets and a cool black wall sconce.
While this home has so many great finds, her favorites are sentimental treasures she sourced on recent travels. "I've got a bunch of paper mâché 1960s pots that Bobby (my husband) and I found in Jodhpur last year on a wild adventure through India," she says. "It was an incredibly special trip, and getting them back home was almost as epic, so now they hold a very special place for us. And of course, it is pretty awesome to be able to fill my home with lots of Kip & Co and pieces that we've created and designed ourselves right here in Melbourne."
While it took a while to find this place, Van Der Sluys is so glad she chanced upon it. She adds, "It's in a tiny dead-end street (we are at the very end) with this gorgeous little bridge over an old canal to a teeny park that is basically an extension of my house. And then there's a backyard. It has a huge mature gum tree, and you can really feel like you're far away from the buzz of the city back there. The house itself was always a work in progress, but the bones were calling me."
Do you love this bright and bold interior? Or is your style more minimal and monochrome? Sound out below.