ALEX, TOBY, JASPER & LILA
This is no ordinary HousePerv as we soak up the charming home of the humbly-talented-interior-and-DIY-enthusiast, Alex Mills, not to mention, one of our very own Stylists from Stage One Interiors.
As you walk through the unassuming front door you are immediately smacked in the face with a truly unique style. No wall, corner or crevice is left untouched showcasing masterful DIY wall-panelling and carefully collected pieces.
‘Home is where the heart is’ couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to this picture-perfect family of four. The personalised bedrooms of Jasper and Lila leaves your heart swollen as they proudly show-off their specially, winsome spaces.
From painting delicate canvas art and then making the timber frame to go with it, Alex is the ultimate one-stop-shop for all things style! While Alex masters the interior, super handy hubby Toby, tends to the voluptuous garden beds and collects eggs from Harry and Richard, the beloved chooks.
Come and get lost in the magic of this simply stunning HousePerv.
Q: Firstly – please tell us a little about who is currently living at your home.
Well first up, there’s me (Alex)! Self-proclaimed aesthetic enthusiast, and wearer of many hats – Mama of 2, wife to Toby, Interior Stylist with Styled Interiors Newcastle, DIYer, hairdresser, former preschool educator…etc! I’m an introverted extrovert (or an extroverted introvert?) and really love having a go at anything that’ll exercise a bit of creativity. At the moment, that’s hoop embroidery, attempting canvas art, and I even made a Tassie Oak frame the other day – proud moment! My husband Toby works in Aged Care Management, he’s incredibly passionate about what he does – I really love that about him. While I love all things interior, you’ll usually find Toby in our yard, tending to the veggie gardens. We’ve got a couple of chooks (Harry and Richard, named by our little girl) some wildflower beds to bring in bees and other good bugs, and some composting systems. I suppose making an effort to do our bit in leading a lower impact life!
We have two kiddos, our homebody Jasper (10) who is the sweetest boy you’d ever meet – he loves reading, science, geology, board & video games and art. And last (but certainly not least!) our little life of the party Lila (4) who is the best little gal-pal and always great company. There’s also Shiloh, our ragdoll cat, who we bought shortly after moving in to this home. Totally unintentional, but she does just happen to fit in perfectly with my décor.
Q: Now onto your beautiful home – can you tell us about its story from when you
purchased the property until today?
We have lived in our little home for 3 years now! It’s been our ‘first home’ – prior to living here, we were living in even smaller rentals whilst saving. We bought during a big property boom – the competition was fierce, so it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster between that first open home and signing contracts. When we got in though, it really made sense why all the other properties we had actively bid on over the 6 months prior had fallen through. This was perfect for us, and felt so spacious in comparison to our previous homes!
In the 3 years we have lived here, we’ve not embarked on any major renovations. Anything we’ve done to the place has been a DIY undertaking, but I’m a big believer in the power of paint, décor & styling. The evolution of my own personal style has probably been the biggest transformation over those 3 years. I’ve tried a lot of varying looks and styles (made a fair few mistakes along the way!) but it’s all brought me to a style and aesthetic that I absolutely love.
Q: What are you happiest about with the home and how it looks and functions?
Like a lot of the world, I’ve spent a LOT of time at home over the past 2 months. Something I’ve noticed that I really, truly appreciate is the beautiful natural light in our living room on a sunny day. I’m a solar powered gal, if a space is light and bright it just energizes and lifts me. In terms of looks, I really love the feature walls that we have implemented. They bring texture, character and visual interest to our spaces. And as for functionality…I can’t help but be reminded of something our Real Estate agent said to us when we were buying the place. He said this house was like ‘The Tardis’ from Dr. Who – it looks small and unassuming from the outside, but on the inside there’s so much goodness packed in! While it’s a little house, technically we’ve got 4 bedrooms, plus a study. It’s got everything our family needs at this stage of life.
Q: What or who are your key style inspirations?
This is a tough one, to pinpoint an exact person/s or things! I draw a lot of my inspiration through all the beautiful creatives I’ve connected with through Instagram – artists and small businesses, and other home décor enthusiasts like myself. I love a parred back, clean, classic and minimal look (I’m thinking @chrislovesjulia or @arrowsandbow) but I equally love a gorgeous eclectic mix of colour and pattern – I can’t go past @rachelcastleandthings! Lately I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration specifically from art, a couple notable artists being Kate Eliza (@__kate.eliza), Prudence DeMarchi (@prudence.demarchi.art) and Jade Fisher (@jade.fisher.artist) …. I could easily go on and on!
On terms of the ‘what’ in style inspiration, I’m so drawn to the process of old homes being renovated. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and LOVE a flawless finish – but to see that implemented in a home with existing charm and character (I’m thinking hardwood floors, ceiling mouldings etc.) is so inspiring to me.
Q: How you would describe your interior style?
Equally tough question. I’ve pondered this one before, and found it pretty well impossible to define myself by one style. I would say it’s a happy mishmash of Scandi / Modern / Classic / Boho / Eclectic. Maybe I’m ‘too close’ to the subject, and someone from the outside could better point out what my style could be narrowed down to?! I know a problem of mine in the past has been appreciating the beauty in so many extremely different styles, and taking too many competing elements and trying to use them together. But, as they say – you live and learn. I’ve learnt a lot about styling through this little cottage, and for that I’m grateful.
Q: What you love most about living in your house?
I’m a homebody, and always have been since I was a little girl. I love that our house is a sanctuary and safe haven for my family and I. It’s been thoughtfully and intentionally curated, with all of my favourite things. There was a time where I was SUCH an impulse bargain-buyer, I’d buy a lot of little cheaper things to fill up our space. In recent times though, I’ve really learnt the benefit and reward of investing in that one special thing –the one you wish for and save for. When I adopted this mindset, our house started to feel more and more like home.
Q: Is this your forever home?
Not our forever home, no. While we love the location and the home itself, we love the idea of one day having more space, predominantly outdoor space. Perhaps a second living area as the kids get older. Toby would absolutely love to take his ‘Urban Farming’ to the next level, but unfortunately there’s only so much you can do on a 336m2 block!
Q: Three words you would use to describe your home?
Little. Loving. Ours.