Relaxed Bohemian Style

The laidback lifestyle of the Gold Coast provides the ideal setting for the super stylish home of Sophie and Michael Bell – perfectly encapsulating their relaxed bohemian style.

Photography: Hannah Blackmore  /  Styling + Interior Design: Sophie Bell  /  Words: Jacqui Greig

Total renovation and custom-made elements, paired with Sophie Bell’s innate glamour, have transformed this house into a luxe family abode. Home to Sophie and husband, Michael, along with their eight-month-old son, Hendrix, and dogs, Stella and Duke, the 1990s era home has been immaculately renovated.

“The original style was mega ‘90s,” says Sophie. “Think arches and wall intercoms, a peach colour scheme and old-school gold fixtures.”

“When I first moved in, we did some renovations ourselves – knocking walls out and painting everything white,” says Sophie. “Michael built the big deck at the front of the house and we opened the layout.”

In December of last year, the couple tackled their major renovation – completely gutting the house and starting from scratch. Rooms were added and moved, and everything went monochromatic with white paint, white subway tiles, black floor tiles, concrete, black sinks and black taps: “I like to bring in a little bit of colour through textiles and art,” says Sophie.

“I seriously loved renovating this house. Our poor builder must have hated me – I had mood boards and very clear visions of how everything needed to look,” laughs Sophie. “He was so patient and really brought my ideas to life. We have custom made almost everything in the house to be just what we want. It’s all super functional for a young family, but also is a style I love.”
Sophie leans towards a mix of industrial and bohemian – or as she says, “I just buy whatever catches my eye.” She concentrates on investing in beautiful textures and fabrics, and has a small addiction to cushions.

“I used to have colour everywhere and a lot of patterns, but I have really stepped it back and have a more neutral palette. The décor of this house is an eclectic mix of everything we love – timber, concrete, clashing fabrics and lots of art.”

Both Sophie and Michael love to create, and their home is testament to this. When they can’t source a piece of furniture they want – they build it. “Everything in Hendrix’s room was made by hand by either myself, my husband, my mother-in-law, my mum or our builder (who is a good friend). There is so much love that has gone into everything we have created, and to me, that is so important. It makes the house feel like ours, and everything has a story to it – which I feel makes it so special.”

Sophie believes that greenery adds life and warmth to an interior, and gravitates towards fiddle leaf figs, cacti, agaves, banana leaves and elephant ears, which are all in abundance.

“We spend a fair bit of time in Bali and I love all of the lush tropical gardens in the villas in Bali. I used to buy fresh flowers every week for the house, but I swapped to buying plants now as they last forever. I am sure our house will resemble a rainforest soon.”

Sophie’s main objective is to ensure her home feels welcoming. She wants her guests to eat, drink and hang out: “It’s a relaxed, fun house – with lots of love.”

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Want to see this home in print? You’ll find the full home tour in our Endless Summer edition, available through our online shop. Click here to buy.