The 1920s home of Emma and Matt Read is beloved in the South Australian town of Willunga, with several locals having lived in the bungalow over its history.
Emma was sent the real estate listing of the home 12 years ago by her sister Sarah Hall – fellow stylist and co-owner of Read&Hall – and it was love at first sight.
‘It was similar to the house we grew up in, so its bones already felt familiar and like home,’ Emma says.
The house retains many of its original features including fireplaces, high ceilings, and the exposed brick kitchen wall, but has slowly evolved to better suit the couple and their now three children Tuesday 13, Reggie 10, and Abel, 7.
The first update was removing walls and adding windows and skylights to bring in added natural light. Larger renovations were completed in 2018, when the entire rear section of the home, including kitchen, bathroom, laundry, living space was reconfigured within the original footprint.
‘We wanted it to have a large mudroom for all the life detritus, and added as many doors to the outside as we could so the house connected to the outdoor spaces,’ says Emma.
Naturally, being a vintage seller and stylist for her business Read&Hall, Emma has beautifully curated the interiors to feature beloved pieces from around the globe. No space is under-utilised, with nearly every wall covered in paintings, art prints, books, or exposed shelving revealing beautifully mismatched ceramics.
Dulux Vivid White and Porter’s Paints Liberty Green are the base colour of the layered interiors, although the family aren’t afraid to experiment with different shades or styles whenever the mood strikes.
‘It’s not fussy or precious in any way; everything gets used and moved around quite a lot,’ says Emma. ‘If we want to paint a wall, we paint a wall. Nothing is overly planned or agonised over.’
For those seeking to create a similarly layered and loved home, Emma’s styling advice is to follow your intuition and allow time for the space to naturally develop.
‘Your house doesn’t have to look like a house on Instagram or in a magazine,’ she says. ‘It’s okay to just let it be an ever evolving reflection of who you currently are and who you’re becoming. It’s okay to play and make mistakes and just try things.’