Jan 29, 2018
We recently caught up with talented stylist Kara Demmrich. We loved learning more about her background and hearing her insights into the Long Jetty Reno project.
When did you first develop an interest in interior design and styling?
We first developed an interest when we purchased our first renovation project almost 10 years ago. We were 21, and I (Kara) was in my final year of university studying a Bachelor in Physiotherapy. Kyal had just completed a carpentry apprenticeship. We spent afternoons/evenings and weekends over the next three years renovating and extending our first home. Creating a beautiful space to live was such a creative outlet for us both, and a rewarding experience in so many ways. Kyal went on to obtain his builders license, although I didn’t seriously consider a career in design and styling until we had completed ‘The Block’ in 2014. We still pinch ourselves that we’re renovating homes full time, as well as being regulars on Network Tens “The Living Room.”
We absolutely love your fresh take on coastal interiors. What are your tips to help create a coastal style with furniture, art and other elements?
When selecting your key furniture pieces such as lounges and armchairs, ensure that fabrics are kept to soft and muted hues. Introduce texture and soft colour using rugs, cushions and throws of various materials. Sisal and linen are favourites of ours. Timber entertainment units, consoles and coffee tables work perfectly within a coastal palette, with lighter timbers such as oak in a rustic or sandblasted finish are always a great choice. Indoor plants create such an impact with oversized Strelitzias and Philodendron being amongst our favourites.
You just recently completed your amazing Long Jetty Renovation – congratulations! What was the biggest highlight of the project and did you face any challenges along the way?
The biggest highlight for us was completing the rear outdoor entertaining area including the pool. The way that we had designed the renovation meant that the concrete pool was the first thing to be poured – yet it was the very last thing to be completed. Due to the open plan nature of the kitchen/living/dining area, having this outdoor area complete really tied everything together. Our initial design concepts were inspired by 1960’s Palm Springs Architecture and incorporated elements such as; high ceilings, highlight windows and breezeblocks. This outdoor entertaining space flows from the master bedroom and living area seamlessly so it was the missing piece of the puzzle.
The biggest challenge was the timeframe. Our goal with this renovation from the beginning was to sell the completed home, so we set dates that the home was to go on the market and be auctioned. Given the scale of the renovation, we had to stay on track with the build – which meant long days for Kyal and the team, and copious amounts of organisation on my end. Throughout this process, we had other work commitments, a new baby and a baby on the way – hello morning sickness.
We loved the way you styled each GlobeWest piece within Long Jetty – particularly in the open-plan living/dining room and media room. What’s your favourite GlobeWest piece and/or collection and why?
Thankyou! I adore the seed natural leather dining chairs in both the woven and flat finish. The leather is such a gorgeous shade and the timber frame is a soft blonde that works well when paired with oak and other coastal shades.
We couldn’t pick a favourite room ourselves, but did you have a particular space you enjoyed working on the most?
I loved working on the media room with the goal being that this space was a multi-purpose, calming space to retreat to. I wanted this room to feel warm, cosy and inviting, but not have the ‘dark and heavy’ feel of a traditional media room. The Vittoria Olive 3 Seater Sofa in ‘fleece’ was one of my first selections. I love the sandy colouring and the unique look – something a bit different from the traditional sofa.
During a renovation, what’s the one item you can’t live without?
An industrial vacuum cleaner! Whether we’re renovating at home, on a personal project or for a client, a clean and organised jobsite is a must for us. You don’t need to spend a fortune on one, and the amount of dust and debris that you collect (as opposed to a broom) is unbelievable – not to mention the fact you’re not sweeping dust around when you use the industrial vacuum.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I’d say we have a relaxed coastal style. With Kyal’s carpentry background, we’re drawn to rustic recycled timbers in greyed off finishes. We love a muted colour palette and I’m drawn to textiles such as sisal and cane.
What’s next for Kyal & Kara?We’re currently filming for Season 7 of ‘The Living Room’ on Network Ten. I’m due to have our second baby in May of this year so between filming we’re wrapping up other client jobs and enjoying time with our little man before we welcome number two. We’re on the hunt for our next personal renovation project, however given the timing, we won’t be rushing in to complete this until we’ve enjoyed round two of the newborn bubble.