Designer Jana Kachel, her husband Wade and their two children Jack and Coco moved to this beautiful home in Sandringham two years ago. Whilst they found no urgent need for big structural changes, the family have wasted no time in putting their distinctive stamp on the place.

Walls have been painted throughout, and all floorboards limewashed, whilst styling decisions have been informed by Jana’s passion for textiles and vintage furniture. ‘I am obsessed with colour and print, and like to always change things around…’ explains Jana. The scatter cushions throughout the house, for instance, are on constant rotation. They’re made by Jana, using fabrics sourced for her Kachel fashion range. ‘I make them reversible, so half the amount of cushions – but double the print and colour combinations!’ she says.

Jana also enjoys the thrill of salvaging a road-side find – her dining setting, for instance, is made up entirely of hard rubbish treasure and second-hand finds. ‘I like to find different things, and put odd bits and pieces together to make them mine’ the designer explains.

‘Our family home is an eclectic mix of found treasures from my travels, and the majority of artwork is done by my Mum – all of her pieces I love and treasure!’ Jana explains. Other treasured pieces include Jana’s father’s old tennis trophies (he was a tennis pro in the 70’s), which are on display throughout the house, used as vases, trays, and containers.

For Jana, this house has presented an opportunity to remember and re-imagine the happy memories of her own childhood. ‘I grow up in Park Orchards, with trees and garden everywhere… it really was organised chaos with painting, sewing machines, tennis balls, tennis racquets and collected items which Mum had found everywhere’ she recalls. ‘My parents were very accepting of our creative habits, even letting me and my high school friend Ash Keating (who is now an incredible artist) spray paint the entire wall of my childhood bedroom!’

Home is still very much a hub for creative expression for the Kachel / James family. In fact, our shoot provided a little motivation for a few new projects! Coco’s bedroom got a complete makeover just before our shoot, with a custom made wallpaper design, featuring Jana’s illustrations. And that left Jack in need of his own creative project…

‘My little boy Jack is always super enthusiastic about any creative ventures in our house – always helping me out with spray painting pots, planting the garden, repainting bathroom tiles, making cushions – you name it he gives it a go’ Jana explains. ‘He was excited to hear that Coco was getting flamingo wall paper for her room…. however disappointed to hear that he was not getting any wall paper for himself!’.  So, Jana and Jack had a little brainstorm about what new thing he could have in his room for the photos. ‘Given the timeline was tight, we came up with the idea of the new doona cover and pillows’ Jana explains. She designed him the tiger print doona cover, and had all fingers and toes crossed that the fabric would arrive in time from the printers to make a new doona in the nick of time, sewn with Jack’s help, of course. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! (And we are so impressed, Jack!).

The Sandringham home of Jana Kachel and her family. Lounge from Designer Guild, vintage French settee from STORIE, Rug from Armadillo&Co, vintage Indian coffee table from Sage and Claire and leather ottoman from Husk. The printed scatter cushions are made by Jana and Jack from Kachel off-cuts, with silks also appearing in thrifted vintage frames. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

‘The family room has a great outlook onto the backyard and feels like we are on holiday,’ says Jana. The coffee table from Totem Road, rug from Fenton and Fenton, throw from Anthropologie, leather ottoman from Husk, and scatter cushions made by herself and Jack from Kachel off-cuts. Cane chair found in hard rubbish and Vintage copper on outdoor table designed by Garden of Sweden. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Sideboard from STORIE, vintage Marilyn Monroe print from Surrey Hills Market, vintage frame with draped ballet shoes by Danish artist Marie-Louise-Otte from Lilypond, wedding gifted Bally print, Parker chair purchased on gumtree and reupholstered, vintage Korean pottery, silver jewel box from Istanbul, and Jana’s first pair of shoes dipped in gold. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Jana’s eclectic living space featuring a Zebra artwork by her mother, scatter cushions made from Kachel silk off-cuts, and throw from Anthropologie. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

‘I’m a little obsessed with my garden and love spending time on it. However, I do get some help from DVH Property Maintenance,’ tells Jana. The hanging baskets are from Gills Nursery, plant stand found in hard rubbish, and  custom-made outdoor table from Rustique. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

‘The kids call this room “Mummy’s good room”. Set away from the open-plan area of the house it’s super cosy and peaceful (no TV, no technology),’ says Jana.Vintage mannequin from STORIE wearing vintage jacket, and hanging plant installation by Garden of Sweden. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

‘The dining room is not open plan and is away from the kitchen which is great for dinner parties because you don’t see all the mess in the kitchen!’ says Jana. Mismatched chairs collected from op shops or hard rubbish, artwork ‘Unconditional Love,’ by Jana’s mum, herself and Coco, pendant light from Husk, and chandelier from Now and Then Trading. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Master bedroom featuring vintage Indonesian village garland fromSTORIE, bedhead from The Family Love Tree, pendant light from Emac and Lawtonand bedside lamp from Domo. The bedspread is from Anthropologie, with denim ruffle sheet and crochet throw from Society of Wanderers, and silk scatter cushions made from Kachel off-cuts. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Coco has an obsession with (fla)’mingos’. Jana designed this wallpaper, custom-printed through White Pebble Interiors. Indian vintage bed from Sage and Claire, canopy and pink fluffy rug from Adairs with tea-dyed lace added by Jana. The vintage quilt is from Bali, throw from Anthropologie, and the wooden rocking chair was Jana’ as a child and has been revamped with Kachel silk fabric. The cane side table is from The Family Love Tree, swan planter from K-mart (both sprayed silver), violet rug from Crate Expectations, doll from Tiny People and essential fairy wings from Cotton On! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Jack’s bedroom with printed tencel doona cover, pillow cases in animal print and abstract print from the Kachel range – all made by Jana and Jack. Vintage throw from Now and Then Trading, one of her Dad’s tennis racquets (he played with it at Wimbledon in the 70’s!), signed Buddy Franklin footy (‘even though he moved teams he still love him’), Jack’s first ever trophy, world map from Typo, and hanging coloured paper lights from Manon Bis. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Kids Play area is centred around a gifted tee pee covered in vintage throw from Bali, pom-pom garland from Ishka and all the kids toys! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Jana Kachel and Wade James with Jack (6) and Coco (2) on the deck of their Sandringham home. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

‘The art room is our little family’s creative area where we sew, paint and just generally make a mess,’ tells Jana. Collection of vintage mirrors from Jana’s travels, custom-made cork board, framed prints of her mum’s artworks, hanging frame from Anthropologie; vintage chair from hard rubbish, and Jana’s Dad’s trophies ‘from when he played the tennis circuit in the 70’s – we use the silverware as storage for our art materials,’ she jokes. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here