Last month, I was thrilled to introduce a new blog series – “Country Homes Around The World” – where every month, I’ll be spotlighting an inspirational country home and homemaker from around the world.
For April, I’m inviting you into the beautiful residence and life of Jenny Rose-Innes, author of interior design book “Australian Designers at Home.” Jenny currently lives in Australia by way of South Africa and first started her blog “The Lime Walk” as a way of documenting her life in a new country and keeping in touch with her friends and family. Among the topics she shares with her international followers is her love of gardening, her exciting travels and the renovation projects she carries out with her husband, Michael – including the development of her own new home.
I had the chance to ask Jenny a few questions about this home, and what life in the country is like for her.
What part of the world are you in, and how would you describe this part of the country?
Our house is two years old and is located in The Southern Highlands New South Wales, Australia. We originally lived on the property next door! We wanted to buy this property – the one we live on now – except it had a very old, ugly house on it. After making an offer, we planned to develop the house for sale as we had no intentions of moving at the time. But in the end, we wound up selling our old house (the sale had the longest settlement!) to live in the house we were building on the new property. Fortunately, our buyers agreed to allow us to finish construction of the new house before moving out of our old. The new house took 18 months to build, and we moved in two years ago.
Tell us a little bit about the character of your home. How did it come to you?
The house is finished in weather board and built on a timber frame. It has a classic American/colonial feel with an Australian flavour thrown in. The interior is incredibly detailed; our carpenters spent many months creating it from scratch. For example, the fireplaces were created from photographs!
Who do you share your home with?
I share the house with my husband, Michael, and our two dogs, Fergus (a Schnauzer) and Penny (a Shihtzu).
What is your favourite room or space in the home and why?
I have many favourite rooms – we use all of the the house every day. Our large sitting room links the kitchen/study/keeping room area to the bedrooms, so we walk through our sitting room many times a day. We also have an enclosed veranda, and I love this space as it looks directly onto the garden. I love to sit here and read, have morning tea/coffee, etc.
How did you create spaces for family life?
We sit in the sitting room in the evenings and watch television, and we also enjoy the keeping room – which is just off the kitchen – many times during the day, to take phone calls or to sit by the fire for a while in between cooking. My husband’s study is alongside the keeping room. He spends most of his time in there, so it’s nice the house feels connected.
How would you describe your style of decorating?
I suppose my style is traditional but not structured. I have a lot of things collected over the years, and I love putting it all together. I have used quite a few chintzes in this house, and I LOVE colour.
What is your favourite season at home, and how do you celebrate?
My favourite season is definitely autumn – I love the beauty of the colours! We don’t necessarily celebrate this, although I love bringing branches of autumn colour and berries into the house when I can find them.
Any special tips for creating the feeling of “home?”
I think “home” can be created by using old, worn objects. I love to use woolen blankets draped over chairs to make a room look cosy. I love antiques – not necessarily valuable – but old pieces that have been knocked about a bit – they add character and comfort. I also love the sound of clocks ticking and the calm they create.
What does “country home” mean to you?
“Country home” to me means dogs, fires, warm colour palettes, good food, fresh garden flowers brought inside and views over the garden.
You’re a successful author – can you tell us a bit about your book and how you discovered your passion for interior design?
I was always fascinated and drawn to interior design from a very young age. It was when I met some local Australian designers that I thought it would be fun visiting them in their own homes and writing about them. I adored the entire process and have now almost finished my second book, “British Designers at Home.”
Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous home with me, Jenny!
Thank you so much for including me!
All photography by Jenny Rose-Innes.
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Interested in being featured in my new “Country Homes Around The World” series? Let me know in the comments below!