The Emery family have moved house a lot. ‘I’ve never been afraid of change’ says Jo Emery, something she says she has inherited from her father. ‘I think each house has given me a chance to express a different style and aesthetic. Most of our other homes have been period houses. This is my favourite’.
The house, built in the late 1960s, is in a small, pretty court, the kind of leafy suburban street where you know all your neighbours names. It was the location, more than the house itself, which initially drew Jo and her husband to the property.
‘I know this is cliched, but the house was an ugly duckling when bought it’ recalls Jo. Its best feature was an abundance of natural light, but beyond this, the space was in need of some serious love when the Emery family purchased it just over four years ago. Luckily, they found just the person for the job!
Jo and John approached local architect Iva Foschia of IF Architecture to rework the floorplan, and give the space a contemporary update. ‘I love Iva’s light touch, and her very sophisticated yet approachable style’ say Jo. The whole family moved out for eight months while the house was gutted and a new extension added.
Jo has taken great delight in decorating her home with work by many local artists and creatives she admires. One particularly treasured piece is a truly exquisite Laura Jones painting which hangs pride of place in the kitchen. ‘I can’t go past the Laura Jones painting’ Jo says. ‘It is a beautiful piece, and I’d love to collect more of her work’.
Other favourite investments include artworks and linen by Rachel Castle, and a number of pieces of furniture by Melbourne brand Jardan. ’Obviously, I have a bit of a love affair with this brand’ Jo says, a little sheepishly! ‘What I like about Jardan is the unique Australian style, it fits perfectly with our lifestyle, and blends beautifully with older family heirloom pieces.’
Though she has taken great joy in pulling together a beautiful home here, Jo has a refreshingly relaxed approach to home decoration. First and foremost, it’s about a feeling. ‘It has always been important to me to create a warm and welcoming home that our family and friends want to spend time in’ she says, thoughtfully. ‘I don’t want to sound like a tosser, but I’d like to think that the house isn’t about bold statements, but speaks quietly and says ‘welcome’.