In what was a true family affair, entrepreneur Fleur Madden teamed up with her builder brother Nick Madden and interior designer mother Tracy Madden to create this Brisbane family home recently, inspired by Palm Beach. “I’ve always loved the glamour of that architectural style and while Australia has taken on its own version of Aussie Palm Beach, I really wanted to stay true to the glamorous nature of those homes in Florida,” says Fleur, who lives in the home with her husband Jimmy Gwisai and their two young children.
Located in the Brisbane suburb of Coorparoo, the generously proportioned abode has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living rooms, a dining room and media/toy room and the home is adorned with curves – there’s arches and curved walls as well as a curved kitchen bench and curved staircase. The home’s colour palette includes white, blush, sage and gold and it also sports tropical accents including palm trees, a palm chandelier and wallpaper emblazoned with flamingoes and cheetahs.
Unafraid of colour and print, Fleur used wallpaper in the home’s entry and the bedrooms while palm-printed curtains, feature lighting and statement tiles rounded out the mix. “This home has a lot of moments,” says Fleur who had individual vision boards for each room of the home. “Certainly my style has been influenced over the years by my mum’s love of fabrics and colour, but I have my own interior style that she knows how to bring out the best in.”
The build marks the third project created by Fleur, Tracy and Nick. “It’s a collaborative process and I trust their industry knowledge and the quality of their work,” says Fleur who purchased the land for the home in July 2021 and subsequently saw build costs skyrocket in the ensuing years. “What we thought we could build this house for was based on pre-COVID prices and it ended up costing a lot more. But once we had committed, Jimmy and I decided to go all in,” says Fleur.
“This house was probably the most challenging for me so far because I had a very clear vision I wouldn’t deviate from – I had a vision board for every room that I had been working on for years. Also the size of the project, the pace it was moving while running two businesses and having two small children. For me it was all consuming; 24 hours a day I was thinking about it.”
Fleur, who owns Freelancing Gems and The Ginsburg Firm, adds: “My husband Jimmy really trusts my vision and style, so while I don’t think we have the same style, he is always thrilled with the outcome. Would he have selected flamingo wallpaper? No! But he loved it a few days after he saw it and thought we should do more of it!
“We always build homes that are one of one. You won’t see this home again. It is unique. I realise at resale it won’t be for everyone and that’s ok because not everyone can handle fabulous!”
Describing her interior style as feminine and glamorous, Fleur has built a few styles of home with this one being quite different to the last. “We sold 85% of the furniture before we moved in because it wouldn’t have suited. Moving in here really felt like a huge move and new chapter for our family.”
“I hope this is our home for the next 10 years, but I do love a project and I love creating for my family so there are certainly another few builds left in us. But for now, it’s about wonderful family occasions in our new home. Christmas here was wonderful.”
Photography: Stuart Murray