Australian Homes

Andrea Millar and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 11th July 2012

The Rozelle home of Andrea Millar and family.  Vintage artworks from Rozelle Markets and local auction houses.  Sunday school benches and dining table from David met Nicole.  Lantern purchased in Morocco and lugged across Europe by Andrea!  Photo by Felix Forest, production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Vintage artwork from Rozelle Markets.  Sunday school bench from David met Nicole.  Photo by Felix Forest, production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining room details  – artwork made from repurposed signage, and vintage bottles and jars.  ‘I am a bottle and jar collector and have shelves overflowing with them’ says Andrea.  ‘My latest ones are these vintage pharmaceutical jars I picked up on my visit to Montevideo, Uruguay last year’. (Andrea was born in Uruguay).  Photos – Felix Forest, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

OK I must admit. I am DYING with how good this house is.  Truth is I have quite a few fabulous homes up my sleeve at present (phew, good to be ahead!) but for the very first ‘Australian Home’ post since our re-design, I wanted to share something extra special. This truly gorgeous pocket-sized family pad in Sydney’s Rozelle seemed like the most perfect way to start off on a high note!

This supremely pretty weatherboard home belongs to Andrea Millar and husband Ben, and their gorgeous boys Sebastian (5) and Casper (2).   Given the immense cuteness going on here, it will come as no surprise to learn that that Andrea is a stylist and writer, and has worked in interiors / design magazines for many years, for titles including Inside Out, Belle and Habitus. Needless to say, she knows a thing or two about prepping a home for a photo shoot – lucky for us, this shoot was a breeze!

As it happens, this isn’t actually Andrea’s first ‘dream home’.  Before moving here, home for the Millar family was a large house on a big block, 45 minutes from the CBD in Turramurra on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.  In 2007 after the birth of their first child, Andrea and Ben made the move from Sydney’s inner west to Turramurra for all the usual reasons – more space, bigger garden, room to grow etc etc.  Here the Millar family created what they thought would be their ‘forever house’ – the perfect renovation they’d always wished for.

But, sometimes your dream home isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. ‘We lived there for three years only to realise that more space and a bigger garden meant more work!’ says Andrea. ‘I never saw Ben, he was always wrestling with that bush block on weekends’.  And so, after three years and the birth of their second child, the Millar family downsized. ‘We moved back to the inner west after Casper was born, to a little garden and very little space, but there is (just) enough room for us and we love the neighbourhood’ says Andrea, adding ‘we just take the boys scootering around the neighbourhood when they need to burn energy!’.  The atmosphere, the coffee, the people, the restaurants and markets within walking distance are a constant reminder of just why Andrea and Ben made the decision to move back into town, despite having to compromise a little on space.

Since moving in, Andrea and Ben have made cosmetic changes here, but nothing structural.  After undertaking major renovations in their previous home, Andrea was content to accept the quirks of this tiny timber cottage, and ease the family into their new surroundings without too much disruption or expense!  Interior walls were painted white, and the timber floors were stained to dark brown in the original cottage, and painted white in the 1950’s extension at the rear of the home. The only other signifiant addition was installing a new Ilve oven (‘which I just love!’ says Andrea).

Let’s all learn some lessons from this sweet story.  1 – Cute beats big (again).  2 – A big garden is not a pre-requisite for keeping your kids happy / healthy.  And 3 – a lick of bright white paint goes a looooong way!

Massive thanks to Andrea and Ben for sharing their sweet cottage with us today!  I am smitten, well and truly.   It’s nice to be reminded that in some cases, that ‘dream home’ might be closer (and smaller!) than you think.

Dining room with view to kitchen.  Photo – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lovely light filled kitchen – stainless kitchen bench purchased on ebay. Photo – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Sweet kitchen – featuring Andrea’s treasured Ilve stove!  Photo – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living area in the light filled 1950’s extension, adjoining the kitchen. French posters collected in Paris, trunk used as coffee table from The Country Trader.  Photo – Felix Forest, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room details.  Photos – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Another view of the main dining room – one of Andrea’s most treasured pieces is her Moroccan lantern – ‘I lugged it around Europe for 6 months, leaving it in train stations etc. and then smashed it to bits on the move to Turramurra, and have since repaired it.  It has many lives – it refuses to die!’.  Photos – Felix Forest, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining room with view to kids’ playroom / TV room.  Love the timber panelling throughout!  Photo – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom.  Photo – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files

Teeny tiny gorgeous bathroom.  Photo – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kids’ shared bedroom. Photo – Felix Forest, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files

Vintage artworks in dining room from Rozelle Markets and local auction houses.  Photo by Felix Forest, production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 11th July 2012


  • Such a gorgeous home! That chesterfield with the white floor = perfection

  • megan 4 years ago

    happy days. how lovely. m

  • Tara 4 years ago

    Beautiful! O would love to know what white was used on the walls and ceilings!

  • Mary Anne P 4 years ago

    Love this house! It’s fresh and comfy and cosy. Totally agree with the big isnt always better. We live in Northcote in Melbourne and our backyard is very small (cant say tiny because there are people with smaller yards in the area) and my son always wants a bigger space – but really we cant beat the location! As for your other house Andrea – I loved it! I have kept the Living Etc magazine that it was in and that is saying a lot in this digital era – maybe I need to find the digital images to pin it. What happened to your modern furniture? Did you sell it with the house? Thanks Lucy for giving us more eye candy.

  • Tessa White 4 years ago

    Too much to love, just pinned the whole house to my dream house and I just like it boards!! x

  • Natalia 4 years ago

    Beautiful home! We have the same dilemma at the moment, space vs inner city atmosphere….reading this re confirmed it for me – we are on the right track..:)

  • Anastasia Kotis 4 years ago

    beautiful home….some inspiration for my PInterest boards….. : )

  • Kimmy 4 years ago

    LOVE it, and Andrea sounds like a woman after my own heart. We too, reverse tree-changed when adding to our brood. It seems sometimes it isn’t the ideal world having a larger home with more space to maintain….back Cityside now and loving it too in our teeny tiny terrace with the world at our doorstep! :-)

  • Sangi 4 years ago

    Wow – this is such an amazing house! thanks for the great share! :)

  • Kath 4 years ago

    WOW!! BEAUTIFUL!! This story brought a few wee tears to my eyes…As humans we are constantly trying to strive for more, bigger, better. Fantastic example of less is more :-)

  • Melissa 4 years ago

    Love it. Such a cosy home with beautiful touches everywhere. That Morocan lamp is worth the effort. Rugs are amazing!

  • gemma 4 years ago

    oh how i love this! beautiful.

  • amber 4 years ago

    So beautiful and understated and inspiring. Love the new TDF look too…

  • lauren 4 years ago

    I’m another one that is thankful for this confirmation that inner-city (shoebox) living with kids can be done and has it’s benefits. We’re due in November with out first and somehow thought we needed to move to something bigger until we found that everthing out there was way overpriced and not as good as where we are already. So we’re staying in our 2 bedroom sth yarra apartment, much to the surprise of family who think we’re crazy! I’ll just show them this house! Thank you!

  • Harriet 4 years ago

    great to see an inner-westie house on TDF, being a Balmain peninsula gal myself. Gorgeous!

  • Simone 4 years ago

    This home really just ticks all the boxes doesn’t it? Nothing flashy, just the way I like it…

  • sunshine & daydreams 4 years ago

    A stunning and inspiring house. And thanks for the advice about not leaving the city. I was only just now thinking of leaving our small inner west cottage for more space and fresh air. Now maybe not.We do have everything at our doorstep.

  • Cass rhemrev 4 years ago

    Wow it sure doesn’t look small in these great shots !
    I love small houses for all their design ingenuity. With four people in a two bedroom house we have more than most people in the world have! Love the chesterfield With its perfect patina-
    Rarely find this kinda thing here in Canberra…keep looking!

  • Kirsty 4 years ago

    Utterly gorgeous Lucy.

  • jasmine 4 years ago

    another gorgeou home. love the vintage details and those all white walls and stained floors. Ps I have oven envy!

  • carolyn 4 years ago

    How beautiful. This home is small on space and big on personality. Definitely see the joy there. Thank you for sharing.

  • paula mills 4 years ago

    Beautiful and fresh! I would love to know which shows the dirt more – the white or dark brown floors?

  • anna 4 years ago

    i love the mix of traditional furnishings with modern elements….

  • Juliette Arent 4 years ago

    Andrea, absolutely gorgeous home. Lucy, fabulous story.x

  • JennyM 4 years ago

    That’s a small home?

  • City mum 4 years ago

    Just love the story of moving from big house to little house with two kids. We live in a two bedroom art deco apartment in St.Kilda – with two kids. We love our community, we walk everywhere and have everything we need within a short walk/scooter/bike ride. Many of our suburban friends and family think we are crazy – but we hope we never have to move!

  • Lucy 4 years ago

    Thanks for your comments guys! It is indeed a small home (although I admit we’ve made it feel much bigger in these pics!). It’s has 2 bedrooms, and the two boys share a room! Such a great use of space, and gorgeous styling helps of course!

  • Renae Smith 4 years ago

    Ohhh there are so many lovely things about this home. The kids room is just adorable. I’m such a sucker for the mix of vintage and modern, AND that repurposed sign…ACK! Love! Andrea is one talented lady. Thanks for sharing Lucy.

  • Andrea Millar 4 years ago

    Hello……….thanks for your kind words about my family home everyone! The house has three bedrooms Lucy… you did know that ! Lol…We use one as a playroom. It has a very clever layout that makes it feel roomier than its 86 square metres of internal space.
    To answer some questions…
    The colour of the walls is Antique White USA (Dulux)
    I see the dirt more on the white painted floor.. but I have no regrets at all!! White all the way..
    Andrea x

  • Barbara 4 years ago

    What a lovely light filled home. I would have always considered a Chesterfield to be too heavy for a light like that but what a beautiful marriage. Thanks again Lucy.

  • Lucy 4 years ago

    Ha ha Oh yes Andrea sorry I didn’t really think of the playroom /TV room as a bedroom…! Doh should have mentioned. I guess it could become a bedroom down the track… :) Mind you I think it is super genius to have the kids share a playroom and a sleeping room rather than have two separate rooms!

  • Gorgeous! That dining room rug is to-die-for! Love how light, bright and full of personality this home feels.

  • Amberly 4 years ago

    This home is absolutely stunning! You definitely did start on a high note! I especially love all of the rich color and textures throughout. One of my fave shots was that of the chair and vase with branches – simple but beautiful!

  • Rosie 4 years ago

    The table and benches are my favourite. Love that antique – semi rustic look.

  • Sheetal 4 years ago

    Beautiful home. I love all the light coming in and the simplicity in the decor. Great post.

  • Alyssa 4 years ago

    LOVE this house! The dining room rug is my favorite – any sources you could share?

  • Nat 4 years ago

    Where is the rug from? So lovely!

  • Delia 4 years ago


  • Monique 4 years ago

    I love this house, especially the white walls with white floors.

  • Jenny 4 years ago

    Lovely home, thank you for sharing. I especially love the kitchen. Am currently looking at re-doing ours and want a timber bench top but people in stores keep trying to put me off saying its too much maintenance. How do you find it? Also, as they are a bit harder to track down, if you did the Reno yourself and wouldn’t mind saying where you got it, that would be most appreciated!

  • John Wingate 4 years ago

    Gorgeous home!

    I love the interior design with colors that pop out at you. My personal favorite is the bathtub. I love the older bathroom look and this home has it!

  • peter 4 years ago

    Love this hous, especially the nice wooden floor and the living room. Looks so awesome! Nice pics!! :)

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