Jo Dabrowski and Andrew Fisher purchased their Californian Bungalow on a big block in Newport in late 2013. Though the house was in good structural condition, the interiors were in need of an update (it was very ‘peach’ throughout Jo says!). So, before moving in, she and Andrew set to work ripping out old wardrobes, pulling up tiles in the kitchen and replacing timber floors. They also changed the light fittings, door knobs, and picture rails, added built in robes and shelving, and painted throughout.
After settling in, the family started working on plans for a side extension, to add a playroom, master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Once their plans were approved, Jo and Andrew went down the owner/builder route to complete the works, in collaboration with a great local carpenter called Stewart James (@builtbystewy). ‘He cared about the details as much as I did, and made the process much less stressful than it could have been’ Jo says.
The standout feature of Jo and Andrew’s house is, of course, the incredible use of COLOUR! It’s so rare and so brilliant to see such a brave and varied palette used throughout a home – from the deep grey walls in the front living room, to the softer grey in the master bedroom, and vibrant yellow of the home office. Jo and Andrew’s house proves that colour is definitely not just for kids’ rooms!
‘Choosing different colours for each room was absolutely one of my favourite parts of the process, and even today I’m still thinking about rooms I may re-paint one day’ says Jo! ‘I’m dreaming of a pink and a navy blue’.
An advertising copywriter in a former life, Jo is an incredibly creative Mum, with an intuitive sense for design, and a cheerful ‘can-do’ attitude when it comes to home improvements! She often finds herself updating furniture pieces with a fresh coat of paint, new upholstery or new handles. ‘We’re not big on buying things just because they may look nice on one of our shelves’ she explains. ‘We prefer to wait until we happen upon something that has a bit of a story, or something that will bring back happy memories’.
What is special about this relaxed, vibrant family home is that it says so much about the family who live here. ‘Our house is definitely a reflection of all of us’ says Jo. ‘We love colour, design, books, art and making stuff! It’s a collection of objects we’ve accumulated over the years, both separately and together, from our travels and from the different cities we’ve lived in.’