You might recall around this time last year we interviewed one very clever and particularly versatile local designer, Leah Bartholomew. After five years working in Melbourne as Beci Orpin‘s right hand woman, Leah moved north in 2011, settling in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast, not far from her childhood hometown of Bilambil, which is half an hour north of Byron Bay. Though she loved living in Melbourne, Leah craved all the usual things Melbourne is not very good at - sunshine, surf and a generally relaxed pace of life.
It didn't take long for Leah to settle in to her new surroundings, after securing a lease on this sweet surf-shack style home, just minutes from Kirra beach. She now lives and works from these perennially summery surroundings, tackling various freelance graphic design projects whilst also running her own fabulous homewares label, Beneath the Sun, from her home studio.
Since its a rental, Leah has made only minor cosmetic changes since moving in here, such as installing shelving in her little studio, and painting the brick wall on her back deck in her favourite summery shade of coral. Inside, she's filled the home with op shop treasures, sweet handcrafted details and her signature pops of cheerful colour in every room! Many of the cushions and decorative elements you see here are Leah's own designs - from cushions, to original artworks, ceramic 'gem vessel' planters and her super cute 'woody' printed timber objects.
Leah's home reflects her relaxed, free spirited nature - she loves prettying up her surroundings with sweet handmade details, and is particularly skilled at op shop / roadside treasure hunting! Some of her favourite furniture finds are the geometric pale pink side tables, found on the side of the road in Tweed Heads! (This would not happen in Melbourne!). Another much loved second hand find is what Leah calls 'the most comfortable lounge in the world' - the seventies velour corner lounge she scored for a steal on Gumtree!
As a former Melbourne resident, its no surprise that the real drawcard of this home for Leah is its proximity to nature - both Coolangatta's impressive beaches, and nearby bushland. 'I was really happy to find this place' says Leah of her relatively new home. Surrounded by lush foliage, Leah says it really feels like you could be living in the mountains. 'Gorgeous Kirra Beach is 500 metres away, and I have views to the hinterland, where I see the most incredible sunsets every afternoon'.
Massive thanks to Leah for brightening up another freezing Melbourne morning with her fabulously summery home! If you share Leah's passion for bold colour, do check out the full Beneath the Sun product range online here!