When you’re a busy couple juggling two demanding careers it can be challenging to find the time to make your home look its best. Such was the case for model turned cook, Jax Raynor and her partner, MasterChef favourite Hayden Quinn. Their beachside apartment had good bones and was full of natural light but it lacked the cosiness they craved at the end of a long day.
The solution? They called in Pottery Barn interior designer Rhys Duggan to help make the most of their sunny space. “We both love to cook and entertain so we asked Rhys to somehow open up the space, yet make it warm and inviting too,” says Jax.
The couple’s enthusiasm for the project was infectious so Rhys put together two looks for them to choose from: one, global oasis, to reflect their love of travel, and the other, island chic, that referenced the sand and surf not far from their front door.
For both looks, Jax and Hayden’s existing large red vintage rug was kept and a smaller, lighter rug placed on top to introduce some brightness and add a luxe note of layering.
“We replaced their heavy, dark coffee table with glass-topped coffee and side tables with light metal frames to give an airy feel, and because they’re transparent they help to visually open up the space,” says Rhys.
Some plump, generously sized cushions were added to the sofa and as both Hayden and Jax had a healthy collection of indoor plants, Rhys decided to use them to create a focal point.
“We decorated a mantel in front of their living area, which moved the focus away from the TV and provided a space to display their favourite travel souvenirs,” he says. “Creating a focal point helps when you’re arranging a room layout as you use it as your central point of reference and then work everything else around it.”
With a small space it helps to use pieces that do double duty, like bar carts. The bulk of the time they can be used for storage – just pop some great looking baskets underneath – and then wheel them into place when entertaining.
Working to a colour palette that’s repeated in all areas of Jax and Hayden’s living space helped to unify the room making it look larger than it really is. For instance, Rhys replaced the couple’s timber dining chairs with upholstered chairs in a fabric that matched the sofa. The result being that your eye floats across the white sofa, walls and visually connect to the chairs.
“The drinks trolley has to be one of my favourite touches,” says Hayden. “That and how the place just looks a whole lot bigger!”
“Now when I’m at home, I really feel at home,” says Jax. “It just feels more us.”