Interior decorator, wife and mother, Sally Carson was raised on a sheep and cattle property near Tamworth. “The farm is now in the hands of my brother, who is the fourth generation of my family to live there,” she says. “It was a great childhood. I spent many happy days with my siblings making cubbies, riding bikes and horses and helping out on the farm.”
A career in the fashion industry took Sally away from the land and into urban centres in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney. While in Sydney she met, and later married, James, a civil engineer. After moving to Queensland, they settled in the leafy inner-Brisbane suburb of Bardon to raise their two boys, Will and Andrew.
They hadn’t been there very long when they received the happy, but “hugely surprising” news that they were having twins. “We needed a bigger house,” Sally recalls. “Originally we wanted a house in the same area but we ended up searching further afield. We eventually found this home in Pullenvale, which sits on two-and-a-half acres. After one inspection we loved it and had to have it,” she says.
The couple were attracted to the sheer size of the home and also the fact that the previous owners had already renovated. “The house was originally an old Queenslander with open verandas, high pressed-metal ceilings and tongue and groove walls,” Sally says. “The owners had added a contemporary wing that just really seemed to work. We were really thrilled that we didn’t have to change anything immediately. We could just move in and await the arrival of the twins.”
Sally believes her decorating aesthetic is greatly influenced by her immediate environment and her country upbringing. “I really do believe I would produce different work if I’d had say, a coastal upbringing,” she says. “I’m really drawn to earthy colours and relaxed, classic interiors. For me, the interior of a home must reflect its external setting.”
The complete story was originally published in Australian Country issue 16.2. Click here to subscribe to our magazine.
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Words Tahn Scoon
Photography John Downs