When you think about adding comfort to your home, what comes to mind? Soft furnishings?…
Design-lovers—ever wanted to peek inside the home of a property stylist? Enter: Flynn Dovey.
Allow me to generalise a little, but I find there are two kinds of people in the world—those who hold onto the past and those who embrace the future. For example, collectors cherish things of the past for sentimental reasons while modern minimalists focus on the shiny and new.
Of course, there is everything in between, but if you had to force yourself into one camp or the other, in which would you sit? Visiting Flynn Dovey in her home in Watson made me ponder about this—not because of her home or the décor but because of the perspective she shared with Cass and I.
Flynn shares her home with a family of five—three kids as well as two very cute and excitable doggies. Flynn thinks the family outgrew the house way before their labradoodle grew into the size of a small horse but they make it work. They’re enjoying the quirkiness of the 1961-built four-bedroom house to its fullest extent while they renovate it bit by bit.
Flynn’s husband had suggested they do what many others do in established suburbs and knock the house down for a new masterpiece. However, I could see in Flynn’s face that the idea of destroying the heritage of the original home didn’t sit very well.
“We need to pay respect to its history,” she explains. “Yes, the metal windows are rusty and thin and we need to remove that sun room, but just look at the cosy feeling of the intimate bedrooms.”
The couple have already renovated the bathroom and an extension of the kitchen is next, which I get the feeling will be done in keeping with early ‘60s aesthetic. Speaking of which, you can probably see the nod to quirky and vintage mid-century modern in the styling and décor.
Flynn is not only the saviour but the resurrector of pieces from years gone by. Pretty much everything she pointed out was either bought on Gumtree, salvaged from the side of the road or bought at a vintage shop like So Last Century.
Some pieces were about to be thrown out until Flynn came to the rescue, seeing their value in a historical sense. At the top of the list were recovered pieces including a bedside lamp from Tango and James, and a cane from Good As Old.
Knowing what is trash and what is treasure is a skill, however, and one that Flynn puts into practice every day as a property stylist. It has been an underlying passion of hers for a long time, but it wasn’t until three and a half years ago that she took the chance and set up the business. Prior to that there were many years in humanitarian work which clearly explains Flynn’s innate care for things that others want to overlook or disregard.
I did ask her if she had a favourite piece that she has collected which was obviously as hard as asking a mother who her favourite child is.
“You know something that has a lot of meaning to me is the painting above the bed,” she says. “It was a portrait of yours truly painted by the artist Barbara Vanderlinden. I thought it may be a bit much having it in the living room so in the bedroom it is.”
I, for one, don’t think it’s that strange having a print or painting of yourself on display. Afterall, if royalty back in the had walls and walls of self-portraits as some kind of shrine to themselves why can’t Flynn have just one?
And to help my argument, let’s crown Flynn as a Queen of carrying for things from the past in the Kingdom of the Vintage.
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Photography: Cass Atkinson