Rebecca Kirkland had always wanted to be an interior designer, but a practical career in nursing came first. Becoming a homeowner unleashed her passion for design, and with a full re-fit of her home now complete its obvious that she has a great design eye.
Rebecca’s home is an old gardener’s cottage that housed the caretakers for the market gardens that used to be along the rivulet in Sandy Bay, just south of Hobart. It’s a heritage property, built in around 1885. The property was built to face north and take in the Battery Point Skyline as well as views to Mt Wellington. Plus, its only two blocks from the beach, and a short walk to the shops, so Rebecca knew it would be a wonderful home once renovated.
The property was a typical weatherboard cottage, with small, individual rooms, lots of fireplaces and timber doors, skirtings and architraves. Rebecca’s vision was to ‘create a sun filled sanctuary, with a relaxed vibe, and to really maximize functional space in every nook and cranny throughout the house, as well as an inviting entertaining area outside.’
Designing for yourself can be tricky, but Rebecca wrote a brief to work to – she wanted interiors that had texture, simplicity, quality, fixtures and fittings and understated detail to really create a space that was relaxing and inviting to come home to.
Rebecca used a monochromatic palette through out the cottage, as well vertical linear detailing. The result was that Rebecca was able to maintain the original footprint of the house, but transform it into a contemporary cottage with a sense of spaciousness, as well as maintaining its authenticity and connection to its heritage.
As Rebecca explained, ‘I aimed to use materials that were modern interpretations of old cottage finishes. So, the joinery has bespoke grooving, and the built ins are all grooved with the exposed timber left in the groove whilst the kitchen joinery is finished in two pack and sits on top of a burnished concrete floor. It provides a modern finish in contrast to the stained original floorboards in the bedrooms and hallways.’
Creating such a consistent palette through out the house took quite a bit of effort, in particular getting the floor colour right took nine stains! As Rebecca explains, there were three different aged original timbers on the floors and they all took the colour differently. Luckily Rebecca had a very patient flooring contractor, who was happy to keep trying, and in the end created a bespoke stain for the floors. The result is just perfect and really ties all of the elements of the home together.
Looking around the home, Rebecca has cleverly incorporated both treasured old pieces and new additions. A much loved triptych artwork is featured in the hallway and set the colour inspiration for the interior finishes.
With the renovation completed in just a tad over the six month timeline, we asked Rebecca about her favourite rooms and spaces in the house now that they are living in it.
‘I love my office, which also doubles as the third bedroom – it has a fold down queen bed that is just ideal – it can be an office one minute and a guest room for my kids visiting from interstate the next (and literally it takes one minute to pull down the bed and then another minute and its all packed away).
My favourite space is the dining area which looks out onto the north facing garden. It has huge double opening doors that I throw open each morning – I can sit there all day working and feel like I am inside/outside as it gets such great sun all year round. This is complimented by the adjoining kitchen and its louvred windows. It is such an inspirational area to work in . Oh and of course, I love lounging around the fire in the cooler months of course .’
With her nursing career far behind her, Rebecca is now focused on her interior design practice at BURY KIRKLAND FERRI. Based in Hobart, there are a lot of wonderful and innovative opportunities in the commercial and residential spaces.
Interior Designer: Rebecca Kirkland- Bury Kirkland Ferri
Builder: Drew Moore Construction
Custom Joinery: O Brien Joinery
Photographer: Samuel Shelley
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Image Credits: Samuel Shelley