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With all the charm of yesteryear, this new build holds a special place in the owners’ hearts. Designed to look like it was built well over a 100 years ago, it seamlessly incorporates the old with the new. We interviewed Julie Smith (Interior Design Consultant at McKenzie & Willis) who worked with the owners to create this exquisite interior.

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Tell us a bit about the project?

A South Australian architect from the Adelaide Hills designed this new home in the style of an early 20th century Australian/New Zealand house. Looking to the past for inspiration, the home is full of character but with the added benefit of new technology in building design.

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How were McKenzie & Willis involved?

Initially the owners came in looking for rods that would suit the style of the home but in the process they fell in love with the curtain fabrics on display in our showroom. They needed curtains for the majority of the house as well as roller blinds for the bathrooms. We assisted in selecting fabrics and rods that would work with their interior design scheme as well as advising on which styles of curtain pleats and blinds to use. We then custom-made the curtains and blinds and installed them in their lovely new home.

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How would you describe the interior design style?

Traditional, timeless and homely. As soon as you walk into this property you can’t help but feel at home. Classic pieces of furniture and a home full of natural wood make it feel warm and welcoming. The owners also had a real eye for interior design, which is evident in the pieces they had collected over the years.

Were there any existing features/styles you had to work with?

This use of wood is one of the defining features of the home. The timber in the atrium has a unique history in itself having originally come from a relative’s property. The owners went quite neutral everywhere else which allowed the timber to shine. We did however pick some beautiful standout fabrics which complemented the style of the home.

We were keenly aware of the strong horizontal lines in a lot of the rooms so this was also taken into consideration when planning the curtains. Curtain rods were placed strategically to line up with the existing lines and to create a cohesive aesthetic.

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What products and styles were used?

Curtain Rods

Matisse curtain rods were used throughout the home to give a traditional feel. We used the colour rust in some rooms to match the existing light fittings and liquorice (a lovely hand forged look) in others to work in with the iron work in the library and gallery. Some of these were specified as double rods which allowed for light control and privacy at night.


The fabric in the dining room is Sanderson Baroque Trellis. This geometric pattern was pleated into a double pleat and looks striking when the curtains are drawn. The colour also works well with the owners’ carpet and furnishings, making the room a very restful area for relaxing.

In the main bedroom Sanderson Fig Harvest has been used which has a beautiful, painterly effect. The pattern and colour works perfectly with the natural timber floors.

The gallery/wardrobe leads off the main bedroom and we have used a voile fabric called Silken which falls softly off the front of the double rod. A soft lining on the back rod gives privacy at night.

In the guest bedroom, the drapes and roman blind are made from James Dunlop Michican. This provides a neutral backdrop that doesn’t over take from the bold, oversized blooms featured on the MM Linen Lizzy Duvet.

Luxaflex Blinds

For practical reason, discreet Luxaflex blinds were chosen for the bathrooms. We used block out roller blinds in Seychelles (Champagne and Angora) which complemented the bathroom tiles.

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Do you have a favourite part of the interior scheme?

I really love how the entire scheme worked together but there were a couple of standouts for me:

The Library

There is something really special about the library. Rich and decorative tadelakt plaster and textiles create an inviting and cosy feel you don’t usually see in new homes. The fabric used for the curtains is Morris & Co Pimpernel. This print was designed in 1876 and used in William Morris’s own home which added to the old-world character of the space. You can just imagine yourself there cuddled up on the couch, immersed in the pages of a novel.

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The Wardrobe/Gallery

It’s not often that a wardrobe is the star of an interior but for this home that’s exactly the case. This gallery is framed either side by mirrors and windows. Floaty ivory sheers on a double rod allow soft light to spill in imbuing the space with femininity.

Need help to create your interior design dreams? At McKenzie & Willis we offer in home consultations with our highly experienced interior design team. We aim to make the process fun, rewarding and most importantly easy. We’ll come to your home, do a free measure & quote and work with you to develop the perfect furnishing scheme. If you’re in the early stages of building we can even work off plans.

For everything interiors visit our consultants in store or book an in-home consultation online here.

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Photography by Kate Claridge Photography.

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