Drawing from her experiences working in a floral shop, for an event styling company and in publishing, Annabelle Kerslake is collaborating on her favorite project to date: fête magazine, where she is co-founder with her friend and creative partner, Jane Cameron. Their combined experiences allow them to do everything — from styling, photography and writing to design and ad sales (Jane even shot the images for Annabelle’s sneak peek). Annabelle lives in Balhannah, a small town in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Along with her husband, three-year-old daughter, two dogs and show horses, they live in a converted barn on 15 acres of property. When they first bought the property, it was overgrown and unloved, but they have nurtured it back to life as their little piece of paradise, with a creek and a river; old apple, pear and quince trees; towering willows; and picturesque scenery. A traditionalist at heart, Annabelle is drawn to an eclectic mix of French antiques, Danish vintage, industrial and anything “pretty.” (Her one decorating rule is, “If I love it, I buy it,” regardless of trends.) She’s also lucky to have a talented sister and brother-in-law who have good eyes and own Danish Vintage Modern, a local shop in Adelaide. Thanks, Annabelle! — Anne
Image above: Our well-loved vintage Danish sofa from Danish Vintage Modern sits in our living room. The wall hanging and “antler” cushion are both from Australian textile designer Pony Rider. Our freezing cold winters make the sheepskins and stripe throw, both from Ikea, necessities.
Image above: I love mixing and matching all my favorite things: Jugs filled with our home-grown roses, a collection of original Royal Albert tea cups that belonged to my husband’s grandmother and the 1950s European gentleman’s oil portrait all share the spotlight proudly on the early modern Danish walnut bookcase. The 19th-century French gilt mirror, which holds pride of place at the end of the room, is one of my favorite pieces — I adore it.
More inside Annabelle’s home after the jump . . .
Image above: At the opposite end of the open-plan space is my 1960s Danish teak dining table and chairs. It’s perfect for our small space. It easily extends when we have friends over, and the late 19th-century French chandelier overhead (a gift from my sister when they returned from one of their European buying trips!) adds a bit of drama. The stag head is one of my all-time best buys — I absolutely love it! I purchased it from our local home wares store Balhannah By Design, which has a fantastic mix of pieces from France, Belgium and Australia. The utility bar stools and madras rug are from Freedom.
We have such a compact home, with living, dining and kitchen all in one room, so I had to make all our furniture work together. One day we will have a bigger space, so I wanted to keep all of my favorite pieces and just make them work. The result is an unexpected mix and match of formal and casual in one space, which I have grown very fond of; it really reflects our lifestyle and my personality.
Image above: The fantastic 1960s Danish rosewood and brushed steel low-line sideboard is just the right piece for this tight space. On top is a collection of cut glass and silverware belonging to my grandmother and a pair of 19th-century oriental bronze urns. Fresh flowers from the garden often feature here and really soften this space. I found four Louis-style chairs at a local junk shop several years ago. I had them reupholstered in black and white stripes and squeeze them in wherever they will fit until we have more space. Sukke Hansen is a Danish artist whom I am always attracted to — I never tire of looking at this vintage print from my kitchen.
Image above: This is our mud room/second bathroom. I recently painted it in a dark “donkey brown,” as the big dogs sleep in here in winter, so the dark walls were a lot more practical. I love the drama in this room now; it feels a lot cozier in winter especially when enjoying a deep bath after a long day out with the horses or in the garden.
Image above: Living in a small house, I wanted Eliza’s room to be a place where she would want to be so she wasn’t always playing under our feet. She is a Libran (the same as me), so she loves anything pretty and romantic. I resurrected one of the chandeliers I used to hire out for weddings back in my event styling days to set the scene and created a cozy space under a pretty tent canopy above her bed. I chose the Cath Kidston fabric before she was born — I always thought it would be something that could grow up with her.
Image above: This is the view from the kitchen into our bedroom. The dark grey Foto pendant shade, Flokati rug and floral bedspread are from Ikea. As the barn was always intended to be our temporary dwelling, I found that adding some cost-effective Ikea finds made sense; when mixed with some of my treasured possessions, the combination works. The cockatoo velvet trim cushion is by Bonnie and Neil. The lady in the fields, which sits above our bed, is another vintage print by Sukke Hansen. The little boy oil painting is another rare find — it’s one of those pieces that everyone seems to notice and love. I feel very lucky to have him in our home, whoever he may be.
Image above: The oversized rococo commode adds a bit of romance to the bedroom along with rambling iceberg roses, which flower most of the year in abundance outside our stables. A collection of crystal candlesticks, perfumes, a circus tent made from the pages of a vintage novel and Belgium desk lamp are some of my favorite things that I love to wake up to (oh, and my husband, of course!). My German leather “top boots” sit in pride of place, a not-so-subtle reminder from my days competing in the show ring . . .
Image above: My office space is situated in the upstairs loft; it’s a light-filled space, and being upstairs, I can escape the bustle that can often be found downstairs. The Penelope chair, which is a bit of fun, adding a splash of colour, and the Stationer trestle desk are both from Freedom. The magazine holders and shelves are from Ikea.
Image above: The message tile wall decal letters are from Love Mae and are used to keep my week organized. Life is always a busy juggle between family, work and animals, and having my office organised helps to keep some headspace free for creative pursuits!
Image above: The plans for our dream home take pride of place on my pinboard — it’s the perfect motivation to work hard. Once again, I love fresh garden-grown flowers in the house, and sweet peas are in the office this week.
Image above: A collection of Kikki K paper clips and pegs, artist brushes and vintage books all sit on Ikea shelves. I use the oversize pencils to write reminders to myself on butcher’s paper and stick them up on the wall.
Image above: My dad converted the once-deserted barn into the space we now love to live in. We cut into the walls to make way for huge picture windows that Dad had salvaged for us. Thanks to these windows, we have the most beautiful views of the creek and across the paddocks.
Image above: Just as well, Griswold (our Australian Mastiff) matches the décor. He is a gentle giant who can often be found asleep on the Danish sofa! I feel so lucky that we can live in here, and Eliza has this wonderful environment to grow up, surrounded by space and animals. On a weekend she can ride her pony, pick apples and blackberries, and then we come inside and bake a crumble to share for dessert that night. It really is a very special place for the whole family to live, work and love.