Lennon House Features In ‘Interiors Addict’ Blog

Before & after: Plants star in timeless cottage reno


See original publication here


An original 1958 three bedroom cottage located in Geelong, this home was renovated recently by a husband and wife duo who brought their considerable experience (as a carpenter and interior designer respectively) to the project.

“Jeff purchased this house in 2008, long before I was on the scene. It was a tiny three bedroom home on a good sized block in a beautiful neighbourhood. It had already undertaken a few cosmetic changes in its lifetime but was screaming out for some love,” says the home’s owner and interior designer Sophie Barratt, Jeff’s wife.

BEFORE lounge
BEFORE lounge
AFTER lounge
AFTER lounge

“Jeff took on a mammoth task all by himself, bit by bit chipping away at an extensive renovation and enormous extension, with a vision to create a beautiful family home he could one day enjoy with a partner and children. But a project this huge ate away at Jeff’s time, physicality, money, patience and motivation,” says Sophie who reignited Jeff’s passion for the project soon after they met.

AFTER living area
AFTER living area

“At first, he was too embarrassed to let me come over to the house, because of the state he was living in. It took a few weeks for him to finally let me see it, and I saw the potential! He was living in the original part of the house, part gutted, part renovated and the extension out the back was framed, but sitting idle. There was so much work to be done to make this a liveable home – it was overwhelming,” says Sophie who runs her own interior design business Lennon House.

BEFORE backyard
BEFORE backyard
AFTER backyard
AFTER backyard

As is often the case, it was a pregnancy that gave the project momentum. “We were incredibly excited when pregnancy came knocking on our door but we had a dilemma. We were living in the property I own, while this house was sitting around half done, not worthy of renting out or even worth selling due to the unfinished nature it was in. It wasn’t practical, having two mortgages, with one sitting there with no good use,” says Sophie who transformed the home with the help of family, friends and a trusted team of trades – all before the couple’s baby arrived.

BEFORE kitchen
BEFORE kitchen
AFTER kitchen & lounge
AFTER kitchen & lounge

“We wanted to pay homage to the period of the home by not going overboard with extreme modernism, but wanted it to feel spacious and contemporary with a touch of luxury. I wanted it to be timeless and a blank canvas of sorts that anyone can make into their home if we were to sell down the track,” says Sophie. Original decorative cornices were restored in the bedrooms, as was the original fireplace in the lounge room. “Also, feature subway tiles in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry were chosen to pay homage to the period of the home. Not only have they been around for ever and will never date, but they also provide a wow factor and focal point,” says Sophie.

AFTER dining
AFTER dining

Aside from honouring the home’s history, Sophie also undertook the renovation with a specific focus on greenery. “This house was designed with plants in mind. The shelf behind the bath isn’t there by coincidence! Greenery was always going to be the major wow factor in this home,” says Sophie who revels in plant maintenance.

AFTER nursery
AFTER nursery

“As an anxiety sufferer, plant care is such a calming way to distract a busy mind and take you away from your spiralling thoughts.  Looking around at the plants, spotting new growth or even a plant that needs a drink, can instantly distract your mind from a negative mindset.”

AFTER bedroom
AFTER bedroom
AFTER bathroom
AFTER bathroom

For more | House plant 101

Amy Collins Walker


Amy is our regular feature writer, an experienced journalist and interior stylist living in Perth, Western Australia. Find out more about her styling work at http://www.amycollinswalker.com/


A little help for my friend – Nursery transformation

I was recently given the keys to a dear friends home who’s second beautiful baby is due next month.

There’d been talk of doing up the baby’s room for months and my ears pricked up and had instant ideas flowing.

The room had been previously used as a spare room/storage room and was looking like this;


My friend and her husband had worked hard to declutter it to get it to the stage where it was almost empty and Jeff had been an absolute saint and patched up the wall where the shelves have been.

I made the suggestion to paint a couple of walls in the mid-grey colour that features elsewhere in the home, as it was gender neutral (sex of baby unknown) and calming at the same time as creating some slight contrast. To my delight, I got the go ahead.

I know firsthand just how tough pregnancy can be, but throw in a toddler alongside your every move plus humid heat and I can’t imagine how busy and exhausting life could be. They most certainly deserved an early baby gift in the form a room transformation.

I literally grabbed the opportunity of my friend and her beautiful family being out the next day, roped Jeff in with the paint roller (he really is one of those ‘good guys’…sometimes 😜) and when they came home, they came home to this.


Moral to the story, it’s amazing what a coat of paint, some plants and a gorgeous vintage bassinet can do to a room that already has the most divine natural light and orientation.

Furniture, plants, curtains, blanket and play mat already belonged to the home. The bassinet is being borrowed by us, a family treasure that has been passed down that’s had over 20 babies in it.

Blanket from @seedheritage

Paint colour – Tinker by @duluxau



Repotting Your Indoor Plants

Spring has sprung for us down here in the Southern Hemisphere and I couldn’t be happier.  The atmosphere is warmer, the days are getting longer, the air feels fresher and my plants are about to take off!  Well, they are now after repotting them.

I have a few Monstera deliciosas around the house but I’d been noticing they’d gone dormant.  I thought this may have been due to the non-growth season, but upon further inspection, I realised they were completely root bound.  They had taken up all the room in their homes and had no more space to grow.

We had an early wake up with a spring in our step with the sun shining brightly, the weather was stunning and my little boy Len was desperate to get outside.  So, on went our gardening clothes and boots and out we went for a much needed dose of fresh air, vitamin D and a play with some dirt.

I realised that repotting plants may seem completely strange, boring and foreign to some, thanks to a good friend popping by for a cuppa and clearly looking confused with all my plant babble and excitement of plant babies.

Long story short, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, but would like to gain further insight, I’ve noted down a few steps I take when repotting plants.  If you , like me, notice a plant is looking a little on the top heavy side of life, hasn’t sprouted a new growth for a few months and you’re feeling like water doesn’t even have space to go in it’s current pot, keep reading.  I’ve put together a step by step guide that I follow to repot my plants.



Extremely top heavy plant.

Hasn’t had new growth for a very long time, even though there is a new stem waiting to shoot out.1

Removing from old pot

When trying to remove from current pot, roots are holding it back as they’re poking through the drainage holes in desperation for room to grow.   Keep pulling at it, these will need a trim.


Root Ball

The ball of overgrown roots.  Anyone else come up with sexual innuendos in their minds when saying these words!?  Lol.

Root bound

Give the roots a snip!

They need a good haircut, trimmed right back and rustled up a bit before repotting into fresh soil.


The larger, new pot that the plant is hopping into.

Before placing the trimmed down plant roots into the new pot, fill it about 1/3 to 1/2 with potting mix, depending on the size of the remaining root ball.  I use an all purpose potting mix from Bunnings and it hasn’t ever let me down.  Place the plant in and continue to add potting mix to cover all the roots.  Compact down slightly with your hands to ensure the plant is stable and won’t fall over.


Water in your plant

Because Spring is the growing season and these plants were due for a feed, I added some liquid fertiliser to the water to water them in.  Again, Bunnings keep me stocked up with Garden Basics Liquid Plant Food Concentrate and my plants love it.  I gave them quite a good soaking and left them to drain on the pebbles and bask in the sun for a couple of hours before bringing them inside again.


Repotted, happy plants

Now to bring them in and watch them grow!




Note.  I am not a plant expert, rather someone who loves plants.  All words and images  are my own and all advice is from my personal findings.


Follow us @lennon_house_ on Instagram x

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Are You Ok?

It’s R U OK day today.  I hope you’re all ok?  Are you?  In our society, it seems to be the norm where it’s good manners, expected even, that our response is positive.  “Yes, everything is ok!”  But, I know that everything is not always ok.

Brook Gossen – More Than Ever

Mental health is something we all need to focus on from time to time and it’s very important we prioritise it. Without our mind being healthy, we are often left in a dark, heavy slump.  These heavy dark slumps are painful, crippling and zap your energy like any physical illness.

If you’re not ok, that’s ok!  But you are the only one to be able to do something about it. Take the first step and chat to someone, put it out there, deal with it head on.  Don’t keep putting it off, blaming others for your problems or wishing someone else could help.  Because you are the control centre of your mental health, nobody else.  Take ownership over your life, your mind and your problems.  There’s real power in doing this, I assure you.

This year has been a challenging one personally, with a lot of stressors at play and anxiety trying to cripple me.  In some respects, I’m very lucky to have had anxiety and depression play an integral role in my life for the past 20 years, as it’s taught me to know myself, who I am, accept all of what I am (and what I’m not), what I value, what I expect from others and most importantly, what I won’t tolerate.   They are super powerful tools to learn and use to know what to do when your mind is battling against you.  People will try as much as they like to bring you down, doubt yourself, doubt your foundations and relationships.  But in the end, if you have all of these elements in your mental toolbox, you will come out the other end with a clear perspective.  Take the time to be you, accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all and, be at peace with all that you’re not.

Chatting to family and friends is so crucial.  To get another persons perspective can clear your mind so much and alleviate some of that built up pressure that stress, depression and anxiety has a tendency to cause.  Go to your GP and have a chat to him.  Get a referral to a psychologist.  They work wonders in helping you feel better in your own skin and mind and make you see that you are ok, just the way you are!

If you need medication, don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel weak.  Feel PROUD of yourself for helping yourself and making a move into better mental health.  Men, I’m talking to you as well.

To anyone suffering with mental illness; you are one badass mother f*cker because nothing is more terrifying than battling with you own mind every single day.” Unknown

Get outside into the beautiful fresh air.  Start your morning with a walk, even if it’s just around the block (I used to hate being told this).  Start a garden!  It  doesn’t matter what it is, what it looks like, whether it’s inside or out.  But it’s something you can nurture and take care of and think of other than yourself and your spiralling thoughts.  It’s extremely rewarding.  Have a bath, have a shower.  There is something about being in water that can be immensely soul soothing.  Have a day in bed.  Have two days in bed!  Accept it for what it is and give it the time to pass.  Just be careful not to make it a whole week, a month, or a year.  Get yourself up.  Eat well, at least between the chocolate and chips your body is asking for.  Exercise, even if it’s just for five minutes.  Do not put pressure on yourself though, as this can lead to five steps backwards and a mindset of failing yourself.

If you are grieving, experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, have suicidal thoughts or tendencies, Depression, Anxiety, eating disorders, addictions or even a phobia that is so terrifying that you struggle to face it head on, talk about it, please!  That is the first, crucial step to feeling better!

There is help available, whether it’s from the person next to you or a stranger at a clinic who may one day be your saviour.

I’ll ask you again;

Are you Ok?

Because if you’re not, that is ok x



Do you love the bedding featured in the image for this post?


The amazing team at ‘More Than Ever’ have donated a voucher for a king size sheet set to the ‘Beyond the Stigma’ online auction.  All money raised is donated to ‘Beyond Blue’.  It’s on now until 10pm Sept 20.  To bid, click here.



If you need any further resources head to Beyond Blue or Lifeline x



Note.  If you have a negative stigma or outlook towards anyone who may be suffering, shame on you and go and educate yourself.