Designer Jana Kachel, her husband Wade and their two children Jack and Coco moved to this beautiful home in Sandringham two years ago. Whilst they found no urgent need for big structural changes, the family have wasted no time in putting their distinctive stamp on the place.
Walls have been painted throughout, and all floorboards limewashed, whilst styling decisions have been informed by Jana’s passion for textiles and vintage furniture. ‘I am obsessed with colour and print, and like to always change things around…’ explains Jana. The scatter cushions throughout the house, for instance, are on constant rotation. They’re made by Jana, using fabrics sourced for her Kachel fashion range. ‘I make them reversible, so half the amount of cushions – but double the print and colour combinations!’ she says.
Jana also enjoys the thrill of salvaging a road-side find – her dining setting, for instance, is made up entirely of hard rubbish treasure and second-hand finds. ‘I like to find different things, and put odd bits and pieces together to make them mine’ the designer explains.
‘Our family home is an eclectic mix of found treasures from my travels, and the majority of artwork is done by my Mum – all of her pieces I love and treasure!’ Jana explains. Other treasured pieces include Jana’s father’s old tennis trophies (he was a tennis pro in the 70’s), which are on display throughout the house, used as vases, trays, and containers.
For Jana, this house has presented an opportunity to remember and re-imagine the happy memories of her own childhood. ‘I grow up in Park Orchards, with trees and garden everywhere… it really was organised chaos with painting, sewing machines, tennis balls, tennis racquets and collected items which Mum had found everywhere’ she recalls. ‘My parents were very accepting of our creative habits, even letting me and my high school friend Ash Keating (who is now an incredible artist) spray paint the entire wall of my childhood bedroom!’
Home is still very much a hub for creative expression for the Kachel / James family. In fact, our shoot provided a little motivation for a few new projects! Coco’s bedroom got a complete makeover just before our shoot, with a custom made wallpaper design, featuring Jana’s illustrations. And that left Jack in need of his own creative project…
‘My little boy Jack is always super enthusiastic about any creative ventures in our house – always helping me out with spray painting pots, planting the garden, repainting bathroom tiles, making cushions – you name it he gives it a go’ Jana explains. ‘He was excited to hear that Coco was getting flamingo wall paper for her room…. however disappointed to hear that he was not getting any wall paper for himself!’. So, Jana and Jack had a little brainstorm about what new thing he could have in his room for the photos. ‘Given the timeline was tight, we came up with the idea of the new doona cover and pillows’ Jana explains. She designed him the tiger print doona cover, and had all fingers and toes crossed that the fabric would arrive in time from the printers to make a new doona in the nick of time, sewn with Jack’s help, of course. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! (And we are so impressed, Jack!).