Walking down the driveway for #HousePerv number three,
a quick glance through the leafy garden and we spot a perfectly placed pair of bright red gumboots. So impeccably positioned we question whether this
was a strategic design decision, or just the first of many beautiful moments in the home of Melissa and Trent Webster.
Before even meeting Melissa (and in addition to those red gumboots) we are very quickly introduced to Melissa’s distinctive style. That being a simplistic,
yet stylish look and one that easily weaves practical style with a natural and fresh look.
Moving into their Dudley home some seven years ago Mel said initially it was just a little two bedroom miners cottage, not particularly suitable for a
growing family. It wasn’t long before they saw its potential and started gutting the house, to open it out. The renovation transformed the house into
a larger open plan home, including a rather impressive master suite add-on that blends seamlessly with the original structure. A space Mel quietly
admits has become her little sanctuary and delightfully displays what Melissa does best.
Interior designer and founder of The Gather Collective
Mel has been consulting and styling homes and businesses across the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region for many years now, using her signature style
to transform and simplify spaces.
When asked to describe her style Mel says,
"I’ve always thought of it as being a bit Scandi-Australian, it’s a little bit Scandi but it’s also quite warm. I can’t do monochrome black and white,
I need to have the timbers and warmth in there. But at the same time I don’t do the colour pops that a lot of the Australian design has. I think that’s
where the whole Scandi thing comes into it, it’s a bit more neutral.”
“It’s pretty easy going and I like to have that longevity behind it, I’m a bit more of a hang-onto it kind of person.”
“In saying that we’re not precious at all with our furniture. I don’t bring anything into the house that I can’t lose, if it gets broken then that’s
just bad luck.”
When talking us through the reno process Mel said that whilst her home now has some more luxe elements this wasn’t always the case. When product choices
were needing to be made in those early days Mel and Trent just got on with it and made choices that fitted within their budget at the time. It’s only
now that they’re starting to replace certain elements with better quality items. Like the floor boards, originally from IKEA, it was a practical decision
based on both cost and children (knowing full well their kids would be riding their bikes over them).
Wandering from kitchen, to lounge, to master suite, Mel’s style is clearly evident throughout, even in their gorgeous children’s rooms. Where the neutral
tones that Mel loves living in, create an almost calming effect,
“When you work with colours all day it’s not necessarily something you want to live in, don’t get me wrong I love working with colours, just living in
it is not my ideal.”
Instead Mel prefers to choose timeless neutral tones, she has layered the home with pieces that add character and provide talking points.
What we loved most was taking a peek into the children’s bedrooms, each beautifully styled but each having a personality of their own. Mel’s 8 year old
daughter Kaila clearly blessed with the creative gene, has just one of her many beautiful abstract artworks on display. Inserts of Mel’s signature
pieces, such as the white feather headdress and Riverstone blankets, adding just a touch of luxe.
Next door in Kobe’s bedroom, Mel coyly mentions how it was originally to be her very own en-suite, but with another child on the way sacrifices were
made and the space converted to a third bedroom. A very clever use of a small space, the plywood cabinetry creates a cosy-yet-cool dorm like feel.
Using a slightly darker tone, warehouse-like pendent light and cutesy wall art created using Japanese MT tape, the room exudes character and a boyish
Blair’s room also has a very little-boy-luxe feel to it with the super comfy looking white double bunk taking centre stage. Yet it's the little additions
that give it the adorable touch like the vintage style coat hooks, for all those essential items, and old school luggage chest that’s brimming with
all the best toys.
Returning to the kitchen area the spacious and leafy garden outlook is hard to ignore. The recent addition of the landing deck, using untreated spotted
gum, provides a perfect vista and a superb space for those afternoon summer barbeques. With a mass of eucalypts creating a natural canopy of shade
and a cutesy little playhouse for the kids to hang out in, Mel said it’s an addition that could perhaps become her new little sanctuary.
House Perv is a collaboration with Louise Hatcher and HUNTERhunter.