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modern provincial living room with beige provincial sofa and blue and white cushions

Beaconsfield Project: A Family Home Goes Provincial

Today I want to take you inside my most recent project: A modern provincial interior design scheme executed for a fabulous family in Beaconsfield.

One of the things I love most about working as an interior designer is the variety. One week I’m designing a moody coastal scheme for a client in St Kilda, the next I’m doing a colourful Scandi look for a couple in Chirnside Park. And then I’m off to oversee a full Hamptons reno in Sandringham.

I know some designers tend to specialise in one particular style, but it’s never been the case for me. I work all sorts of designs across all sorts of homes across Melbourne and beyond. And so I’m always dreaming up a scheme that’s completely different to the last. I actually love that the work is so varied. I think I’d go batty if every single job was the same look and feel as the one before it.

This most recent project was an exciting one for a number of reasons. The fact that the clients were absolutely amazing was just one of them. Scroll on for a closer look at finished rooms and I’ll tell you a bit more about them too.

modern provincial living room by melbourne interior designer chris carroll

Merging Classic with Contemporary

One of the things I noticed straight off the bat about this home is how much character it had. There were great structural moments that told a story. The home is located in a rural setting, surrounded by nature. And so when I saw moments like exposed brick inside, I knew I had to showcase it in the right way. What’s the point in living in an older home like this if you’re going to make it feel like a shiny new display home?

So balance was key. It was about taking the best bits of the home’s history, and meshing them with contemporary design touches. The clients loved a provincial scheme, and in this home it was going to work wonders. They had a number of existing pieces in a provincial style already, and so I worked with those. Not all old furniture was kept, of course, but if you can work with existing decor I think it’s wise to do so. Waste not, want not!

Buying everything brand new is so often unnecessary. I call my approach to design ‘showhome style with a personalised twist’, and it’s those older pieces and keepsakes that give the interior a personalised sense of soul. And so often these older moments just have to be highlighted in the right way.

Below you can see a prime example of leaving the brick around the fireplace but modernising everything else. That brick is the star of the show and I love it. You’ll notice this approach further down in one of the dining rooms too.

brick fireplace in modern provincial sitting room by melbourne interior designer chris carroll modern provincial dining room with provincial hutch and large vase of flower stems modern provincial dining room with sheer curtains exposed brick fireplace and hamptons style kitchen cabinetry

Big Changes Made a Big Difference

As soon as my foot hit the slate when I walked in the door of this home I knew that it was the first change I had to make. New flooring throughout was priority one, but there were some other big changes too. The internal walls received a fresh coat of paint. They were a muddy grey before and the colour was really weighing the rooms down. And so a warm white was recommended.

Outside of ripping up that slate and giving the walls a lick of paint, I also specified roman blinds for some of the windows along with sheer curtains for others. They’ve softened the space wonderfully and the light that comes in through the sheers is so gorgeously filtered now. There’s such a nice ambience to the home that just wasn’t there before.

You’ll notice the beautiful oak flooring that went down where the slate used to be, and it’s probably my fave part of the transformation. So sleek with just the right amount of polish. And yet there’s enough wood grain present to still have it retain a sense of rusticity and character.

Once flooring, walls, and window treatments were done, it was onto furniture and decor. We kept existing pieces like the dining table you see above, but paired it with new dining chairs and decorative moments on top. In the sitting room at the top of the post, the coffee table and sofa were already there, and so I simply sourced a rug, armchairs, art and decor to work with it.

Because this was a modern provincial interior design scheme, it was about pairing obvious provincial pieces with less traditional ones. I also kept the base colour palette fairly muted and worked in some soft blue and green accents to add interest.

french provincial sideboard with tray of flowers on top in dining room modern provincial living room with beige sectional sofa and sheer curtains

Knowing when to Pull Back

It’s so tempting when you’re making over a home like this to completely modernise it. But as I already said above, I really wanted to let some character moments shine. And so in the master bedroom below, I left the mantle and windows as they were. I know, it would have been so easy to white them all out with paint. But I think it would have been a pity to go that far.

In a home like this, I wanted the clients to walk into rooms and feel they were modern, light, bright and aspirational. But I also wanted to leave some of the older pieces so that there’s a nod to the old home amidst the new. I mean, these pieces have been in place for decades. I really wanted to leave some things untouched.

The reading nook below is a fave moment of the clients and I’m equally in love with it. There’s actually two of those large armchairs side by side and it’s the most amazing spot to read a book and sip a wine. And as you’ll also spot, I left in loads of the clients existing memories like family photos.

I hate walking into homes with no sense of who lives there, so we had to showcase these memories and pay respect to them. These are the pieces a lot of stylists take out of homes when they photograph them, but I like my portfolio to represent real life, real people, real spaces.

modern provincial master bedroom with reading nook in bay window chris carroll tlc interiors melbourne interior designers chris bed styling with pink cable knit throw

Need some Help Making your Home Amazing?

As you can see by my grin above, I’m absolutely in my element when I’m getting hands-on in client homes. To see the vision for this property realised has made me happier than I can explain. And to have fabulous clients who let me work my magic on it is even better. When the clients trust you to execute the design, it’s very rewarding. When they don’t trust you, it’s actually very difficult.

I was very lucky to have clients who were so open to my ideas and suggestions, and it’s resulted in a home we all love.

If you want to find out more about how I can help your home realise its full potential, click here to discover more about my services. You might not want a modern provincial interior design scheme for your place, but I do any and all styles. So we can find a look you’ll love!

And don’t hesitate to drop me a comment below if you have any questions.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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13 Responses

  1. I completely agree about the photos I have a baby grand piano that has a range of family photos on it. When I sold a home so many people commented positively on the look of the photos on the piano. I think it’s also about how you style the photos doing some in black and white and coordinating the look of the frames.

  2. Just wondering why did you remove the slate flooring?
    It would be great to see before and after photos, let the photos tell the story.
    Just a suggestion.
    Thanks for sharing your talent.
    Kind regards

  3. I love the whole house , just beautiful! Can I ask where the vase & the bud flowers are from in the dining room? Thank you

  4. Every bit is beautiful and fresh, well done. I really love the fireplace in the dining room. Are the bricks varnished.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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