Interior architect Lucy Jeffries came to the profession after a childhood spent drawing house plans and flipping longingly through her Mum’s decorating magazines. After (briefly) dabbling in a science degree, Lucy completed a Masters of Architecture, and worked in architecture practices for almost a decade, before establishing her own interiors studio in 2015. She wryly explains ‘I haven’t regretted it for more than a few hours at a time.’
Lucy established her practice while living remotely in regional western Queensland, and credits this ‘incognito’ phase as instrumental to the success of her business, in providing a low-pressure ‘soft start.’ Though she’s now based back in Brisbane, it was during Lucy’s rural sojourn that she worked on the spectacular St Lucia house.
The clients presented Lucy with a ‘fairly clear vision of restoring this mid-century house to its former glory.’ The couple had built houses before, and had strong ideas on the kind of space they liked to live in. Lucy describes her role as distilling all of their magazine clippings and screenshots of reference material into a ‘scheme that is cohesive and tasteful, and isn’t going to scream ‘2018’ in a few years time.’
The restored home has a timeless but characterful quality, achieved through reconsidering the layout, including updating ‘out of date’ elements such as the maids’ room. This is no Downton Abbey! Lucy highlights that the clients also contributed some great design ideas, including the outdoor breeze blocks and crazy pavers. They also introduced Lucy to their favourite builders, M2 Construct, who the clients lovingly refer to as ‘the builders to the stars!’
Observing this serene and harmonious home now, it was hard to believe that the renovation required countless skip bins to remove aluminum shutters, garage doors, and other out-of-character additions from previous owners. Lucy explains, ‘I guess the key was to strike a balance between warmth and personality while keeping it simple, quiet and sensitive to the mid-century context.’
The resulting refurbishment returns the home to its essential form, ‘welcomes in the abundant Queensland sunlight, and accentuates the beautiful spatial quality of the architecture.’ The introduction of bespoke cabinetry provides an understated contemporary update, and is the perfect backdrop for the owners’ expansive collection of mid century furniture and Australian art.