interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: katie quinn davies

by anne

i’ve heard so many wonderful things about australia, but have never been myself, so it’s always a treat to have an incredible sneak peek to take us down under. but in fact, katie quinn davies is originally from ireland and she blends that with her training in graphic design and recent work in food styling and photography to create a style of her own. this melbourne home she created is the result of a labor of love and major renovation that encouraged her to scale back a bit to minimize stuff, and maximize style. enjoy the full post below, and click here for additional, full-sized images. and don’t miss her delectable blog right here! {thanks, katie!}anne

[above: This is the living-room fireplace which I recently remodeled – a huge  improvement from  the  ugly 1960s brown brick monstrosity. The overall refurbishment of the fireplace has made a huge difference in feel to the room, as before the fireplace felt twice the size and very imposing as you walked into what is essentially not a huge room. The hearth is constructed from concrete I poured into a wooden frame and used dark charcoal, Italian slate tiles on top, which were leftovers from the bathroom floor renovation. The mantel is one large piece of reclaimed Oregon Pine which I stained and treated and had fixed to the chimney breast. ]

The rug and little table are from Ikea. The orange toy on sofa is from Ugly Dolls . Books – which I collect a LOT of – various design books I have bought over the years.  Pictures in the background on the floor are from Ink Posters in the U.K. and Stanley Donwood.

This is the Master bedroom. I wanted to create a softer feel for this room  so we laid Australian pure wool carpet in a light ivory shade down in both bedrooms and small office (as sometimes this doubles as a guest bedroom). The colour scheme is again all white walls and ceilings accented with; dark olive green, soft browns and duck egg blue for soft furnishings. We felt this complimented the wooden framed bed pretty well and paired with crisp white, organic cotton bedsheets. The lamp  and bedside tables are from IKEA.

Door handles are from  Rejuvenation. The cushions on the bed are custom made using fabric from Mokum Textiles.  The pattern is called ‘Firewheel’. The duvet cover  was designed by Stuart Russell from Spacecraft Australia.

CLICK HERE for the rest of katie’s sneak peek after the jump!

The cat was rescued from RSPCA  and the bowl is from Alessi.

For the bathroom, I wanted to go for a NYC Subway /industrial feel. The mirror is from Ikea and was a good idea as space saving as it has an in-built shelf. The taps, which I saw on a website and instantly fell in love with them, but I had no clue where to find them and searched for weeks and weeks, finally discovering they were from Roger Sellers in Melbourne. The shelves in bathroom are reclaimed timber which I stained and husband put up and hold towels,  and rattan baskets for storing bottles and such. The poster on wall above toilet again from Ink Posters. The floor is Italian slate.

The bathroom  [again]  is very small and was smaller – the area where the toilet now is was actually originally and outside toilet (which we never used) but we bricked up the outside entrance and knocked into it from the inside. It created a fantastic new area to put our loo into and made the room feel twice the size. In creating this larger space for our bathroom, it also meant we could add a full-length bath. I wanted to keep the room all white as this would visually look larger and added a wall-mounted sink to again add the feeling of space.

This shot  gives a good idea of the new open-plan kitchen/diner. The floor is hardwood Tasmanian Oak.  The table is a solid Oak and was  bought from Southwood Home in South Melbourne . The dining chairs are Eames DSR.

The old white cupboard in the corner is from Izzy and Pop again and is a 19th Century French cabinet which holds all my good glassware/linens etc.  The old Elcon fan was picked up in a vintage store in Melbourne.

The large frames picture is from International Poster Gallery and is an original “Atelier Populaire” print from the late 1960’s which I bought last year.

The kitchen cupboards are from Ikea. Art Deco style and bin pull  Handle on cupboards are from Rejuvenation . The fridge is a cream Smeg .Floating shelves in the kitchen are again Oregon Pine which I stained a dark mahogany colour. The subway tiles underneath run around the kitchen and I (proudly) did all the kitchen tiling myself.

Little espresso cups (which I collect) were bought in Dublin in Avoca handweavers.

My office area –  desk and lamp are from Ikea. The chair is a Hans Wegner Wishbone. The cushion on top is from Jonathan Adler.  The Guinness print was a present from a mate in Dublin.  The T-square on picture rail, my husband made in woodwork class when he was a kid.  The metal letters on rail from David Met Nicole in Sydney.

Bed and chest of drawers in second/guest bedroom are both from Ikea.  The  letterpressed framed print from Objectified.

Garden plant markers from Anthropologie.

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  • I think I want to marry this house! Love it. Definitely going to use it as inspiration for our new home. Thanks for posting!

  • Gorgeous. And is it sad when I am envious of someone’s toiletries? If I left all my bottles on the shelf in front of a mirror, it would look like a dorm.

  • I’m not too fond of the back. It can be arranged differently… just my opinion. What attracted me to comment on this though, is the simplicity of the interior…

    The black and white theme makes the little bit of color very vibrant and warm and inviting… Its a very comfortable place to stay. However, I would add more color. also my opinion.


  • Can I copy your kitchen? Wood countertops are my favourite. You have a lovely home.

  • Looks amazing Ms QD! Husband’s first response was…”is that the chopping board we gave them for their wedding?”, typical.

  • The screensaver is an iPhone app – called Flip Clock.

    I have to admit I was struck by the nice packaging of the toiletries as well! Beautiful home.

  • About 5 years ago an architect here showed me those taps from RogerSellers: *adore* them, and also your SMEG fridge. Your house is lovely!

  • wow-this is so perfect. it totally gets me back on track with my own aesthetic. the color palette is so simple and so elegant; the space feels both modern and classic. <3

  • this is almost exactly how i want my kitchen to look like when i live in an actual house! it’s beautiful!

  • Hi – and thanks everyone for such wonderful comments :)

    the sassy kathy & Jenny – the sofa is from Australian design duo; Norman + Quaine. It’s their ‘low-arm Hudson’ upholstered in a Mokum fabric called ‘Ficus – Seabreeze’. I spotted that sofa 4 years ago in Melbourne, fell in love and finally decided to bite the bullet and buy one when we did the renovation. I love it and it’s very comfy :)


    Mixette – I initially saw those taps in a furniture designer’s online portfolio, he’d provided a plinth of wood for a bathroom and above the sink were those taps. I search high and low all over the internet, in design books etc for weeks to no avail, until finally the sales assistant in the store where we purchased our bathroom suite told me – although I had to seriously drag it out of her (!) *L*.

  • Where did you get your picture rail from? The only ones I’ve been able to find are too narrow to set pictures on top of them- they are only meant to hang hooks off of them…I love the way yours looks! And I love the kitchen counters- are they made to take the place of chopping boards?

  • Hi Mary, the picture rails were in the house when we bought it and we’ve always assumed they are original’s from 1910 or in or around when the house was built.

    The kitchen counter top is from Ikea and if memory serves correctly is their: NUMERÄR variety. I liked the thickness of it. I didn’t want to lose the feel of natural wood so rather than coat it in a sealer which would alter the feel and appearance, I chose to use ‘China Oil’ which soaks into the wood but doesn’t change it’s texture whilst protecting it from heat/water etc… You need to put on 3 or 4 coats.

  • in the second photo, there is a great orange sunburst pillow that reminds me of my daughter’s first birthday party invitations. it’s beautiful and i’d love to have something like that around to remind us of such a fun day. where is that from?

  • I’ve been wondering about old furniture with peeling paint and lead exposure. With young children in the house, this is especially seems like a concern. Should people always test the paint or perhaps coat it with a sealant to prevent lead exposure? This seems like a big concern, but it’s never addressed on these design sites. Instead the rustic look of old peeling and chipped furniture seems to be revered to the point of neglecting this important issue. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  • Inspirational. Loving that minimal but still everso stylish Melbourne look – a lot of fun without the ‘in your face, look at what I can do, I’m a designer!’ factor. You must spend a small fortune in ‘Aesop’ Katie!? :)

  • What a wonderful house! The bathroom is fantastic! I, too, wonder where you got your screen saver!

  • This place is great! But would only be half the place is it without the Uglydoll – in my opinion it’s the piece de resistance :)

  • Wow, your home is gorgeous! I love the style – simple, clean and chick! :) Thank you for letting us virtually visit your beautiful home.

  • Thank you so much for this post. The design jumped off the page at me and got my mind racing. Inspiration needed and given.

  • This is a beautiful home. The bathroom mirror is a great idea for extra storage in a small space. I love floating shelves on kitchen walls and would like to know how you mounted them please? Thanks for all the design inspiration.

  • I wonder if Katie’s cat scratches her living room rug. We have problems with our two cats scratching everything nice we bring into our home. :( When I see homes with pets, I have to ask.

  • yaye!! somebody irish!! i totally love your house – so clear and fresh with a bit of a wild streak. i must pop into avoca to look for the penguin espresso cups! great picture rails too, so useful. love it.

  • Hi Katie and DS,
    Thanks for another gorgeous peak into your former home in Melbourne! Had to buy the Real Living Issue eventhough my sister subscribes to it as I wanted to swoon over your home then and there. It would be great to see what you have done to your new place in Sydney! I love the fact the fact that you have mixed high and low pieces and your decor is ‘real’. xoxo

  • This may be my favorite sneek peek. Such a soothing home. a shame that she no longer lives there but the new place will be just as great! We will need a sneek peak of that one too!

  • One of my favorite bathrooms ever! So clean-looking. And I love the dark floor – practical!

  • Thank you so much again everyone for all the fabulous comments :)

    To answer the questions above (hope I haven’t missed any):

    erin – I actually sourced that pillow from a site featured on Design*Sponge a few years ago. Can I be honest and say I cannot for the life of me remember what the name of the company is. I had ben bookmarked but changed computers since. I’m fairly sure Grace might know where it’s from as the company’s products have featured a bit on D*S over the years.

    stuart holmes ;) hey there, *ahem* yes I do spend a lot of my pennies in Aesop but not as much as when I lived in Melbourne as I have to go to far to the shop here in Sydney *LOL*

    margie – regarding the floating shelves, I bought special ‘floating shelf screws’ from Hafele here in Oz, they’re a company which stock virtually every kind of nut/bolt/screw on the planet (in fact i think they supply Ikea with all their parts)
    They’re a global company and with the Aussie company I could just ring up and order and they arrived a few days later. http://www.hafele.com

    Melissa – Yes They do! (I actually have 2 cats) and they are demons for scratching things but those ‘Tarnby’ Ikea rugs we have are very durable and when the cats scratch them they do very little damage. The sofa is another issue altogether… they have scratched that a bit and it’s driving me mad, I’ve tried everything to stop them but I think they do it at night. In the house I’m in now, I can’t close off the lounge-room so when I’m asleep have no clue if they’re at it. If I ever catch them scratching the sofa I can probably be heard in Perth screaming at them! *LOL*

    Laura – funny, I’ve just been asked by a fellow blogger here in Sydney to do an article on my current house on her blog: http://somehometruths.blogspot.com in a few weeks :)

  • Thank you for the heads up. I will definatley check out that blog for a peek at your current house. :)
    Again, I think you have wonderful decorating style. And I love that you are from Ireland…I would love to travel there one day…

  • So beautiful – and inspiring. Would love to know where the wooden bed frame is from. Thanks for sharing a peak inside your gorgeous home!

  • wow katie – your home is/was gorgeous love the simplicity and the eames chairs – oh to live in melbourne again and hunt through all those vintage stores for finds!

  • What an absolutely beautiful home, from the taps & aesop products in the bath, to the simple and lovely kitchen…to the adorable cat bowls. It is truly gorgeous & warm & heavenly. Also, Katie seems like a lovely gal to go with her lovely home. *sigh* Thank you for sharing this with us ladies! I always adore this series but, this is one of my all time faves.

  • That red tap, while lovely, is actually a mis-appropriation of the symbol of the Red Cross and it is an offence to display it in a public forum without the permision of the Red Cross/Minister for Defence. Roger Seller should not be selling it in red.
    I’m sure D*S will delete my comment within seconds.

    • alice

      i have no idea what you’re talking about here with the minister of defense comment, but i actually approved, not deleted, your comment within seconds.


  • I’m a little late to the party, but what a beautiful home! Anyone know where to find a sink like the one in Katie’s bathroom? I’m looking for one just like it but most of the ones I’m finding either have a faucet hole in the sink (so I wouldn’t be able to use wall-mounted hardware) or are wayyyy out of my price range. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

    • Yes, I’d like to know where she found the sink as well! Anyone have a source? Thanks!

  • I just came across this looking for the TARNBY rug from IKEA and I just needed to say what a stunning home. I could only hope to one day have my house resemble half of how that looks like. Beautiful!

  • Hi Audrey, I bought that sink from an Australian company called Reece – if you google them and mail them they might be able to help you – if you’re not in Oz that is :)

    Thanks Alex, sadly I don’t live there anymore, I miss that little place a lot…