These days, everyone is ‘getting it for the ‘gram’. However, while some of us are…
This week, Ashley and Cass visit the home of Michelle Mitchell and her partner Adam in Jerrabomberra for a dose of luxe festive fun.
It’s really fun for me to go and visit someone who works in marketing or branding, like Michelle Mitchell. Not only because that’s the industry I’m in, but also because it’s enjoyable being the audience of someone who puts on ‘a show’.
I wasn’t the only one having fun though, as Michelle and her partner Adam’s home in Jerrabomberra was the first property Cass ever shot when she started out in residential photography. So quite the trip down memory lane for Cass and a great reference point to how far she’s come since then. Applause, please.
Michelle and Adam purchased the property six years ago. To this day, they go slightly pale when they describe the state of the home following a long rental period. Zero maintenance had aged the property at least 10 years. Just think of what I’d look like if I ignored moisturiser—cracks, blemishes and dark patches.
However, they took it as an opportunity to make it their own and started renovating room by room, all while living there. Their daily injection of optimism came from waking every morning next to a view of the pool, which made them feel like they were at a resort. The journey took two years, but they truly love what they created, as do their two lovely kids and doggies.
The home has a bright Hamptons–New York vibe, which is a mixture of Michelle’s love of country residences from her upbringing and inspiration from the world’s most amazing city.
The layout centres around the generous central kitchen. By knocking a window through an entry wall, there is a stunning view over the green plains. You can see aeroplanes silently floating in the sky and, from time to time at night, the jail lights up with sirens and floodlights during a prison break.
Actually, I made that bit up, but you’d have to agree that would make things exciting. What is truly exciting though, is that the home backs onto a reserve, which has all the natural wildlife included—kangaroos, birds, rabbits and … snakes. See, told you it was exciting.
And if that wasn’t enough in the animal department, Michelle and Adam also have a chook pen just past the veggie garden to keep things cute, while adding eggs and greens to the kitchen.
The main living room, the home office (complete with a fresh copy of Michelle’s new book and a spot for her podcast recording) as well as the bedrooms stretch out from the kitchen space.
The living room is where plenty of time for the family is spent. As you can see, there is a strong Christmas theme but, if you thought that once Christmas is done the room goes back to a standard look, then no sugar cane for you. The room moves through themes, depending on what the family is watching.
Recently it was Game of Thrones, so plenty of skin rugs came out, then it was The Queen’s Gambit, so 60s mod took over. I can’t wait until they start watching a zombie series.
All of this transformative theming is not only fun but has plenty of meaning too. For example, the Christmas tree you see in the corner was a present Adam bought for Michelle when a tree was all that they could afford. Next year they bought one decoration, another the year after and so forth until what you see is a tree filled with memories and memorabilia.
I got promptly shooed away when I wanted to see which decorations were hiding at the back of the tree. I guess Michelle wanted to spare me the pain of looking at some hideous bauble from Hawaii.
What Michelle did not spare us from, however, was a taste of her hospitality and enthusiasm. Champagne on arrival, plenty of conversations and no dull moments.
‘The show’ was awesome and a real celebration of the couple’s achievements. Cass and the couple used the visit to look back at how far they got and from there, to look to the future to think—what’s next?
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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Photography: Cass Atkinson