This weeks tour features a US stately national treasure revived for a young family.


I love a home with history and very much believe in keeping heritage homes as they are, however we live in the 20th Century and we want our homes to reflect this especially when it comes to warmth and comfort which older homes were not built for. As I look around my own suburb, many character homes are being shifted off sections or demolished to make way for new town houses and apartment blocks. If you live in a heritage home and want to bring it up to the 20th Century, insulating walls, floors and ceilings, try to keep its charm and character intact, don’t go overboard and modernise it until its unrecognisable, move house if that is your aim or we will have none of these charming homes left.

Lisa Tharp the designer behind the new interior of this ex State Governer’s home has respected the importance of keeping the home’s character yet understood it needs to reflect the young family that now reside there. Small windows can often make these homes seem dark and dingy, however by using a white palette for the walls, it can dramatically lighten up a space. Lisa has combined antique and modern furniture in her makeover, honouring the homes history, yet creating a charming, casual, comfortable home for its current young family.These lovely images are by photographer Michael J Lee.


Above: Painting the floorboards in a diamond effect retains the original floorboards, yet makes a statement in the hall/entranceway

Above: Marble as a splash back in a kitchen can look amazing, if you can’t afford the real thing there are some very convincing porcelain marble tiles around. Open shelving adds charm and is a current trend

Above: Take advantage of high stud ceilings and hang a chandelier above a dining table

Above: Keeping the blinds/curtains the same colour as the walls will make the space appear bigger and prevent it being broken up

Above: The perfect reading nook 

Above: Don’t shy away from modern artwork, it can make a wonderful impact on an older home especially bold pieces 

Above: I love the mix of old and new, this military style
 chest of drawers pays homage to this home’s history

Above: It is important to retain original features such as fireplaces. In this instance the designer has picked out the black of the marble and used this colour for the bold wall lights above

Above: Original sash style windows have been retained yet because of the white palette used throughout, the rooms appear light filled

Above: Window seats retain character, however the bamboo Roman blinds and use of contemporary textiles give this corner a fresh, modern look

Above: A modern take on furnishing the bedroom, however character has been retained by the panelled walls behind the bed

Photos by Michael J Lee images via Houzz


I hope you have enjoyed this charming home, I for one am in love with it and it has most definitely inspired me. I intend to refresh my home this summer and I am going to have the entire interior painted white and replace my curtains and blinds with white, breezy linen. I have white walls at the moment but it’s Resene Rice Cake which has a yellow/grey tint to it and no longer does it for me so looking at Resene White or Resene one eighth black white.
Have a wonderful week, wherever you are in the world.