Baz’s Pet-friendly Home for The Living Room

BDB hero

Take a young and funky family with a baby AND a cat, a small space and a desire for a revamp. Add in the MacGiver of interiors – Barry Du Bois – and the result is a playful and inspired space for all its inhabitants to enjoy. 

Barry Du Bois is at it again, working his magic to transform small spaces. Only this time there’s cats. Okay – only one cat, but still…. It’s impressive. Our fave hero with a drill has created a versatile space perfectly pitched for the little family it holds. Here’s how:

BEFORE…

THE BRIEF

To create a vibrant + eclectic space for Matt, Stefanie + Harry AND Dora (the cat). The challenge was to make it adaptable. It had to be a play space for little Harry, a space for Dora to explore and to easily adapt to an adult aesthetic for when Matt and Stef wanted to entertain. Baz increased its versatility through some cunning décor decisions…

“When you’re designing for a young family you have to factor in that life is changing rapidly for them,” Baz says. “Young parents often focus on the here and now. With the layout, furniture choices + colours, I have allowed space for subtle changes as the family grows.”

AFTER!

THE PALETTE

This room achieves a deliciously spacious feel for a small space. And yet it’s warm and cosy and inviting. Pairing a predominantly monochromatic palette with pops of colour creates a visually arresting space without it becoming overpowering. The introduction of recycled timber and leather into this aesthetic lends it a sophisticated edge as well as working with Stefanie’s favourite elbow chair.

“I chose colours to highlight the personal items in the space,” Baz says, “and beautiful textures to enhance the sense of warmth.”

Featuring the Zanui Erwin Sofa looking chic…

THE USE OF SPACE

Baz has created three distinct zones within the one room to allow the Meilak family to be able to use it in different ways simultaneously. Individual furniture pieces become the focus for each area – the sofa, the pendant lighting, and the TV unit for the lounge, the dining and the play spaces respectively.

“The dining table really gave the dining nook a sophisticated focal point and with the black Eames chairs,” Baz says. “It really spoke to Stefanie and Matt’s groovy personalities.”

Groovy, eh? 🙂

The Hemingway Pagan Trunk adds texture and a pop of white, opening up this space…

THE SHELVING

Loving your TV is not a sin. But finding a way to work it into your décor can be tricky. We love what Baz has done here, adding shelving that runs in line with the top + bottom of the TV trims.

“The colour and personal features create a prominent wall arrangement stealing the focus away from the TV without dominating the space.”

THE FEATURE WALL

Accentuating the natural light gives this room a casual breezy ambience. The feature wall assists with this, creating a striking juxtaposition of light and dark.

“The black wall framed the natural light as well as highlighting the personal items displayed on the shelving.”

Create your own light installation with a cluster of pendants – the Mantra Pendant Light from Cougar Lighting adds striking metallic accents to the ceiling space.

THE TV UNIT RE-HACK

After work, Matt comes home and spends some time with his son. The two of them play together for an hour or so while Stef prepares dinner. The TV unit re-hack is just a little bit to die for. It adds a uniquely personal touch to the décor. Equally Dora can enjoy this piece.

“I wanted to create a combined play/storage area for little Harry and Dora where they could be together but separate at the same time,” Baz says. “And the TV unit provided the perfect opportunity. I remember going to the circus as a kid and the tigers would be on trucks in giant boxes with bars at the front. The circus contact and timber dowels were a fun way to recreate this memory.

It allows Matt and Harry to play before dinner, easily adapting to an adult space when it needs to through its clever storage. The toys disappear into the drawers and the ball pit is hidden behind the velvet curtains.”

The wood grain, wallpaper and recycled timber trims make it the perfect partner for the marble dining table and dark chairs. Plus it creates a space to showcase personal pictures. Lovely!

The TV Unit hack! So. Darn. Cute!

THE CAT

“Thanks to some consultation with Dr Chris, I knew that cats like to live on different levels,” Baz says. “Opposite the activity centre, I created a climbing wall from recycled timber and leather belts, allowing Dora a space all her own and a safe haven from little Harry’s love.”

BDBproduct2

BAZ’S TIPS FOR SMALL SPACES
  • When space is tight, always ask yourself, how can I increase the versatility of this room? The dining room now doubles as a library. It saves space. And nothing warms a room like a wall of books!
  • Search out warm textured furniture pieces on slender legs to enhance the sense of space in more compact rooms.
  • Frame the natural light – it gives your space an extra dimension. Here I’ve offset that natural light with the black wall and shelving.
BDB7

Mastering monochrome: the Zanui Connie Black Tray Table pairs with Pepper Wood Hurricane Lantern (Set of 3), likewise the Zanui Erwin Sofa with the Duo Throw and the Candy Stripe Cushion.

BAZ’S FAVOURITE PART?

“I have to admit I love reuse things and recycling makes me happy, so the Hacked TV unit was one of my favourite parts of this rescue.” We agree.

THE RESULT

“I would call this look: “Home designed for Stefanie, Mathew, Harry and Dora!”, Baz says. “If you watch a lot of TV reno shows you would probably call it “Shabby Contemporary something”!” Cheeky, cheeky! 🙂

SO WHAT DOES BAZ LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS KIND OF WORK?

“I love the big reveal – I’m always wondering, do they love what they see? Is it them? It’s so exciting. I get so pumped. My favourite comment is “I would never have done this but this is so me”. I just love that.”

Adorable. Well – we approve. Now to get the axe and hack into that TV unit. He did say axe, didn’t he?

Shop the look here.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.