15 September 2022   

Here we talk to two well-known local interior trend setters who share their inspiration from the local area, and trends for family friendly living in style.

A touch of natural wonder offers interior inspiration


With building a new home comes the excitement of gliding through a warm and welcoming interior that is new and luxurious.


For many it’s also exciting to make that home your own by filling it with special touches that are inspired by the local area and environment.


There’s no shortage of that inspiration within reach around Forest Reach.Nestled in the foot of the Illawarra Escarpment, just 10 minutes’ drive from the beach, the natural inspiration for your home is everywhere.


Here we talk to two of the Illawarra’s well-known interior trend setters who guide the tone for the area.


Acclaimed and award-winning interior designer, Gonia Chylinska, of Atelier Interior Design Studio, and Maxine Walker, interior design guru of the renowned boutique homewares store and art gallery, 55 Parrots, share their advice on what to consider when fitting out and styling your coastal haven at Forest Reach.


Durability and adaptability can be beautiful


Pieces of furniture that have a dual purpose creates more space and a lighter feel to your home,’ said Maxine. ‘For example, our popular reclaimed wooden tree stump stools last a lifetime and can be used as a coffee table, spare dining chair, or foot stool.


Gonia agreed in durability for growing families, but practical can also mean beautiful.


‘When it comes to the kitchen, use of matt finishes on cupboards that are fingerprint proof is helpful,’ said Gonia. ‘Brands like Fenix are hard wearing and functional, but can still look and feel luxurious and stylish.’

 Timber stools


Sustainability echoes in natural and reclaimed materials


‘All of our tables are made of reclaimed timber. We stock leather chairs and lounges crafted using rattan, which is like a fast-growing cane,’ said Maxine.

‘People are thinking more about their impact on our environment. We’re going back to a love of the artisan, selecting long lasting and handmade, one-off pieces which are beautiful and sustainable,’ continued Maxine. 


Natural materials resonate for many of Gonia’s clients as well, signalling a move away from the minimalistic monochrome of recent interior trends.


‘Finishes that are natural, hand crafted, organic and earthy have made a comeback,’ said Gonia. ‘Living Brass finishes and tapware has become more admired, a diversion from the black matt finishes dominating the market recently. 


‘Very popular décor now includes raw, textural ceramics, organic rounded shapes, wool, flax linen, and any unique pieces that use reclaimed materials and have that imperfect look,’ said Gonia.

Woven white leather chair with throw and cushion

Image courtesy: Atelier Interior Design Studio

Bespoke artwork from the region inspire connection


‘I started this art gallery because this region is well-known for established artists and a creative spirit. I wanted to showcase these wonderful sculptors and artists and the talent that this widely known within the Illawarra and South Coast,’ said Maxine.


‘Locals love seeing this region and our nature reflected in the art in their homes. For example, locals have fallen in love with painters like Kate Broadfoot, Tanya Stubbles and sculptor Kate Stehr, whose works incorporate sustainable materials and a local focus.’


Natural tones and layered furnishing set mood for a warm and inviting home


‘We’re moving on from greys and blacks with their very minimalistic and cold feel,’ said Gonia. ‘Many of my clients enjoy the warmer tones and lots of texture of throws, cushions, and upholstered furniture, in beiges, caramels, terracotta, and clay.’


‘There is an interest in scents and home fragrance to create emotional connection with the space and a feeling of closeness, because that’s what home is all about.’


A place where family memories are made


Land releases for Forest Reach are happening throughout late 2022. To start your transition to the family future you want - learn more about what this new community has to offer - register your interest today. 


Register your interest


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