as seen in the media

Ok, I confess to planning my 2018 Christmas colour scheme a few months ago  and I know I’m not the only one who likes to start thinking all things Christmas early in the year… My Beautiful Abode was asked to contribute to this article about simple homemade Christmas decorations; read on



Tween Stylin’

You know how ‘they’ say never work with children or animals? Well, we’ve just finished a project working with a tween which was an absolute joy!

We first met with our client, Miss Tween, we’ll call her, after she’d reached a stalemate with her mother about wanting a black feature wall in her bedroom.


Hmmm… the challenge in this situation was to come up with a style solution that met both the wishes of our Miss Tween with those of her mother, and that was harmonious and aligned to the rest of the family home.  Tweens are interesting- they’re no longer babies, although they are often viewed as such, and they may have the same bedroom that Mum lovingly created for them when they left their cot. Whilst they’re very clear about their preferences, tastes and interests yet they still need (and secretly crave) their loved one’s approval and support- in the context of getting their way!


cabinet-makeover-painted-blackOur process is not to take sides in the equation, and we’re clear with our smaller clients that whilst it’s not unreasonable for their space to be a reflection of their style, it’s equally reasonable for it to be as stylish as the rest of the home.


For this specific client, we sat down with her and explored her thinking behind the black feature wall, then came up with a solution that met both her wishes and mum’s aesthetic sensibilities. The answer? A gorgeous cabinet in a delicious charcoal shade. Room instantly transformed from children’s play area to growing tween’s hangout, a place to plan, dream, scheme, and yes, maybe even play.


Don’t go fighting with your tween about their bedroom- bring us in! We have a gift specific to this issue, we call it the gift of family harmony- see for yourself.

A flexible approach to designing spaces

relaxed-bedside-stylingAt My Beautiful Abode, we work with people to create their sanctuaries within their space. We create places where people are comfortable and content, places to welcome friends and family, places to live. What does this mean though, in the day to day of working with us?

We have a cascading menu of support that we offer clients, menu being the operative word, with our services covering Entrees, Starters, Main Course and a delicious* collection of sides. Some clients need a full makeover of their entire house, whilst others feel that their tween’s bedroom needs a bit of a lift, or that their living room is looking a little too, well, lived in.

Our process with working with our clients usually starts with a home visit- although with some clients, geography gets in the way so we manage this via phone, Skype or FaceTime, complemented with a decent dropbox file of images of the spaces to be designed, decorated or styled.

We have an extensive brief process that we go through with clients to clarify the function and purposes of the space (s) to be addressed. We look at existing furniture and artworks, favourite aspects, the desires for the space and the absolute N.O. ’s and must-avoids.

From the brief, and depending on the menu package being provided, we create a lookbook for the room, as well as a thoughtfully and carefully curated shopping list with showrooms and suppliers for clients to visit to achieve the vision detailed in the lookbook.

If you’d like some professional help in creating your Beautiful Abode, please get in touch. We’d love to provide as little or as much support as you need!


*not delicious in a literal sense. Please don’t eat your window furnishings.




Room of the week feature

We are lucky enough to have one of our projects featured as room of the week on Houzz.  It’s a recently completed project of ours that really seems to have caught peoples imagination.  Click here for the link.



Rural Upbringing meets City Styling

Did you know our Director and Lead Designer Sophie Kost grew up on a farm in the South West of Victoria? This begs the question- how does a rural gal, born and bred in the country, become an interior designer and stylist for some undeniably urban homes including inner city warehouse conversions? We went straight to the source for this one.



I had a truly wonderful, idyllic upbringing near Port Campbell which is on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, somewhat half-way between Melbourne and Adelaide. My family lived and worked on a farm, and I have no doubt that my rural upbringing has hugely informed my city-based styling and decorating studio.


Our upbringing often becomes a roadmap which instinctively guides us in our directions and our endeavours. I often find myself almost subconsciously drawn to projects that lend themselves beautifully to a touch of country. A recent My Beautiful Abode project in Mitcham in Melbourne’s leafy East is a perfect example. The living room of the space had a wall of glass windows looking out onto an undoubtedly rural vista of gums. A beautiful tree-stump table I unearthed at one of my fabulous suppliers was the perfect piece for that space, and it’s gorgeous texture reminded me of ‘home’.


I love the sense of character and history that can be unveiled, discovered or celebrated through interior styling in even the most contemporary of urban settings, a blend of city and country that creates a memorable, beautiful space.


When one has spent their formative years trying not being blown off the Twelve Apostles and across the Southern Ocean, coziness and warmth becomes an essential to design.  Somewhat paradoxically, a feeling of openness and space is something I naturally gravitate towards creating in my designing. I love spaces that have a sense of freshness, relation or basically just ‘unstuffy’ interiors that are reflective of rural living, that are bright and airy. This is achieved through thoughtful consideration of colour, textures and materials, such as timbers, crisp fabrics, and blues and natural hues.


I love to use ‘country’ references to compliment, consolidate and give weight and stability to distinctly urban spaces. Window furnishings are a fabulous way to blend ‘traditional’ with urban and contemporary style, and the use of artwork that celebrates rural landscapes are a beautiful, evocative way to reduce the impact of living in concrete jungle, providing a visual respite and that sense of space and calm that’s symbolic of living away from the urban sprawl.  Some of my favourite photographers are Laura Manariti, Kara Rosenlund and Joanne Piechota and I love placing their beautiful artworks within an urbanised setting such as a warehouse conversion or a renovated inner city terrace, or a contemporary apartment.


Is your home a little too city and too little country? Or vice versa? We’d love to work with you to create a sense of space evocative of a rural landscape.





Creating A Welcoming Home

Our lead designer Sophie was invited to contribute to this article about “Creating a welcoming home”  here is the link to read on;

8 Ways To Increase Your Property Value

Our lead designer, Sophie, was invited to comment on this article about increasing the value of your property.  Here is the link to the article.

A Journey for the Eye

Oh, how we love a vignette here at the My Beautiful Abode studio. Take a wander through our Instagram feed and you’ll see how layered styling is an interior concept that defines our work. Why? We believe that a space with layers adds depth, specificity, personality, texture and interest, creating living vignettes that appear effortless, yet stylish and put together, or as our lead designer Sophie says (verbatim!) well resolved.


When a room is well resolved, the eye goes on a beautiful journey around a room, similar to the visual journey we have when standing in front of a beautiful, interesting picture. Consider a beautifully styled bedroom- from the entrance, the eye would travel to the end of the bed, then up towards the pillows and cushions, then across to a bedside lamp, then back to the headboard or artwork above the bed, across to the opposite bedside table where other details beyond the lamp are noticed, and then back to the end of the bed. It’s a circular journey that most people aren’t aware they are experiencing, and one which gives that sense (or not) of a space that is well resolved, balanced and interesting.


We see our role as interior specialists as creating spaces that are well-resolved, and we identify quickly missing elements that prevent a space from being all that it could. Our approach to layered styling is intentional repetition of colours, or of textures or even finishes such as metallic. Whilst no doubt we adore a beautiful vignette on a tabletop, we go beyond the usual horizontal surface styling to incorporate height and depth with lighting, greenery and artwork. We place the fundamental pieces in a room, and then add pieces to fill the gaps that create a journey for the eye to travel across and through, and create interesting spaces without cluttering.

There’s a fine line between clutter and styling. Our approach is intentional and considered. Every piece has a purpose, and is relevant and appropriate to the space, as after all, people need to live in their homes. The difference, as Sophie says, ‘we’re styling, not plonking.’


Take a peek through our Houzz boards and our Instagram and Facebook pages for examples of our styling approach. Of course, if your home feels less styled, and more ‘plonked’, please get in touch. We’ll transform clutter to seemingly effortless style.

A Touch of Greenery- the essential element

When we work with our clients to create their sanctuary, we have a list of ‘essentials’ that we compile through meeting with clients, viewing the space (s) that are to be designed and decorated, and our client brief which details the function and purposes of the space, existing furniture or artwork to be included, and of course desires and must-avoid-at-all-costs items. From this, we create a lookbook for the space which always, and we mean ALWAYS includes some form of greenery. Why? Because plants are a beautiful and effective way to add an organic element to a space, and move it away from a sense of unrealistic perfectionism.

We absolutely love the use of indoor plants and foliage in a well-considered space.  Of course, there’s the concept of bringing the outdoors in, which is such a huge part of how we live in Australia, but it’s also the textural elements that add depth, height, interest and structure to a room. Basically, we see them as beautiful decorative items that enhances any and every space.


There’s a ton of research about how plants can improve the air quality of a space, but the other reason we love plants in living spaces is because they soften a room, and they change as they grow, evolving as the room evolves. However, it’s not just living plants that add so much to a space- we’re completely and utterly faux-tolerant here at My Beautiful Abode, and we think faux plants are a fabulous option for the commitment-phobics out there, and those who have decidedly black thumbs. We often mix and match faux plants with real in our designs, and of course our trade connections means we have access to the best faux plants available on the market. Here’s something you may not know- the best faux plants aren’t perfect. Rather, they resemble their living counterparts, with ‘sun damage’ and brown tips on the ends of vibrant green foliage evocative of real plants.


Greenery doesn’t need to be restricted to plants though- foliage and flowers are always wonderful additions to a space. A few of us at the My Beautiful Abode studio (OK, mainly Sophie) are fiercely committed to the rescue of foliage, having been known to salvage plants and foliage from demolition sites to give them new life in the home of a lucky client or friend, or to welcome visitors to the studio.


Here’s three tips to including greenery in your home:pot-plants-on-coffee-table


1- don’t be scared to go big- both plants and foliage.

2- protect your floorboards by using appropriate saucers and basins

3- don’t forget to put your plants outside in the rain from time to time for some love and attention.


Are you as besotted with greenery as we are? We’re going to go on a bit of a greenery image sharing binge on our Houzz boards and our Instagram and Facebook pages. Let us know your favourite!


Bunker Down in Style

Winter in Melbourne- some of us at the My Beautiful Abode studio love it, whilst others want to run away to Far North Queensland until mid-October. Sophie, our lead designer is of the former opinion and welcomes any opportunity to be lavish with a throw rug and some cushions with luxurious fabric.


It’s possible to bunker down for winter without feeling as though you’re in a bunker. In fact, Sophie’s recent trip to Denfair 2017* has given her a massive injection of mojo for bunkering down in style, including, dare we say it, creating beautiful, elegant spaces evocative of a … man cave!


Texture comes into it’s own in winter- we’re talking soft, luxe fabric, and rich, deep shades. Colours featured at Denfair were musk pinks leaning into port wine reds and rusts, and navy blue paired with jewel tones such as deep greens, purples and contrasts of metallic gold or brass.


Materials that cozy-up the coldest of days include blonde timber (American oak), leather and concrete, and metallic and gloss surfaces infuse light, joined by light fittings of spheres and circles.


Denfair predicts a distinctly masculine aesthetic, and this is an interior theme that works beautifully across spaces. Cashmere for warming up winter (in dark, moody tones) is ideal to have on hand- after all, you have the season’s full permission to hibernate on the lounge with a favourite series. In keeping with the man cave concept, we recommend Breaking Bad, although Game of Thrones paired with a faux fur throw is also a good option.



We’ll be sharing lots of winter warmer inspiration on our Houzz boards and our Instagram and Facebook pages, but is your space feeling less stylish and more bunker? Please get in touch. We’d love to work with you!


*Want a flashback of last year’s Denfair?

My Beautiful Abode