Home visit: a conscious home connected to nature
This one-storey home makes it easy to feel connected to nature and each other. Take a look to see how this family space is designed for spending time together.
Create your own oasis
Life blurs between indoors and outside at this bungalow set in the wild bushland. The garden feels like an extension of the main living space, connecting the house to its natural surroundings. Both indoors and out, it’s cleverly divided into zones, with communal areas where this family of four can be together.
Customise your kitchen
Carpenter Ben crafted a kitchen that combines a love of vintage with a modern, sociable layout. “Our cupboards came from Ben’s mother’s 1960s house,” says Nici, who works as a florist. “He added IKEA worktops deeper than the units for extra workspace and an island, where we eat, catch up, solve problems, and celebrate.”
Make room for living
At the heart of this home is a space where the whole family can be together. A big, modular sofa means there’s room for everyone to snuggle up close or have their own corner. “When we’re not singing and dancing in here, our two boys love watching movies,” says Nici. “They’re growing, so a corner sofa gives us space to sprawl out.”
Simplify your sleep space
In Nici and Ben’s room, layers of colourful bedlinen put the focus on the queen-size bed. “I like our room to feel fresh but cosy,” says Nici. “I don’t stick to trends, I just go with my gut and my love of colour.” The bedside tables are kept clutter-free for minimal distractions, with just a reading lamp, plants and artwork.
Design flexible storage
Nici and Ben created their own wardrobe, combining open and closed storage to fit all their clothes, shoes and accessories. “We improvised, using curtains instead of doors to save space, and mixing shelves, a rail, and a chest of drawers each,” says Nici. The free-standing mirror has hidden hanging space for once-worn clothes.
Find some ‘me time’
The bathroom is one of Nici’s favourite places to relax. “My time to be myself is when I’m doing my hair and make-up.” The vanity unit is an old salvaged bench, made useful with a new sink and tap. Nici keeps her beauty products in baskets and hanging storage. “It’s a small space, so small storage helps us make the most of it.”
Help kids to care for and appreciate their things, with space to display their favourites and swap things around as their tastes change. In six-year-old Sonny’s room, a short clothes rail gives him a place to hang up clothes for the next morning so he can take pride in getting himself dressed for the day.
Make space for play
Youngest son Kit (3) has storage boxes for all his toys and games, and a big soft rug to play on. His bedtime story books are kept on a picture ledge over the bed for easy access. The boys donate toys they no longer play with to charity before birthdays and Christmas. “It teaches them to share and also keeps down clutter,” says Nici.
Live in the moment
“I’m very conscious of trying to appreciate all the special time I get to spend with my boys as little humans – it goes so quickly,” says Nici. “I really love creating a beautiful space to live in, where we can take the time to talk and really connect as a family. That’s what’s important to me and makes me feel fulfilled right now!”
A home that flows
When Nici and Ben first viewed this property, it was the outdoor space that drew them in. Six years on and they’ve created a fluid family home. “The boys are outside most of the day come rain or shine. They swing, climb, run and jump, they can be loud and messy. I feel very lucky that they have the space to be so free!”