It’s one of those places where you walk in the door and feel instantly relaxed. The house radiates such warmth and grace!
Josh and Bonnie have been renovating their riverfront 1930 Queensland workers cottage — slowly — during the last 10 years. A few years ago, I featured their completed country-retro kitchen, and now I want to share with you a new space in this wonderful home: the lounge room complete with a floor-to-ceiling wall bookcase (which I am gleefully hanging off here).
How long have you planned this space?
Bonnie: I’ve wanted a floor to ceiling bookcase for a decade!
Josh: We had the colours pretty much picked out, and the vision, when we first bought the house 10 years ago.
How does that feel: to see it finished?
Josh: Relieved! I finally did it!
Bonnie: I love my lounge room. I love my lounge room. I just keep saying it because I love my lounge room.
How has this room added value to family life?
Josh: It’s a place to retreat as a family. To relax and read without the television.
Bonnie: We have designated family time here now.
Have you put things in place to retain that sense of value for the room?
Josh: We made it a rule that this is a quiet room. We call it the adult room so it’s special for the kids to be here. We made a space for the kids where they can romp and play; this room is not for that. And the room isn’t a walk through area so it keeps this space for its purpose.
How did you work out the design?
Josh: I trailed through Google images and started to draw out what I liked. Then I just started.
Are you happy with the way it came out?
Josh: Very. It’s come out perfectly.
Bonnie, Why do you love books?
Bonnie: I’ve loved books since I can remember; probably from my own mother as she used to read to us [my sister's and I] as children. I developed my own love for books at the age of eight after I read The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.
Since then, I’ve read a wide variety of genres; I belong to a book club which helps me read books that I would not usually pick. I am particularly fond of old English literature from authors such as the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Jeffrey Farnol.
How do you foster a love for books and reading in your own children?
When my children were small, I had a lot of books in different areas around the house. Now they are older, in some instances I ask my kids to read a book before I will allow them to watch the respective movie. So for example, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Lightning Thief, Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice.
My eldest daughter (14) loves reading.
My son (13) only really likes non-fiction, especially if it’s about reptiles; I can’t get him interested in novels at the moment.
My youngest child — she’s 10 — she loves non-fiction too, but together we are reading more fiction, a chapter at a time. Right now we are reading Mr Galliano’s Circus by Enid Blyton.
Do you have a system to keep track your books?
I use the My Library iPhone app to catalog and keep track of the books I have. EVERY library should have a copy of War and Peace by Leo Tolstory!
What sort of style were you going for in this room?
Josh: But we are not quite finished yet. There is still a little more to do in here.
Where did you get that amazing chair from?!
Bonnie: From Far Pavilions.
Josh: I made the foot stool to go with it. We decided a dark wall with white trimmings would make the accessories like the chair stand out.
What did you want to achieve with this room?
Josh: We wanted a cozy room to be quiet in, and for chatting with friends. So often the television is the center of a family room and furniture is placed facing the tv. We didn’t want that for this space; we wanted the chairs facing together.
And has that been achieved?
Bonnie: Yes. It’s: exactly.
“It’s: exactly.” Bonnie said it just like that. It wasn’t “It’s exactly…” or even “It is exactly.” But, “It’s: exactly.” As I sat in this splendid room the answer to my last question made perfect, perfect sense.
More Feature Homes
More inspirational feature homes, from an Aussie family who moved to Italy, to living on a Christmas Tree Farm: Feature Homes.