The home of interior stylist Sophie Gunnersen shares with husband Andrew and young son Kip is what I kind of always think of as a ‘classic Melbourne’ home. That is, a pretty Victorian terrace house on a leafy, quiet street, modernised for comfort whilst retaining period features, decorated with just enough colour and pattern to add a bit of personality – and ideally a nice bright front door!
The Gunnersen family have lived here for four years. When they purchased the home, it had already undergone a major renovation by the previous owners, which resulted in the light-filled modern addition to the rear of the property, and a shiny new kitchen (with one of those fabulous AGA stoves which we’re seeing more and more of around here!). Relieved to be able to retain most of the existing structure of the home, Sophie set to work undertaking smaller cosmetic fixes – including installing wooden shutters, wardrobes, and painting the home throughout.
Situated directly across the road from a Church, the home is called ‘Chiesa Vista’ – which means ‘Church view’. ‘It was where the nuns once lived’ explains Sophie, who loves the sense of history in her lively local neighbourhood.
Sophie has layered her home with a mix of new furniture, antiques, treasured artworks and eclectic details. Having lived abroad for some years in both Italy and Argentina, she is particularly fond of the artwork purchased during her time overseas. She’s also a keen supporter of local creatives, with works by Melbourne artists Kate Tucker and Lisa Lapointe.
Sophie has a relaxed, unfussy approach to decorating, and is not a fan of following trends. ‘I guess you could say my style is quite eclectic, earthy, comfortable and inviting’ she says. ‘Our home is practical, and it works…it has to, as I have a toddler roaming about with greasy mitts! It need to be functional and not too precious.’
Much of the timber furniture in the home has been custom made by Sophie’s trade contacts – these include the robust timber dining table, master bedroom bedhead, Kip’s bed and storage. ‘At Stamp, we custom make bookshelves, bedding and dining tables, lamps and chest of drawers, so these were easy!’ says Sophie.
The Gunnersen family love their happy little home – ‘the house has a really positive energy, we love every second living in it!’ says Sophie! The local area is also a major draw card. ‘We adore this area, we walk to the South Melbourne Market, the beach or the village, everything is very easy in the ‘hood, its like a little country town within the big smoke’ Sophie enthuses.
If you love Sophie’s decorating style, do check out Stamp Interiors, the interior design and styling consultancy she runs with business partner Alexis Reid.