PEACE and tranquillity is the order of the day at interior designer Jennifer Forestier’s classic Yarralumla home.
“I like neutral shades that are warm, not clinical,” she says. “A good way to add interest is with texture, often more so than colour and pattern.”
Jennifer says that when she bought the house 11 years ago, everything was “depressingly heavy”.
“The house had great bones, and didn’t need extending but I changed the orientation to maximise the north-facing walls, adding in windows and doors to change the access to the garden,” she says.
“It was basically rebuilt from the inside.”
Connectivity between interior and exterior is important in a home, says Jennifer, and the layout of her home wraps around the pool and terrace with sliding doors for access on every side.
“It’s a very good inside-outside house, which I love, and it’s a great house to be in, both summer and winter,” she says. “I can close the blinds at the front of the house in summer and it feels like being in a resort.”
Although the renovation was done 11 years ago, the home still looks as modern and fresh as if it was just completed.
“That’s because it was done with a classic modern eye,” says Jennifer. “I believe that doing your home is a long-term thing, and that it should stand the test of time.
“It’s a big investment and you need to love both its functionality and form for years to come. I try and steer clear of fads.”
With bathrooms and kitchens, the big-ticket items, it’s particularly important that the design is something you love, something classic, says Jennifer, because it has to survive the inevitable taste shift.
“I like a classic style, a little antique mixed with modern,” she says. “But it’s all about longevity and quality. I’m more interested in value for money over getting the best price. It has to last.
“For me, I only get things that I really love, and if they break or wear out I take time to replace them.”
Storage is key for a tidy home, and Jennifer says she uses custom joinery as much as possible.
“If you can’t store things away then you’ll never have a clutter-free, tidy home,” she says.
“Whenever my clients ask about feng shui, I explain that it’s built on the principle of no clutter; unless you can achieve that there’s little point thinking about it.
“It does take effort to keep it that way, but it’s worth it.”