Sisters are doing it for themselves

Over the last few years I've noticed house magazines featuring more and more homes owned by single women, often single mothers.

I see this as a hopeful sign - broken families aren't ideal, but it is great to see that women can flourish under the circumstances.

Take Gillian, a single mother of two, a florist, caterer and stylist. Doesn't she look like a laid-back, cool kind of mum?

Here, her house is shown just 10 months after moving in. In that time she's repainted the entire house, ripped out carpets, knocked out walls and put in a brand new kitchen.

I love the elegant, French feel Gillian has created in her home, with lovely little touches such as the window seat and the blackboard. Her look is classic, but fresh.

I adore this kitchen - light-filled and so warm, inviting and homely looking, in a fresh kind of way. Gillian said she was aiming for a 'French diary look'.

Clearly, Gillian's home is one of her creative outlets. She says, "I'm always changing things and moving things around. It's like an ongoing project." Love the console table, the arrangement of family happy snaps, and the blue and white ginger jars.

This is Gillian's decorating philosophy: "I do things and buy things because I love them, not because they happen to be fashionable or stylish at the time. I think that's how you create a home that truly reflects who you are." Couldn't agree more.
Here (below) you get a glimpse of some old shutters Gillian picked up at an auction and placed on her wall as artwork.

A French tapestry livens up the dining room.

Gillian has incorporated lots of storage in to her kid's rooms. Smart woman!

Gillian's serene, neutral bedroom looks like a haven to get away from it all. How special to have a fireplace in your bedroom. Great place to lean a beautiful big old mirror, like this one....

Love the gorgeous, textured taupe bedspread.

Gillian has done a quick-fix in the bathroom. The tiles on the vanity were a navy and orange floral. She painted the tiles in the shower, and retiled the vanity with tumbled marble tiles (my favourite) to give the bathroom a lift until she tackles a full renovation.

Like most people with a passion and talent for decorating, it seems that Gillian had 'big plans' for the bathroom, and also intended on installing french doors in the dining room.
I'd love to know how it turned out. In fact, I've asked Home Beautiful, which featured this home two and a half years ago, to get in touch with Gillian and find out what she ended up doing. Let's hope they do!

My own 2009 house projects are coming along, a little. The fabric to put lose covers on my couch seats has been ordered, so once that is in, they are off to the upholsters. It will be so nice to just chuck the covers in the wash when they are dirty from sticky little fingers. I've also visited a couple of door shops, and will be sending off some photos and measurements to one of them to get a rough quote on french doors. Hopefully it won't be jaw-droppingly expensive!
On another note, my dear friend Jacinta has moved back to Adelaide, after 10 years living in all the hip places of Melbourne. She's planning to buy herself a small apartment, so when that happens I'll be lending her a hand with furnishing and decorating it, so that should be fun!

All images from Australian Home Beautiful
Best wishes,

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