Australian Homes

Mikayla Rose and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 6th August 2014

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The Melbourne home of Mikayla Rose and family. Above – living room looking beyond to open plan dining area, the heart of the home.  Artwork at left – ‘Bronze Pop’ by Rachel Castle, Black stool from Great Dane, 300 year old French table in dining area from Town and Country Antiques, Magill rd in Adelaide. ‘Good One’ white stools by Tait. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Mikayla’s living room with cosy open fire! Douglas and Bec Mirror, Etched black and white vase found on a seconds table at Paddington markets in Sydney. Brass vase from Country Road.  Lush rug from the new Sierra range by Armadillo and co. Gold floor cushion from Spacecraft and Iko coffee table from Jardan. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Seb Armchair from Jardan and Iko coffee table again hanging out with a  what Mikayla calls her ‘not so fancy and been around the traps’ sofa from Plush! Cushion on Seb chair is an old one by Clair Wayman, Curio and Curio. ‘Pot of Gold’ pot, by Pop and Scott. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Mikayla in her home. ‘An odd nook in the floor plan was discovered when old built in robes were ripped out. We nabbed the opportunity to add an oak shelf and hanging space for long things,’ said Mikayla. Print by Lumiere Art and co. Chair from 1000 Chairs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

I tell you what, fitting a family with three young kids comfortably into a three bedroom apartment is no mean feat, but Melbourne interior designer Mikayla Rose took on this challenge with gusto, and the results speak for themselves!  A modest footprint in a charming 1930’s deco apartment block in Hawthorn has been cleverly reworked to accommodate Mikayla’s kids Flynn (10), Halle (7) and Isla (5), who live here about 60% of the time, spending the rest of the time with their Dad.  TOP WORK Mikayla, you are amazing!

Mikayla and her family have been here nearly 18 months, after purchasing the home early last year.  ‘I had been searching for a while and had become friendly with a local real estate agent; when this came across her desk she rang me’ says Mikayla. As soon as she saw the place, although it needed some work, Mikayla knew it would be perfect for her young family. ‘It never hit the market – I made an offer at my first inspection and purchased it immediately’ she says.

Let me just say this about Mikayla. She is a DO-ER.  I’ve met her only once, but her incredible drive is very clear to me. I guess as single Mum with 3 kids under 10, a ‘no messing about’ policy is imperative!  Here is how Mikayla handled her renovation.  She designed the new layout, drew up her plans, sourced all finishes and engaged a builder BEFORE she settled on the apartment.  Then, as it happened, settlement day fell just one day before Mikayla was due to leave on a trip to the US, to run the Boston marathon. (Yes, she also runs marathons). ‘I was lucky that I had a builder I could trust, as I literally handed the keys and plans over and headed straight overseas’ recalls Mikayla.  She wasn’t to know then the drama that would unfold during her trip – the bombs went off in Boston about 40 mins after she crossed the finish line.  ‘I neglected Ben and the renovation a bit whilst I was over there’ Mikayla says, after being swept up in the trauma of the Boston bombings.  ‘Completing the worlds greatest marathon was the most joyful and exhilarating feeling, but also the most horrific day of my life’.

Mikayla returned home from Boston three weeks later, shell shocked but super keen to get into her new home.  Luckily, thanks to good planning and the expertise of her builder Ben Thomas, things were well underway.  ‘We moved in to our perfectly renovated apartment within 4 weeks’ she says.

Mikayla’s apartment refurb was pretty major.  Internal walls and most of the cabinetry was ripped out, allowing Mikayla to carefully customise each centimetre of space.  Perhaps the cleverest decision was opening up the kitchen and hallway to create a central communal dining room at the heart of the home, which is the connecting point for every room in the house.  This clever decision makes for a surprisingly generous layout, and amazingly, it means Mikayla’s much loved 3 metre long antique dining table fits right in the centre of the apartment.  ‘Previously the only dining option was for two at a dicky little island bench that stuck out into a thoroughfare’ Mikayla reveals.

In the kitchen, Mikayla designed cabinetry to conceal the fridge, pantry and an additional workbench, making the open plan kitchen feel spacious and uncluttered. ‘Perhaps its my personality, but in a small space like this, feeling organised goes a long way to making the space a nice place to be’ she says.

Mikayla’s daughters Halle and Isla share a room, whilst Flynn has the tiniest bedroom to himself – complete with custom built ‘loft’ bed to maximise space. ‘A bed on the floor of Flynn’s room would have made it impossible to use’ explains Mikayla, who elevated the bed to 166cm – her own height plus 1cm – ‘so I don’t have to duck!’.

Even though she’s been here under two years, it hasn’t taken long for Mikayla to fill her apartment with personal touches and have it feeling like ‘home’.  Amongst her most treasured possessions are that 10 seater dining table – a 300 year old antique which took 4 removalists 2 hours to get in (eventually through the kitchen window!).  ‘The big table makes the smallish space feel lively. Lots happens around this table!’ Mikayla says.

Other favourite pieces include Mikayla’s clever and super stylish Alexa Lethen Bike hooks (complete with soft leather pad to prevent scratching!) and her circular Douglas and Bec mirror which hangs above the fireplace.   Mikayla is also very proud of her Boston marathon bibs which are framed and hang on the wall in her entryway, amongst other eclectic bits and pieces

‘I love that I have collected all of these things gradually over time, and that they are all a part of my story’ says Mikayla, who is always keen to help her design clients identify their own special possessions worthy of featuring and framing, in amongst the everyday junk and clutter that always accumulates!   ‘I think its so important that these personal elements are reflected in a home, and are balanced with the desire to purchase on trend shiny new things’ Mikayla explains. ‘Of course I like new things (!), but often its the old favourites that make a house a happy and comforting place to be’.

Huge thanks to Mikayla for sharing her home and her story with us today.  After many years of running her design business as an ‘on the side’ project, Mikayla has recently joined forces with friend and former client Kate Symons to launch her interior design practice full-time!  Do pop over and check out their website for more info on Mikayla’s other projects.


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Looking from central open plan dining area to kitchen and leafy back porch beyond.  Massive 3 metre, 10 seater French table (in foreground) is a 300 year old antique table from Town and Country Antiques, Magill Rd, Adelaide. Pop and Scott pots on back porch. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Small framed paintings by Mikayla’s daughter Halle when she was 2, and photo in the frame is Halle ‘face painted’ by Flynn, again when she was about 2. Cabinet saved from a scrap heap and restored. Perspex candelabra from Museum of Modern Art, New York. Large painting on the wall to the left by Spacecraft. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Master bedroom.  Painting by Rachel Castle, Bed head made by Mikayla with a piece of MDF, thick foam, a quilted bed spread and a staple gun. (WOAH SO CLEVER!).  Hand spun steel Lights by Life Space Journey. Cushions by Country Road and Spacecraft. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Halle and Isla’s bedroom.  Daisy rug by Armadillo, Bed linen by Country Road. Side table found in a dingy back corner of an opp shop in Belmont, when Mikayla was living in  Jan Juc.  Artworks on the right include a favourite painting by big cousin Declan made with love for Halle when she was born.  Painted tin birds hanging on door handle, a present to the girls from Nonna. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Flynn’s tiny bedroom made functional with his very own custom installed lofty bed, custom made by Ben Thomas. Bed linen by Country Road. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Bathroom.  Marimekko towel, Iconic New York ‘We are happy to serve you’ ceramic cup from MOMA, NYC. Custom designed oak and black steel vanity (with Astra Walker tap and Studio Bagno basin). Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/ The Design Files.

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Entrance stairwell – collection of art, prints, photos and memorabilia on the wall including Patch NYC and Astier de Villatte ceramics, and Mikayla’s Boston marathon bibs. Lumiere print and Seed Pod bowl in brass from Dinosaur Designs (on shelf). Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Clever bike hooks from Alexa Lethen, all the way from Denmark. ‘They have a little piece of white leather (with aqua sitting) to prevent scratching’ says Mikayla. Oak stool from Douglas and Bec. Plant pod by Sarah Parkes, Smalltown. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 6th August 2014


  • Mary Anne 2 years ago

    Gorgeous light filled home!! Love the black hexagonal tiles and the black hardware in the bathrooms! It’s very warm and inviting. Such a beautiful family home !

    Mikayla could I please ask:

    – Where you got your black quilt from for the bed head?
    – Where your necklace and pants are from? love love love your outfit!

    Many thanks
    MA xo

  • honeysuckle 2 years ago

    modest and pretty

  • Dan 2 years ago

    Inspiring story Mikayla, you’ve a great eye for design!

  • Conny 2 years ago

    Oh my! I love this apartment! May I ask what kind of wood you used for the floor?

  • Indra 2 years ago

    Pretty much pinned every pic! I am going to take inspiration from (copy) that bedhead on the weekend! :)

  • Jess Geer 2 years ago

    Can I ask where she sourced the gorgeous floor boards from?

  • Sarah 2 years ago

    What a charming home. Would love to see the before and after floor plans to fully apprecaite the changes Mikayla made to make a small space functional – but love the emphasis on a central table to collaborate around.

  • Amanda 2 years ago

    Great story and apartment! xx

  • Jane 2 years ago

    Clever job, looks great. Would love to see a floor plan.

  • Jennifer Fraser 2 years ago

    I agree about the before and after floor plans. it would really add to an understanding of the design.

  • 2 years ago

    Love the black tiles for the splash back in the kitchen. Just beautiful!

  • Lizzie 2 years ago

    My favourite TDF house ever! It’s just perfect. So homely and inviting. Totally functional. And filled with love in every nook. Thanks Lucy and Mikayla.

  • Mik Rose 2 years ago

    Awww thanks so much guys! Appreciate the love!!
    Floor Boards are American Oak – Harper Sandilands
    Tap ware – Astra Walker
    Bed Head – Quilt sacrificed from Country Road (ie one thousand staples all over the back into the MDF!)
    My pants!!! – Scanlan and Theodore
    Necklace – from The Woodsfolk

  • Briony Skeen 2 years ago

    Great house! Love the mirror and the blue chair.

  • rachel castle 2 years ago

    please can I come to your house for the holidays?

  • Yvette Wilson 2 years ago

    I love the styling in all the shots especially the master bedroom, just gorgeous.

  • Emily 2 years ago

    Mikayla can I ask what white paint you used throughout your home? Gorgeous. Xx

  • Nell 2 years ago

    Just beautiful! What a lovely home!
    Mikayla, can I please ask what finish the floorboards are? We’re looking at using the Royal Oak Floors also in the ‘White Smoked’ finish. Looking at your pics I love the colour you’ve gone for! Just interested as there are so many choices!

  • Vera 2 years ago

    Beautiful! Love your apartment :)
    Can I please ask what type of blinds you have?Are those plantation shutters?

  • Vera 2 years ago

    And the source of your bathroom vanity please? If possible.
    Thank you.

  • Mik Rose 2 years ago

    Rachel Castle you can come for a holiday anytime!

  • Mik Rose 2 years ago

    Yikes! How fun is TDF!!!

    Paint colour is DULUX Antique White 1/4 strength

    Floor boards are Aged and Smoked, however I am loving White Smoked as seen in Kate Symons’ home that we recently completed… check out @houseonthomson on instagram for more pics

    The window furnishings are plantation shutters

    And I designed the vanity for the tiny space utlising American Oak floor boards, black steel and caesar stone

    Thank you again for all your love and good vibes! xo

  • Diana Campbell 2 years ago

    I love those hexagonal tiles too! And that Seb armchair. It looks so inviting…

  • Ruth Barker 2 years ago

    My gorgeous mate does it again. Love you chick xx

  • Rachel 2 years ago

    Mikayla your home is so beautiful. Stylish but not pretentious and some great personal touches.

  • Liz 2 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful home. Well done!
    I’d love to know where you purchased your floor lamp from pleaseeee?

  • Liz 2 years ago

    The images of bikes – Are they wallpaper, or art images… look great. love to know. Fantastic work

  • Mik Rose 2 years ago

    Floor lamp is from….. drum roll… FREEDOM – there is a similar one currently available Liz!

  • Kiley 2 years ago

    LOVE! Can you please tell me if the girls’ bunk beds were also custom made? Thank you

  • Jan Withers 2 years ago

    Mikayla’s apartment is absolutely fabulous. Love it. The best I’ve seen so far on Design Files!

  • Cass 2 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous home! Mikayla, would you mind telling what bench top you used in your kitchen. Thanks Cass

  • Melissa 2 years ago

    Love everything about this place. Stunning!!

  • Annie 2 years ago

    What a gorgeous home. Look forward to seeing lots of beautiful clients’ homes too – congratulations!

    One questions from me too please….what is the kitchen worktop material? Looks lovely (as does the tidiness)!
    Thanks x

  • Jane 2 years ago

    That is one beautifully placed piece of timber in the bathroom.

  • Mik Rose 2 years ago

    T H A N K Y O U !!! Gosh, will need a some serious lovin’ to cope when Lucy’s TDF magic wears off. Nawww, will read over your comments daily to keep the good vibes!

    The bikes are REAL bikes – bottom one is a “Tokyo Bike” and the top one is a fast one – a road bike called Oppy by Malvern Star

    The bench top, on every piece of built in cabinetry in the apartment is 20mm Caesar Stone in Oyster. Works very well with the black steel, white and timber. xoxo

  • Vera 2 years ago

    Mikayla, thank you for revealing your sources so generously :)

  • Kat 2 years ago

    Fabulous story with beautiful pictures to boot! now i have more items to add to my wishlist….. If you have the engergy to reveal one more source…. the bedside table in the master bedroom? thanks!

  • Renea Harris 2 years ago

    Your home is extremely beautiful and thoughtfully designed. May I ask where the round mirror is from?

  • Ann Lyster 2 years ago

    Beautiful home Mikayla, would like to inquire about your bedside table in main bedroom please.

  • Mel Thompson 2 years ago

    Beautifully done. Where are the light fittings from? Very cute!

  • Kylie Johnson 2 years ago

    Home reflects the soul. So of course Mikayla’s home is stunning, beautiful, organised ,warm and full of light and love.

  • Erica 2 years ago

    My favorite might be the bookcase at the stairwell landing. Also love Flynn’s loft bed though. And the girls’ names on the wall is the perfect cursive font. Oh, and the Marimekko towel. I guess I must just love it all. :)

  • Ruth Carlisle 2 years ago

    Love this home! Would you mind telling me where you sourced the kitchen splashback tiles? It looks as though you used the same feature tile in the bathroom only in white. Can you also tell me if the custom made bathroom vanity has a draw? Love your style!

  • Heena 2 years ago

    Hi I love your home . Looks very lived in . Can you please share the artwork in flynn’s room to match the countryroad quilt . Is it a double quilt ?

  • Mik Rose 2 years ago

    Happy weekend everyone!

    Bunk beds are the Carter bunk from Domayne

    Green frames in Flynns room were purchased from Country Road at the same time as the quilt was released. (Single quilt on King Single bed). Clever merchandising CR!

    Hex tiles in the kitchen and bathroom are the same except for colour – both from Urban Edge Ceramics in Richmond

    Gorgeous hand spun steel lights are from Life Space Journey – my clever friend Misch sourced these! BIG TICK MISCH!

    Mirror is from Douglas and Bec – find similar from BDDW New York

    Bedside tables are upside down wire basket from Country Road with timber tray on top!

    Got to go. Roasting marshmallows on the fire with the kids! YUM!


  • Heena 2 years ago

    Any suggestions for. Artwork for those green frames in flynn’s room?

  • Nao 2 years ago

    Beautiful home!
    Can I please ask you where you sourced the kitchen cabinets?
    Are they custom made or mainstream kitchen company’s?
    I am searching around nice minimum white cabinets like yours.
    Many thanks,

  • Rebecca 2 years ago

    How utterly swoon-worthy. Thanks for this visual treat.

  • Tyler 2 years ago

    Beautifully designed home – and gorgeous photos! This is the reason why I have two good friends who are real estate agents!!! And I also love your pants, Mik!

  • Suzi 2 years ago

    Mikayla, I just LOVE your home! I have been trying to find a white quilted bedspread like the one on your bed for the longest time. What brand is it? Well done you – as a fellow mum of three, I don’t know how you do it all.

  • Nikki 1 year ago

    Love this house! It sold last year and some more pictures were up on this site for those wanting some more angles –

    Lucy – maybe you should do a feature on wherever Mikayla lives next! I’m sure it will be just as fantastic.

  • Floor Lamps 5 months ago

    Wow, that’s really great. so nice interior and lighting concept. I just love it. thanks for sharing the idea.

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