Colour Flow with Lauren Egan
Lauren Egan is an interior decorator and stylist and consults with Haymes Paint to help people choose colour, so it was no surprise that her home was filled with the most magnificent shades. What is a little surprising to some would be how many different colours that have been used throughout, whilst still maintaining such a lovely sense of calm and flow.
Lauren built her family home with her partner in Thornbury last year, putting a lovely and elegant ‘box’ on the back of a traditional California bungalow. The box that she built provides for one of the most loved and photographed master bedroom, ensuite spaces, a large family lounge/living space and the all important study area.
We love the pop of colour in the bar area, it really works with the flow from outside to in.
Brief and budget are really important, what was your brief for this extension?
Nuts and bolts of the brief was to add a bathroom, bedroom and an extra living space. But beyond that, the extension should be easy to execute, but have architectural integrity. Project 12, our architects, are personal friends, so they were able to fit what they knew of us into the house, and we were confident working with them to nut out nuisances of the interiors and then run with the plan after design and documentation.
What is your favourite part of the home?
Gah! It’s like choosing my favourite child! I do love certain rooms (the kitchen is so beautiful and functional – the master bedroom is so calm), but I think above all I love how cohesive and gentle the home is. I love the transition of colour in the rooms which are all quite warm and earthy, and I love the connection between outside and in and how the colours and materials flow inside to out.
Here are some beautiful neutral tones, complemented by the use of reclaimed furniture in the living/dining space
How did you come to the decision to sell and what decisions needed to be made before you could take that leap?
I.e. How can you bare to leave such a lovely house!
Itchy feet as much as anything. I think we’ve been conditioned into working on a house for so long, that we miss it (gluttons for punishment). Glenn and I have different strengths, he’s got an impressive ability to read and understand details of a build and manage trades with respect. My skills are more holistic with material selection and with my background in project management (not building project management!), I can map out how and when to do things. So I suppose we have a strong mix of skills that we think can be applied to a new project.
Not to say we haven’t had to emotionally separate ourselves from this house. This process began when we made the decision to sell, it shifted the way we saw the house and we know that what we’ve poured into it will make the next custodians happy.
You have an amazing 'Mud Office' garden! Why did you work with them, and how do you think having such a gorgeous established garden will help your build?
Our garden was one of the things we’re most proud of. We’ve never had a designed garden before, but I think we’d never do a project without doing the garden now. We met the team at Mud Office through a co-working space/photography studio we owned and operated. Mira and the team were based in the space and, again, knowing us and seeing us daily during the process of building, they were uniquely positioned to design something that really fit our personality and style. We had significant trees we wanted to keep and knew we wanted a patch of grass, kitchen garden and space to entertain. The concept they came up with is fun, interesting and lush, perfect for a young family and entertainers.
Lauren’s kitchen garden was a must have! Here’s a wonderful entertaining space overlooking the garden.
Tell us about your colour theory, how do you decide what to paint where?
My first step was actually to sit down with the Haymes Paint colour deck and methodically select colours I just really liked. It was an interesting exercise because it gave me a strong direction in terms of the type of colours I like – for the most part they sat in the very earthy tones, but we varied hues. Think muddy greys, warm browns, dirty purples and lots of deep greens. From there I narrowed it down to a few colours that I wanted to highlight, in particular a couple of the deep greens and a neutral that would be used as a base. With some help from Wendy at Haymes (I wasn’t working with them back then) the other colours branched off from there where it felt like it was appropriate for the space. I think keeping an open mind about what colour to apply where is not about having a different colour in every space, but having a palette of colours that all work harmoniously and have a relationship throughout the home.
Lauren has used pops of bold colours but they really work well with the tones throughout the home, giving it a calm feeling.
You have a gorgeous eclectic sense of furnishings! Do you have any go to stores?
I think about furniture a lot. I tend to buy a lot of second hand furniture. I love that it has a history and that it’s a bit knocked about. Rescuing a piece is particularly satisfying. I have some sellers that I now know I can go to direct – mostly having developed relationships through Instagram and Facebook (so modern). But I love going and foraging in stores like Nord Modern, Smith St Bazaar, Modern Times. I also really love looking at what’s available at Leonard Joel auctions, especially when they have their Modern Furniture catalogue.
How relaxing does this master retreat look??
Is there any way that people can work with you on their own homes if they love your style?
Of course! My training is as an Interior Decorator, so I work with resolved spaces (i.e. after an Architect/Draftsperson has drawn up a space, or if you’re not intending to move walls). I can then swoop in and assist with finishes (think tiles, carpet, flooring, kitchen finishes and fixtures, paint, curtains, etc.). In this capacity I can be involved in the process of making the decisions where we model and “see” the space before it’s completed, or I can provide a small one off consultation to help pull together ideas that are already bubbling away need direction. I also work with clients on furnishing selections, which I love to do! This process is more about scale, colour and comfort and basically consists of things that would fall out of a house if you tipped it upside down!
Why did you decide to become a BuildHer and what would you say to anyone thinking of joining and becoming a DevelopHer?
I LOVE to be informed. I think to make good decisions you need to know all the things. After our experience in doing this home I knew we had an ability that not everyone had (or enjoyed), so for me to understand the process and the benefits that could arise from developing for profit was a unique opportunity. Looking forward to our next project – a few ideas already percolating away in my brain – just have to find a new property first!
Her property is also on the market @JellisCraig.
If you would like to head down the DevelopHer path, like Lauren, book in a call free with Rachel here and she can talk you through what’s involved!