Karen Akers‘ perfectly appointed little workers cottage in McMahons Point Sydney is TINY. It is, however, a gorgeous and perfectly functional little house (and workspace too!) for Karen and her much-loved pup Oscar (a lhasa apso – shih tzu cross). Altogether, Karen has lived here for 12 years.
Both in her professional life and in her own home, Karen is drawn to bold colour, pattern, eclectic details, antiques and artefacts from Asia and the Middle East. Being an interior designer, she finds herself exposed to a constant stream of beautiful things (fabrics, art, furniture items, rugs and more!). The antique Chinese cabinet in her study is a much treasured piece – ‘I love chinoiserie detail and the simple lines of Chinese furniture’ she explains.
Karen is also a passionate art collector, and is particularly fond of painted portraits. ‘I admit to being slightly obsessed with art’ the designer says. ‘I feel right at home having it envelope me, adding it to every surface possible.’
Though her house is small in size, Karen explains that living in an older style home has allowed her to layer the rooms heavily with colour and texture, creating warmth and personality. ‘The house is very eclectic and boutique, a style that I adore’ she says. ‘I feel very attached to my home & can’t ever imagine relocating!’.
Ceramics collected by Karen Akers from op shops and flea markets. Photo – Nikki To.
The living room features a blue velvet chair form Coco Republic, floor rug from Kulchi and sofa from Boyd Blue with fabric by F. Schumacher. Photo – Nikki To.
Photo – Nikki To.
Karen’s art wall combines a watercolour artwork, ‘Monkey’ by Sebastian Nash with others from op shops, while the cardboard art piece is by a graffiti artist and is framed in a modern Perspex box. Photo – Nikki To.Photo – Nikki To.
Asian vintage chinoises cabinet and horses, as well as Indian day bed used as seat, all from Orient House. The floor rug is from Cadry’s, the vintage brass lamps were found at the markets and have been upcycled with Freedom shell shades. The Artwork above desk is by Charles Blackman. Photo – Nikki To.
The dining nook also showcases artwork: a white textured piece above lamp by Gwyneth Buckle, and pink Asian plates on the walls. A large Chinese urn and Thai roof piece sit on a side table from Orient House. Photo – Nikki To.
The bedroom featured a custom bedhead, made from GP Baker fabric and cushions made using Schumacher fabric. Several of the artworks have been collected from flea markets, in white frame is a piece by Antonia Perricone Mrljak, while chinese candle holder with porcupine African shades –are both from Orient House. The wall colour is Dulux ‘Beech Fern’. Photo – Nikki To.
Tiny kitchen detail! Photo – Nikki To.
Karen enjoying her lush garden. Photo – Nikki To.