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The Tree House Home Of Stylist Louella Boitel-Gill

Homes

Interior designer and stylist Louella Boitel-Gill lives in a real life tree house. Perched high above street level, with breathtaking views of Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, this is one truly unique family home.

Louella shares her much-loved and many-layered home with daughters Chilli (12) and Indi (11), and their ragdoll cat TotoPusheeeeen. Today, they take us for a tour!

26th June, 2019

White Laylow sofa by Louella. Artemide Tolomeo desk lamp.  Shaggy sheepskin from Mamapapa Avalon. Hemp throw on sofa by Lee Mathews. Spirograph artwork by David Brand. Artwork on right was a birthday present from Louella’s close friend, Joshua Yeldham. In the background is another gifted artwork from Rachel Castle. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Dom Ici Et La kitchen table. Rachel Castle paintings and prints. Louella made the rope swing the day she moved in, but hasn’t made any more for sale! Sibella Court at the Society Inc makes a similar version. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Louella in an amazing chair! Nina Ditzel hanging chair available from DOMO. The dining table in the side of the frame was one of the first things she designed for the Mark Tuckey range – the Tripod dining table in oak. Sisal floor rug from Ikea. Rio flower stand in back corner by Joost Bakker. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A liveable treehouse! Nina Ditzel hanging chair available from DOMO. Gottland sheepskin rug from Samsø in Denmark, where Louella’s sister lives. Dampier pendant light from The Society Inc. Spanish Chair by Borg Mortensen available new from Great Dane or vintage from Vampt Vintage. Woven stool (with TotoPusheen atop!) a sample from Louella’s friend, Donna Petsinis. Round ran leather floor pad by Louella, available to order through Gypsy Greek. Tall Oregon open shelf unit behind fireplace designed by Louella, made to order by the Mark Tuckey workshop. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Looking out to the treetops. Oversized wire hanging basket from the UK (‘look for similar at Lunatiques in Sydney’, advises Louella). Turned timber stool designer by Louella, available through the Mark Tuckey workshop. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vintage shaving mirror from the Warriewood Farmers’ Market. Turned timber utensils pot from MThome, where Louelle designed a range of small timber pieces. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rachel Castle prints. The big Miffy light was an online purchase! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rachel Castle artowrk. Oregon Pigeonhole bookshelves from Mark Tuckey. White matte ceramic planter from FlowerPower in Warriewood. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Collection of timber bits and pieces. Giant peg from ‘an obscure craft shop in Hobart’. Beloved bronze hare from Broughton Craft Galleries in Stockbridge, UK.  Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. ‘Ode to Scribble’ mask in the back right made with Kimberly Amos at Riverhawk Ranch in Byron Bay. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Louella’s work station. Notebooks ready to use on the upper shelf. Work samples on the lower shelf. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A gorgeous view across Pittwater. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

TotoPusheen the cat on an old English turned timber chair from Louella’s childhood bedroom. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Boy & Bird’ painting by David Bromley, a favourite of Louella’s. Dot Bunting by Rachel Castle. Mangrove photo above painting is a card from an exhibition by Joshua Yeldham at Art House Gallery in Sydney. Ampersand print by Rachel Castle. Top right is a postcard of Jack Kerouac shot on the beach in Zanzibar, ‘a postcard I manage to sneak somehow into every shoot I’ve ever done!’ says Louella. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A wall of Louella’s favourite things, featuring pictures of her babies, an antique silk doll’s dress, her beloved dog Scribble’s collar (who sadly passed just before Christmas), and a salmon pink Citroen DS ‘goddess’. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Louella’s bedroom, with all her favourite people on the wall (and Bear!). Hale Mercantile BASIX stripe pillowcase in Rosa. Basic bed by Louella made by the Mark Tuckey workshop in king size. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Chilli’s bedroom, featuring Rachel Castle bed linen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

India’s bedroom, with the best view in the house! Looking over Pittwater across to Scotland Island. Rachel Castle texta pillowcase in velvet, stripey knitted PomPom cushion. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 26th June 2019

‘We love waking up in a house that’s up in the trees surrounded by chatty bird life’ – Louella Boitel-Gill.

Interior designer Louella Boitel-Gill came across her Avalon Beach home via Modern House – a real estate service specialising in Modernist, Mid-Century and architect-designed homes. While Louella attended a few real estate viewings for ‘stickybeak’ purposes (let’s be honest, who hasn’t?), when she visited this home everything fell into place. ‘We knew we loved the place the minute we walked in’ she admits.

The home was designed in the late ‘60s, and bears some reference to Japanese architecture, with its rustic simplicity and extensive use of timber. Perched up high above street level, it requires a serious hike to get to the front door, but Louella explains ‘you have the loveliest view of Pittwater, and you’re right up in the trees with all the birds.’ With a view like this, and an architectural design by Rowan Fotheringham, later extended by Ray Gill, this home needed no renovations or updates. Louella highlights ‘all we’ve done is fill it with furniture, and put up a rope swing.’ A favourite of Louella’s daughters Chilli and Indi!

As an interior designer and respected stylist, Louella has a whole swag of knowledge about key pieces and design movements – but she highlights her Spanish chairs by Børge Morgensen as favourite personal pieces. ‘Not only are they beautiful, they’re ridiculously comfortable too’ she says.

Louella describes her aesthetic as a ‘mix of timber and neutrals, with splashes of colour in layers, so the background palette of the house makes for an easy canvas to work with.’ With serene white walls, the designer adds colour though her thoughtful introduction of treasured artworks and textiles. She enthuses ‘despite the steep site, and the many stairs to climb to get to the front door, we love living here, and we love waking up in a house that’s up in the trees, surrounded by chatty bird life.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net