This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

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.’

This Week

Art

A Foreign Affair With Ross Taylor

The Kyneton based artist shares his bold drawings, exploring the luxury and debauchery (!) of overseas holidays.
Miriam McGarry
  21 hours ago

Art

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

News

Mangkaja x Gorman = Perfection

Clear space in your wardrobe right now, Gorman’s first collaboration with Indigenous artists is going to fly off the shelves!
Miriam McGarry

Homes

A Stylish, Sentimental Home In St Kilda

The jaw-dropping, grand St Kilda home of Barb Hyman and family.
Lucy Feagins
  7 hours ago

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Ceramicist Inspired By Japanese Ikebana

A studio visit with Kate Brouwer of Asobimasu Clay, one of Melbourne's most exciting makers!
Elle Murrell

News

This Designer Pop Up Store Is Open For Three Months Only!

Shop iconic pieces from Cult styled to perfection by Michelle Macarounas of Infinite Design Studio.
Sally Tabart
  21 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Seafaring Painter Pushing The Boundaries Of Maritime Art

A sail and studio visit with one-of-a-kind artist Gemma Rasdall, as her new body of work is unveiled in Sydney.
Elle Murrell
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Architect Penelope Seidler

This national icon reflects on her early life, working with her husband Harry in the 60s/70s, and her proudest achievement to date!

News

An Exhibition Celebrating Humankind's Giant Leap

Geelong Gallery is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a captivating showcase, bringing together artistic responses
Elle Murrell

News

Sunday Life Drawing Classes In Seriously Lush Surrounds

Fitzroy-based creatives Ladies of Leisure team up with artist Lani Mitchell for a dreamy life drawing series in July!
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Sydney Renovation With Serious WOW Factor

A grand Mediterranean villa in Bellevue Hill, reimagined by Luigi Rosselli Architects.
Miriam McGarry

TDF Design Awards

Take A Stroll Through The TDF Design Awards Landscape Design Finalists!

Celebrating the best of private gardens, civic spaces and hidden courtyards, across Australia.

Shopping

A New Start-Up That Packs A Punch + A Giveaway!

Melbourne luggage brand July puts a new spin on suitcases.
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

News

A Showcase Of Architectural Sculptures + Urban-Inspired Artworks

The Koskela Gallery presents new ceramics by Jane McKenzie and Saxon Quinn inspired by the built environment.
Sally Tabart

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Warrandyte Delight, With Sage And Clare’s Phoebe Bell

The colourful mid-century modern home of Sage and Clare's Phoebe Bell and family.

Homes

An Artist's Leafy, Bohemian Sanctuary In Alphington

Take a tour through the 120-year-old Alphington home of Suzanne Corbett, now on the market!

Homes

The Timeless Beachside Home Of A Magazine Industry Legend

The beautiful beach cottage of Real Living's former Editor-In-Chief, Deb Bibby.

This Week

News

Sunday Life Drawing Classes In Seriously Lush Surrounds

Fitzroy-based creatives Ladies of Leisure team up with artist Lani Mitchell for a dreamy life drawing series in July!
Miriam McGarry

Homes

A Stylish, Sentimental Home In St Kilda

The jaw-dropping, grand St Kilda home of Barb Hyman and family.
Lucy Feagins
  7 hours ago

Art

A Foreign Affair With Ross Taylor

The Kyneton based artist shares his bold drawings, exploring the luxury and debauchery (!) of overseas holidays.
Miriam McGarry
  21 hours ago

News

Mangkaja x Gorman = Perfection

Clear space in your wardrobe right now, Gorman’s first collaboration with Indigenous artists is going to fly off the shelves!
Miriam McGarry

TDF Design Awards

Take A Stroll Through The TDF Design Awards Landscape Design Finalists!

Celebrating the best of private gardens, civic spaces and hidden courtyards, across Australia.

News

An Exhibition Celebrating Humankind's Giant Leap

Geelong Gallery is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a captivating showcase, bringing together artistic responses
Elle Murrell

Shopping

A New Start-Up That Packs A Punch + A Giveaway!

Melbourne luggage brand July puts a new spin on suitcases.
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

News

A Showcase Of Architectural Sculptures + Urban-Inspired Artworks

The Koskela Gallery presents new ceramics by Jane McKenzie and Saxon Quinn inspired by the built environment.
Sally Tabart

Architecture

A Sydney Renovation With Serious WOW Factor

A grand Mediterranean villa in Bellevue Hill, reimagined by Luigi Rosselli Architects.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry

Art

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

News

This Designer Pop Up Store Is Open For Three Months Only!

Shop iconic pieces from Cult styled to perfection by Michelle Macarounas of Infinite Design Studio.
Sally Tabart
  21 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Seafaring Painter Pushing The Boundaries Of Maritime Art

A sail and studio visit with one-of-a-kind artist Gemma Rasdall, as her new body of work is unveiled in Sydney.
Elle Murrell
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Architect Penelope Seidler

This national icon reflects on her early life, working with her husband Harry in the 60s/70s, and her proudest achievement to date!

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Ceramicist Inspired By Japanese Ikebana

A studio visit with Kate Brouwer of Asobimasu Clay, one of Melbourne's most exciting makers!
Elle Murrell

Similar Stories

Homes

A Warrandyte Delight, With Sage And Clare’s Phoebe Bell

The colourful mid-century modern home of Sage and Clare's Phoebe Bell and family.

Homes

An Artist's Leafy, Bohemian Sanctuary In Alphington

Take a tour through the 120-year-old Alphington home of Suzanne Corbett, now on the market!

Homes

The Timeless Beachside Home Of A Magazine Industry Legend

The beautiful beach cottage of Real Living's former Editor-In-Chief, Deb Bibby.