Her biggest challenge? Dealing with an extra-large living room.
“It’s a big room and not the easiest to fill or work out where things should go,” she exclusively told Better Homes and Gardens.
“One wall is basically large concertina shutter doors which lead onto the playroom. This is amazing because you can both keep an eye on the kids as well as hide the mess when you need to,” she explained.
The other obstacle? It needed to be child-friendly. With two small boys, Jen need a room that was robust and safe but looked “stylish and grown up!”
What followed was a complete transformation.
“We replaced the dark parquetry floor with an oak-look, good-quality laminate, replaced the net curtains with white plantation shutters, installed new pendant lights (which I love!), created built-in shelving, anchored the space with a huge rug and painted the room a blue-grey hue,” she said.
Deciding on a colour palette was straight-forward. “That all started with the huge Kirsten Jackson artwork. I bought other accessories to sit well with it,” Jen explained.
So how did the room come together? Take a tour with us.
“We got these pendants from Beacon Lighting but they’re no longer available. I love them because I'm obsessed with gold accents, and it's a big space so it could take something ‘statement’ and quite large. The bulbs are LED too, so it’s energy efficient.”
“The most asked about item in the room is the floor! It's Quickstep Impressive Ultra in classic oak beige. It gets a hammering from my kids and their toys and still looks as good as the day it went in over two years ago.
"I love the colour and it really lifted and brightened the room. It's also water resistent so spills are no stress. Not all laminate is created equal and my advice would be to go for something of better quality and it will last a lot longer.”
“It’s the Nile Grey Diamond Ivory Distressed rug from Miss Amara. "It was amazing value, it's big at 300 x 400cm (and this room needed that), and it is super easy to clean.
"The pattern is also nice and neutral but also hides a multitude of crumbs and worse! We have it in a smaller size under our dining table. See, it really is easy to clean!”
“We went for The Adams from Castlery, which comes in all number of variations from armchair and two-seater to L- and U-shaped, depending on what you want!
"I loved the flexibility of it, it was a great price (I don't want my forever couch while I have young kids with sticky fingers), and you could choose the leg colour so of course I went brass! Removable, washable covers are a non-negotiable too."
“The huge piece behind the sofa is a framed Kirsten Jackson print called ‘Inspired Love’. I just love how colourful and cheerful it is. It really makes the room. It's the first thing I see coming down the hallway in the morning and it really makes me smile!
There's also a painting by Jasmine Mansbridge and a print by Casey Burrill, both Aussie artists whose work I love."
"We chose a wall unit from BoConcept but they no longer make the exact one. I really wanted somewhere to display all my trinkets, photos and design books and it's a practical as well as a gorgeous way to decorate that half of the room. It really helped fill a very wide room too.
"I love that it's wall-mounted and floating. It's actually made from eight separate units so I could choose exactly how I wanted it."
“If I were a coffee table I'd be the Marble Topped Pedestal coffee table from West Elm! This piece is so me and I'm in love with it! I coveted it for at least a couple of years.”
Find out how she creates a beautiful vignette here.