Anna’s right at home amid the history

HOUSE TOUR Photos by Silas Brown

“ALL my family love this house, the feeling of warmth it gives, the sense that it has its own history, with our history and changes to it, intertwined,” says Anna Prosser.

Anna, who with husband Bob, has lived in their 1930s Forrest home since 1994.

The house has had only three owners. In building it, the original owner sourced leftover timber and bricks from the site of Old Parliament House. The exterior was originally painted the same colour as bus shelters in Canberra in the 1930s, again using leftover paint.

“The house has an old country feel to it as well as plenty of contemporary living spaces to suit all our needs,” says Anna.

“When we bought it in 1994, the first thing I needed to do was to bring more light in, so all the wallpaper from the ‘70s had to go, carpets lifted, floors sanded back and skylights put in.

“My design style is influenced by my Swedish heritage, especially upstairs, an addition to the house about five years ago, where light streams in and timber floors are the background to family antiques and Swedish designer fabrics.

“Swedish and English antiques are liberally mixed with IKEA furniture and effects throughout the house, I think contemporary design blends beautifully with antiques.

“Swedish tradition has it that dull copper/brass is a sign of an unloved house. So there is a sheen on the copper and brass inherited from my grandparents; well, as often as I can manage it! We grew up as children polishing brass and copper, especially before a festival such as Christmas or Easter.

“Minimalism is not something I relate to, the things we have reflect who we are and where we have been and come from. There are plenty of books, which we struggle to find space for as we love reading.

“Something I hear often from friends and tradesmen alike is that coming in to our house feels like coming ‘home’. I love those comments and am happy to have created an environment that nurtures a sense of well-being and invites people in.”

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