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From humble worker's cottage to stunning Hamptons style home

September 06, 2019 4 Comments

Over the past ten years or so, I've had the pleasure of working with my client on this gorgeous little Queenslander cottage. In the same family since it was built, my client bought it from the original owner's estate, and it was in almost original condition. And by original I mean it still had an outside loo, the kitchen consisted of little more than a sink and a single cupboard, the curtains disintegrated at the get the idea. But the owner could see past the sad exterior and underneath the sickly pink fibro cladding lay a lovely old cottage ripe for a revamp.

hamptons style living room in queenslander cottage

After: The home is a petite two-bedroom cottage, and as the living areas were on the small side, I opted for soft blues and whites to really open up the space. To add Hamptons style to the interior, I used natural materials - jute, seagrass, rattan - and kept the palette light and airy. The Malawi chair and cane side table were perfect, as their open form kept things from looking too heavy. Every interior needs plants, and this lovely Cymbidium orchid worked perfectly. And of course, I never finish a room without artwork - it really is the icing on the decorating cake. Here I used my White Fern Wall art print on a duck-egg blue background. The solid background colour really pops against the white walls without overpowering the room.

hamptons style living room makeover of clayfield worker's cottage

Down the hallway, you can see the owner's gorgeous Moravian star, which is stunning when the light hits the faceted glass. I added my Great Blue Heron wall art print, and the blues, greys and whites in this artwork work really well in this space.


Clayfield worker's cottage before

The owner had some beautiful vintage furniture, but as the room was small it was a little overpowering. I took everything out and added pieces back one-by-one, starting with the essentials and only including what the room could comfortably hold without looking too cluttered. These antique pieces are now sitting pretty in the owner's new home - wait until you see it! 


Hamptons style kitchen in Clayfield worker's cottage

Hamptons style kitchen renovation of worker's cottage in Clayfield

hamptons style kitchen renovation of queenslander cottage

This kitchen was first renovated around ten years ago and still looks just as good today. We went with classic shaker-style cabinetry and the metal inserts in the pantry doors were the perfect way to add interest and style. The gorgeous French cafe table and chairs are antique and just stunning. The only update needed here was a new splashback, using classic white subway tiles.

To compliment the owner's collection of classic blue and white ginger jars, I chose my Fern Frond II wall art print, and the black frame ties in beautifully with the black table and chairs. I love using touches of black in interiors and although this room is small, the black really adds to the overall look.


hamptons style makeover of clayfield worker's cottage kitchen before

This photo of the kitchen before renovation isn't even showing the room at it's worst - believe it or not. Behind the boarded-up area was an original fireplace and chimney. Sadly, it was too dangerous to keep and had to be removed - brick by brick. The bricks were salvaged and have since been reused in a heritage renovation of another Queenslander in Brisbane, which was great news. 

hamptons style bathroom renovation of queenslander worker's cottage

Sadly, I don't have any photos of the bathroom before the renovation, but just use your imagination and picture this room with a concrete wash tub - and no inside toilet. This was the first room the owner tackled for obvious reasons, and again, the classic style has held up really well over the years. Only a fresh coat of paint, some accessories and a pair of my framed Oceana prints in Denim were needed to brighten up this room.

Hamptons style bedroom renovation in clayfield worker's cottage

The bedrooms are quite a good size for a small home, and only needed styling to be ready for sale.  We went with a blue palette for this room, with a touch of black in the faux bamboo bedside tables. I used custom shades on these stunning ginger jar lamps, and paired them with my Erian Seaweed prints in a champagne silver frame. 


worker's cottage hamptons style bedroom makeover before

Again, the owner had some lovely antique furniture, but I chose to keep only the armoire and kept everything else light and bright. The room already had great bones, with the original vj walls and recycled hardwood floors.

hamptons style bedroom makeover in queenslander cottage

hamptons style bedroom makeover of workers cottage in clayfield

I opted for a different look in bedroom two, with soft tones of blush and natural. I used the owner's beautiful vintage bedside tables, and added greenery, accessories and artwork to layer in the decorative elements. My Fan Palm and Tropical Leaf Wall art prints in a champagne silver frame work perfectly in this room.

hamptons style outdoor living area in clayfield workers cottage

The back deck is definitely the main living space in this home, and it's the alfresco entertaining area. So what better accessories than a bar cart, blue and white ice bucket and ginger jars, and greenery? I also added my Blue Banana Leaf wall art prints in a rich brown bamboo frame, for a touch of British colonial meets the Hamptons style.

And lastly, here's the biggest makeover of them all - the exterior. While all looks gorgeous now, it wasn't always that way!


Hamptons style worker's cottage exterior makeover

How's this for a warm welcome? This home was a labour of love for the owner, and look how lovely the exterior looks with a fresh coat of paint, and that feature front door. I kept the blue theme going and custom mixed this lovely soft tone, which took the exterior from dark and dingy, to fresh and inviting. So pretty!

Brace yourselves for the before:

queenslander worker's cottage exterior before renovation

Can you even believe it's the same house? The sad exterior hid the lovely original features and I'm so glad the owner could see past this rather awful first impression. Built in the late 1800s, she's now ready for the next hundred years of life - in style. I was really thrilled to also have this home featured on the Home Beautiful website - you can check out their Hamptons Cottage Makeover story for more.

Do you need help updating your home, or are you wanting to add some Hamptons style to your interior? You can check out my blog for more inspiration, or shop our great range of wall art prints for every home. 

If you'd like to create this look for yourself, here are all of the artworks used in this lovely home. Happy decorating!

4 Responses


June 05, 2020

Loved it, in the process of renovating my little half duplex and love the Hamptons look as suits tropical north Qld. Got quite a few ideas from this post. Thank you


June 05, 2020

Stunning home – so beautiful

I love the lounge cushions and was wondering where they are from – especially the patterned ones ?


June 05, 2020

So beautiful. Great job. I love the colour of the walls outside. Can you tell me the colour of your walls on verandah walls outside and if it was Dulux or another brand?

Outdoor Furniture Melbourne
Outdoor Furniture Melbourne

March 16, 2020

I am obsessed with Gray or soft blue right now. Stunning living room!

Outdoor Furniture Melbourne

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