From the Highlife archives – Spring 2012 edition

One Dalby woman has applied determination, a love all of things beautiful and a penchant for vibrant hues, in the renovation of her 110-year old Queenslander home.

In 2003, Renée Gordon took ownership of a rundown old Queenslander in Dalby and set out to breath new life into the home. Giving the entire house a complete makeover, the result is both stylish and sophisticated. Renée’s eye for fine fabrics and furnishings and her love of colour has resulted in a uniquely decorated home.

For Renée, the transformation began in her mind’s eye – from the moment the real estate agent showed her the house. Undeterred by the aubergine carpet, the dark interior and the verandah lined with old louvers, Renée could already visualise the end result. After a successful auction bid, the next six years were spent renovating the beautiful old home. Renée spent most evenings and weekends working on the renovations and loved every minute of the process. With big plans and a book bursting with ideas, pictures, swatches and sketches – she began planning her dream home. “I knew from the very start how I wanted the house to look, right down to the colour on the walls,” she smiles.

Renée has successfully blended old with new, striving to maintain many features of the home’s original era. The front and French doors were meticulously stripped back, repainted and brought back to life with the addition of new glass. Original period pendant lights where kept and moved from the kitchen to the hallway. All of the ornate ceiling roses were restored with the help of a local laser cutter in Dalby. When met with obstacles, Renée applied a determined desire for utmost perfection. “I remember showing the builder a picture of the bathroom that I wanted and I was told, ‘you can’t have glass like that – it will never work’ … well it did work … and I do have glass like that,” she says with a laugh.

Renee’s decorating style has seen the adventurous use of colour with each room containing a different colour palate. She cites that her favourite is the ‘green room’, featuring a Genoa arm chair and matching ottoman that Renée had upholstered in hot pink fabric. “I have collected items over many years and during various overseas trips,” says Renee. The house was redesigned to create more space with a luxurious feel throughout. A new bathroom was added complete with chandelier lit wardrobe and includes a shoe organising system for Renee’s ever-expanding collection. The kitchen was moved to the back of the house with French doors leading out to a large deck, lending itself to many social occasions. Working as a full-time executive assistant for Ostwald Bros in Dalby, Renée treasures the weekends where she can spend time at home. “I get so much pleasure from living here, but I think the best part is sharing my home with family and friends,” says Renée.

Words – Kerryn Suttor | Images Janine Waters