Living with Kids // Our Family Home // House Tour.

August 31, 2014

When we bought this home, we were living over a 1000 km away, in the middle of the desert (literally) and had a friend do an inspection for us. We bought it before having children and moved in with no furniture and a small collection on knick knacks. Essentially starting from scratch. Our home was built in the early 90s and although it had good bones, it had clearly never been loved. No flowers growing outside and a lack lustre inside. After focusing my energy on making Piper and Poppy's rooms pretty, I turned my attention to the rest of the house. The bathroom and laundry are not finished. The kitchen has still not been done up. But we are getting there. The home is small, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a combined living area. We needed to make the space feel bigger and allow for us all to feel at home.

Working with Dulux Australia meant that we had the opportunity to change our space with colour. The interior brick was quite dark for us and because we live somewhere rainy a lot of the year did nothing to keep the space bright and inviting. We decided white was the way and chose Dulux Natural White Wash and Wear  and made sure to use the kitchen and bathroom version for the kitchen area. For an undercoat and prep we used the Dulux One Step Primer, Sealer and Undercoat. Interior brick tends to soak up paint so the primer allowed us to use a single coat to complete the space. The walls were first washed with sugar soap and a heavy duty scrub brush. Then a coat of primer was rolled on. Finally, a coat of Natural White. It is a soft and warm white which keeps the space bright but peaceful.

The master bedroom is painted in White on White which is a cool white with blue undertones. Crisp and clean. Poppy's room is painted in Whisper White and Piper's is Natural White like the lounge/dining/kitchen. White paint is amazing, so much choice and so many options for change.

While the painting was happening we had a serious look at the furniture throughout our home. There was a bulky modular leather sofa that ate up a good portion of the living area, a cluttered ikea box shelf, and some other bits and pieces that did nothing to make the space flow. So, we uploaded it all onto a buy and sell site and used the profits to buy a new sofa, coffee tables, desk, rug and an amazing sideboard and side unit from Gumtree for a steal. We carefully simplified every room and closet, clearing the clutter. The emotional goodness of not holding onto "stuff" has been unbelievable. We now move a thing out for every thing that comes in. Our home is a work in progress, but we have been following the advice of not keeping something that isn't beautiful, meaningful or useful. It is a simple rule that works.

We had a collection of artwork and baskets from an Aboriginal community we were very blessed to live in for three years, many gifts through the friendships we made there. Australia is my children's home, it is my beloved's country and my adopted one. This inspired many of the decorating choices. Plants everywhere make a space feel more like home. The energy they have brought our home is amazing. We have made simple choices of pieces we love to adorn our walls and shelves. Most of the artworks and prints listed below are very affordable and will change any space.

Plenty of fresh wattle and giant proteas (not native but they LOVE growing in this place) are cut weekly to freshen the space. Our beautiful bone china cockatoo lamp from Have You Met Miss Jones takes pride of place on our dining sideboard alongside a vintage milk jug from a local farm and a banksia seed pod filled with eucalyptus oil.

Our Flower Mat on the dining table is from the incredible Bonnie and Neil and is Queensland Yellow (the state where we first met and fell in love) hand screen printed design on Tasmanian oak.

The artworks in the dining area are painted by some very special people we have known but similar can be bought through Martu Mili Artists group.

In the lounge room, the giant artwork is from Printism. They are focused on people being able to buy 'real art' for the price of a print. Their GiclĂ©e prints are of incredible quality. We chose the Abstract Art print Spore by Rossella Picciani. Her artworks show the complex relationships between humans, plants, animals and the earth. It has taken the focal point from our TV and created a space that flows. The huge stretched canvas looks like a textured painting. Breathtaking.

On the black chair is the lovely Dark Denim Cushion Cover from Yellow Front Door. The shop is packed with statement cushions and decor for inside and outside the home. This cover is durable and colourful and makes a splash of colour.

Over my desk is an amazing print by the very talented Greg from Burbia: Suburban Prints and Design. He is an amazing designer and artist creating inspiring and unique designs that are affordable and showcase Australian places that are lived in and loved. The number print we chose is 33, both the nickname for the community where we lived in the desert and the number of this home, our first together. I am coveting this print too.  

Books and favourite magazines line the book shelves and a few vintage cameras (I do love to take photos) are spotted throughout the space. It is so important that your home holds things you care for. 

Our bedroom had been neglected for a long time and was needing a fresh face. After speaking to Janette from WallStudio the choice of canvas for our home was a simple one. The Flower Bomb is full of movement and rich vibrant colour and pops off of the wall.

Our bed is lined with cushions from DG37 who stock the most amazing choice of bedding and throws and cushions, oh my! Affordable and high quality, they can make a space new again.

The photos are by the ever darling and talented Rachel: Sunday Peach. She is delightful and clever and I would hire her a million times again. Check her out here.

Shopping Guide

Paint throughout our home: Dulux

Living Space
Canvas Wall Print: Spore: Printism
Cockatoo Bone China Lamp: Have You Met Miss Jones
Queensland Yellow Flower Mat: Bonnie & Neil
33 Number Print: Burbia
Ceramic Cross: Ahoy Trader
Dark Denim Cushion Cover: Yellow Front Door
Aboriginal Artworks: Martu Mili 
Dream Catcher: Beci Orpin
Sofa, coffee tables, desk, silver lamp: Freedom

Master Bedroom
Flower Bomb Canvas: WallStudio
Throw Cushions: DG37
Kantha Throw: Empire Homewares

Piper's Room
Wall Circle: Pony Rider
Velvet Cushions on bed: Adairs
Wall Shelves: Cotton On Kids
It was always you print: Ashley Goldberg

Poppy's Room
Large Pouffe: Pony Rider
Man on the Moon Print: My Messy Room
Birth Print: PrintSpace

Thanks to so many amazing participants in this makeover. It truly just takes some creativity and love to make a space beautiful and we are so happy in our little home. Operation make this house a home is working indeed. Check out the before room here for an idea of how much change we made through a little elbow grease and some clever and budget friendly choices.

♡ ashley


  1. Wow! Ashley! What a transformation! All your hardworking has certainly paid off. Your home looks amazing. I love it! x

  2. I just wrote a long-winded comment that might have gotten lost in the internet's atmosphere. Anyhow, I love your family pictures and your home. Can't wait to see if you print any/many of the pictures. I appreciate how much work went in to the changes of your home and that you documented it all. Home is where you're all together, right? Sounds like you're doing some thinking, like us, about staying or leaving. Home changes when you become a mother, I think.

  3. Beautiful space filled with a lovely family! Love how you have chosen lots of natural things that will last the distance. Looks like lots of fun will be had in this happy home.

  4. the house looks great. what a transformation! great shots too

  5. Great photos, love what you have done.

  6. Beautiful Ashley, all of it! xx

  7. Wow Ashley, your home is gorgeous! It looks funky, yet homely and I love all the happy colours everywhere. I need you to come & revamp my little home for me, as like yourself, we have a very small space to work with. I have so many ides, but they will have to wait for the short term, too much else to focus on for now. Absolutely stunning photos too by the way, your family is beautiful :) xo

  8. Beautiful photos of your gorgeous family and home. The white paint in your living room made a huge difference, I love the art and your new sideboard/cabinet - Ikea bookshelves have their place but the preloved mid century design just gave your home some soul.
    I started culling clutter and cleaning my place today, my head feels jumbled looking around at all the 'stuff' we have accumulated - will definitely be using the beautiful/meaningful/useful rule. Thanks for the inspiration. Xx

  9. ash i LOVE what you have done to the house and your description and explanation of its journey to what it is today. these photos are stunning -- and i really mean that - they clearly show the love that you have for your husband, your children and the home you have created. thank you for sharing such a personal insight with me.

    p.s. i looked extremely carefully at both piper and poppy and you and lindsay and i think you're right - they don't really look like either of you! hahaha....i think poppy has her dad's eyes...but in saying that you're all gorgeous!! xox



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