Lisa McInnes-Nelson, founder of Leilah & Lyla Home, lives and breathes interior design, which is visibly clear when viewing her aesthetically pleasing Instagram account that showcases her stunning Melbourne home.
Tell us a bit about how your passion for interior design begun and your future plans for Leilah & Lyla Home. How would you describe your own personal style?
Being raised in a classic federation home was definitely the start of my long running passion for old period style houses. I’m a strong believer that the devil is always in the detail. Classic features should never be ripped out of old homes. Period details and new finishes can marry up to create a beautiful home which fits todays style and this is where my personal style shines through. Combining old with new has always been a main focus of mine. For example, showcasing a stunning ceiling rose with a contemporary modern pendant or adding Victorian cornices into a fresh innovative kitchen are key elements to aligning old and new to work for the present moment. Recently my husband and I renovated our 115 year old home. This is where Leilah & Lyla Home all began as friends and family were asking to see photos of how the house looked post renovation. The account has just grown as more and more people jump on to follow our style and gather inspo for their own renovations. Over the past 12 months Leilah & Lyla has expanded and I now offer freelance renovation and styling services. If I won Tattslotto I would definitely work on saving every old run down home in my suburb and make them look beautiful again but for now I’ll just continue to help others with their beautiful homes.
Who/what do you draw inspiration from?
Instagram is my number one tool when it comes to sourcing fresh ideas. It’s fast paced and I can see what’s in style across each country with the swipe of a finger. Some of the interior accounts I’m obsessed with are:
@scandinavianhomes | @chrislovesjulia | @thedesignory | @joannagaines
I also have subscriptions to quite a few home magazines, which I always enjoy flicking through on a Sunday morning after a sleep-in. And finally, I have an addiction to renovation shows such as Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. Not always do I love the final outcome of how the houses may have been styled but I love the hunt for the worst house in the best street and how those flipping it can make an old house a beautiful home again.
What are some of your favourite brands or stores you find yourself drawn to when purchasing key pieces for your home?
I’m lucky enough to have access to my families homeware store ‘A Little Thyme’ which is my first stop shop when sourcing pieces to place in my home. I love to share these finds with others because they are often pieces that are not easily sourced elsewhere. My next stop would most likely be H&M Home for inexpensive pieces that I can rotate regularly. And finally for those high street designer pieces I shop at West Elm, Pottery Barn and Coco Republic. Each of these stores offer classic contemporary pieces that I love.
And finally, your tips/advice on designing/furnishing/styling the below rooms:
The first and most important decision in a loungeroom should be how many people can I seat in this room and work towards making that happen. Layouts can be tricky however this is usually the room that family and friends will always try to gravitate to so working with the layout to fit large lounge suits or sectionals should be your main focus.
Always keep a kitchen fresh and minimal. You don’t want your kitchen to date in 2-5 years as they are expensive investments and being wise about the design is vital. White is always a safe choice. This then allows you to add décor or fittings (handles, tapware etc) in modern colours that can be easily changed when you want a fresh look.
Houses with dining tables sell over those that don’t have one. It may seem old fashioned to some but there are still lots of families that eat at a kitchen table each night. Always try to fit a dining table into the space. If it’s a smaller room why not look at expandable tables.
Bedroom (Master, Children’s, Guest room)
Bedrooms are usually the spaces that change rapidly in style more than any other room in your house. Investing in some great bedroom furniture that will not date is key. This way it’s very easy to change up your bed linen and bedside décor regularly for fresh looks. As a side note if you prefer a super dark room don’t invest in plantation shutters. A question I get asked all the time is “do your shutters block out the sunlight?” The simple answer is no. Once the sun comes up our bedroom lights up like a disco.
Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. If you have a dated bathroom gut the space and start again. Fix the layout and create more space. If your budget is small work towards making the room fresh and clean. Create storage and plenty of space within the vanity. If you have plans to one day sell your property and if your bathroom has a bath don’t rip it out! Families with kids will usually only purchase a house will a bath in it. If it doesn’t have a bath they may likely look elsewhere.
In my mind bedrooms sell houses over study spaces. Design the room so it is big enough to fit a bed. This way if you decide to sell the option of converting the space into a bedroom is there if your real estate agent advisors you to change it up for more profit.
Image credit: Emily Bartlett Photography.