Photo credit: all photos with permission from Shelle - find her on Instagram at @thebargainfarmhouse
If there's one thing worth doing on Instagram, it's checking out homes in the country you don't live in. Here in Britain, we've plenty of gorgeous homes in various styles: from charming country cottages like this one, to stylish newbuilds like this and handsome Victorian terraces like this one. But have you ever seen what the Americans are up to? Or the Norwegians? Or the Australians!? Their approaches are all so completely different, and while we all borrow little bits of each other's tastes and interior design styles, you can spot a 'non-UK' home a mile off.
One such gorgeous home is Shelle's - an achingly beautiful farmhouse in Australia. Shelle and her husband bought their property on eBay (you'll have to read on to find out more!), and it's fair to say they've already done an exquisite job of turning it into a family home. The bright airy spaces, sheaths of sunlight and swathes of natural textures combine to make a space that looks very practical and desirable. I caught up with Shelle to find out how she's done it, where she shops and a whole lot more...
Hi Shelle - first can you introduce yourself to everyone and tell us a bit about your home?
Hi, I’m Shelle - I’m a mum of three and I live with my hubby Kris and our 3 children Isabelle, Olivia and William. We purchased a demountable office building off eBay that we are converting into our dream farmhouse.
I’m a city girl originally but moved to the country just 40 mins north west of one of Australia’s famous beaches - Noosa.
We are renovating our home on a budget and using mostly items that I’ve found on eBay, Gumtree or auction sites. I’m always on the hunt for a bargain and I tend to give things a new lease of life with chalk paint. We also wanted to prove to ourselves that we could achieve a beautiful home without spending a fortune.
Wow! So your home isn't 'typical' for where you live in Australia?!
I wouldn’t say our home is a typical Aussie home, although there are a lot of people who think outside the box for builds here in Australia. Traditionally, it’s a brick 4 bedroom veneered home, or in the state, I live in a traditional Queenslander. I think buying a demountable office building off eBay and converting it into a home is a bit out of the box for any country, though.
How would you define your interior style, and where do you shop for your home?
I would describe my style as country farmhouse industrial meets eclectic with a little boho vibe. I tend to buy off eBay, Gumtree, auction sites, second hand stores and Facebook Selling sites... I also shop in Kmart too!!! I love Kmart, although it’s a shop where most people buy their homewares... But with your own design flare, it’s amazing how things can look different. I’m always on the hunt for bargains but saying that I do love to support small businesses too.
Which is your favourite room and why?
The room I love most in our home is our kitchen. I'm proud of the fact we could actually make a second hand kitchen bought on Gumtree look great! But if there’s one room I’d like to change out, it would be our bathroom - it was the first room we renovated and I think it’s a little too modern for my style.
I love your white sofas - is it as hard to keep them clean as everyone says? Especially with pets?
My sofas are a neutral colour and white - they are the Ektorp sofas from Ikea, although I got them for a steal on Gumtree in mint condition. I wash mine every two weeks. It’s awesome how the covers come off, and to give the white one a bit more of a spruce up, I throw in a bleaching tablet. I also give them a wipe over with a damp cloth daily. I absolutely love them!
Can you tell me a bit about the bedhead your husband made?
My bedhead was made from old hardwood timber my dad had from lying around from a previous job (he’s a structural landscaper). My husband cut them to size and sanded and stained them back, and nailed them onto a frame he built. It’s one of my favourite things in my home because my hubby and son made it for me.
Where is your church pew from in your hallway?
I bought my church pew off Gumtree from people that were converting a chapel into a home in a small town not far from us. I absolutely love shopping for antique vintage items. I try and pop a little bit of vintage history in every room - I love how the pieces tell a story.
Where do you get your design/style inspiration from?
I get my design style inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest, and I just absolutely love Joanna Gaines - she’s my spirit animal.
If you could travel back in time to when you first moved in, what advice would you give yourself?
If I could travel back in time, I would change the floor plan... I would flip the floor plan around so our kitchen & living area looks over the entertainment and swimming pool. And if money were no object, I would have all the window frames changed to a different colour!
But my advice to anyone renovating is to live in the space - if possible - before you renovate. It gives you a sense of where you want things to go. I love our home but I always think rooms could have been swapped around if I just held out that little bit longer.
Shelle, thank you so much for so generously sharing your home with all of us. :) It's been a pleasure to nosey around!
What do you think of Shelle's farmhouse? Do you have a favourite room in particular?