It’s spring racing with a side of French flair. If you were ever on the…
Cass and I arrived at Jessica’s place in Harrison on a brisk but sunny Sunday morning.
We rang the doorbell and found ourselves being greeted by a small fluffy cloud. It was super friendly, had four legs and three bits of small coal for a face. It took us a moment to work out that was Jessica’s adorable Japanese Spitz, Kobe.
Jessica used to run her beauty business, The Beautique, from her home. However, when one of her employees commented “I seriously don’t think this place is big enough for all your ideas,” she realised that her salon should reflect her ambitions and that her home should reflect a place of calm.
Jessica moved The Beautique to a new location in Franklin a little over a year ago. Then, with the extra space in her home, Jessica had the luxury to seek some fresh inspiration from various sources (including this Home Stories series apparently, though she may have just been buttering me up) and slowly started bringing her vision to life.
The room that once housed her salon is now a peaceful lounge containing soft furnishings, lots of plants and that fluffy white cloud. I mean Kobe.
“I found it quite hard to have the home as my place of work,” says Jessica. “I really needed a divide”. And it makes sense; for someone who works constantly with colour, her home needed to provide a balance to that overload—hence the calm, desaturated neutral tones throughout.
As we moved through to the kitchen and living space, Jess started telling us about her possessed pendant light, which is supposed to change colour via an app but refuses to do so and instead turns dark red at random times, which completely freaks her out in the middle of the night.
But even that light couldn’t steal the show completely. Other décor details caught my eye as I moved through the space, such as the black and white image of a Greek band, Thai vases in a corner, French-inspired posters, goldfish wall art and even a Greek statue of Aphrodite.
It turns out that Jessica is half-Thai and half-Greek, but grew up in Australia. These diverse influences have inspired her choice of home decor, reflecting both her heritage and her present.
When I commented that with these influences her cooking must be amazing, Jessica humbly assented, but added that she was even prouder of her pantry. And that’s not surprising. As you can see, even Marie Kondo would be impressed.
When asked to name her two favourite places in the house, Jess chose the bedroom because of “the soft but bright natural light and abundance of plants” and her living room sofa. The only problem has been that her cat has also decided it’s his favourite place, and started to scratch it relentlessly from the moment it was brought in.
Jessica says she tried everything to deter it—from attaching strips of upside-down masking tape to cardboard boxes and even covering the entire sofa in plastic. But in the end it made the couch impossible to sit on, so Jessica gave up.
Cass was looking at Jess throughout this story and eventually said “you know you can just get some cat spray from your local pet store for that?”. All of sudden, in the eyes of Jessica, Cass went from great photographer to a cat whisperer and couch saver.
With that problem solved, it was time for us to leave. I only wish we could have solved her possessed light fixture, too. Perhaps one for another day.
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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Home Stories is brought to you in partnership with Canberra Outlet Centre.
Photography: Cass Atkinson.