Coolaroo, the once-famous setting for 1997’s The Castle, has found its way back into the limelight after a property listing featuring some ‘unique’ design decisions surfaced on Twitter.
It might not look like much from the outside, but the three-bedroom home – described as “bursting with colours [sic] and beauty” – became an overnight sensation after photos of its over-the-top interior caught the attention of social media.
While most of the reactions ranged from shocked to disgusted, the bold design won an unlikely fan in Carolyn Burns-McCrave, design expert and team mentor on Channel 7’s House Rules.
“When I first saw this house and everyone was blowing up about how bad it was, part of my little designer soul just went ‘Yes, you go girl, do what you love’,” she told The New Daily.
Twitter was less kind, likening the home to something from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and mocking the sharp contrast between the exterior and interior.
But Ms Burns-McCrave defended the house.
“Part of me sees that house and think how fantastic it is for people to just embrace what they like and obviously not care for trends or styles that are in fashion,” she said.
“These are people who’ve gone ‘this is what I love, and I’m going to do it in every room of my house’ and they’ve taken it to 11 in every space.”
Admittedly, this particular example isn’t quite to Ms Burns-McCrave’s taste, but the dedication the owners have shown to their vision is nevertheless admirable.
“They have done what they love. I’m sure every time they walk into their house, I reckon they feel a million bucks,” she said,
“I think people should embrace more of that individuality and not caring about what other people think.”
But Ms Burns-McCrave warned anyone planning to follow the Coolaroo home’s colourful example needs to be sure the design they choose is one that will make them happy.
People becoming less creative
So why aren’t more people injecting more of their own personality into their homes? According to Ms Burns-McCrave, the likely culprit is social media.
“We’re now so overcome with images on instagram and Pinterest. Everything’s so immediate that people get sucked along in the slipstream of what they’re seeing,” she said.
“In years gone by, as designers we would research all of the Italian, English and American design magazines, and we would sit on those styles and let them marinate in our heads, and bring in some Australian influences and eventually come up with a look.
“Now, people see an image that was shot last week and they love it, they replicate it, and it’s done here six weeks later. That immediacy has taken a lot of the soul out of design so people are now far more likely to simply copy than they are to create.”
Style is a selling point
How a property looks on the inside can also affect the price it will fetch on the market, according to a 2017 by the US National Association of Realtors.
That report found that homes which were staged and styled by a professional property stylist prior to listing sold faster and their value was increased compared with similar properties on the market.