PHOTOGRAPHY: LIZZY HIGHAM / STYLING: LIZZY HIGHAM / WORDS: KATIE SKINNER
This article originally appeared in Issue 2 of ele Magazine.
Walking into interior stylist, Lizzy Higham’s home is like entering a magical and colourful wonderland. Her home is a visual delight that inspires childhood feelings of delight but still offers up a contemporary, cosy home.
Lizzy moved into her Cairns home, in the gorgeous North Queensland region, three years ago. Lizzy was born in the small country town of Atherton, 80 kilometres south west of Cairns and after stints in Rockhampton where she worked in her dream job as a visual merchandiser/stylist, then off to Melbourne where she gained a Diploma in Interior Decoration and Design, she finally settled in Cairns 11 years ago to be close to family and friends. Lizzy loves Cairns and it’s expressed when she refers to her town “We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful part of Australia. Where we live, we are surrounded by mountains of rainforest and have a freshwater creek only a five-minute walk down the road – its pure magic.”
Lizzy shares her home with her husband Ivan, children, Olive and Van, and their cat, Peggy. “We are a very colourful family who love nothing more than being in each other’s company. Ivan is always interacting and chasing the kids around the yard. I love to paint and am happiest with a paint brush in my hand. Olive loves colour just as much as I do and is always drawing rainbows and living her best colourful life. Van is the complete opposite and loves superheroes and dinosaurs. He lives life on the edge and doesn’t STOP! As a family we love playing card games and doing puzzles amongst the chaos.”
Lizzy explains “We haven’t done any major renovations – yet! But I have painted many colourful walls inside and even a rainbow mural in our garage. There is so much more I want to do. The creative side of my brain never switches off.”
When asked about her style, Lizzy says “Eclectically colourful, unique and stylish. I love to mix new with old, whether it be furniture or decor items. Mismatch and pattern clashing is my jam. It has been said that I was born with rainbows in my blood and I express this in every inch of my home. I have loved colour my whole life, its only since owning my own home this has enabled me to paint colour on my walls, add beautiful artworks, quirky decor items and pattern clash everything I own. It also helps that my husband also loves colour and one hundred per cent supports all my courageous and bold decisions.” This is obvious when you wander through her home. She’s combined a striking mix of new with old, mixing upcycled furniture painted in bold yellows, greens and pinks with pieces from great Aussie labels such as Miss Amara, Kip and Co., Sage and Clare, PottiMouth, and Bonnie and Neil. Lizzy’s home is a testament that you don’t have to go through an expensive end to end renovation to achieve a stylish, design led home.
Lizzy’s favourite room in the house is the kitchen “What I love most about our home would be the kitchen layout. I love that the kitchen is the heart of our home and when I am in there, which is a lot, I can interact with my family and friends from all aspects, whether they be in the dining room, living room or outside. The kitchen has a large servery window over the kitchen sink that overlooks into the backyard and patio, which means I never feel like I am missing out when we entertain. I can’t wait to one day renovate and put in my dream kitchen.”
When asked for styling tips and what we might see in the forthcoming kitchen renovation Lizzy says “Colour! If ever in doubt about using colour in your home just remember, it doesn’t matter whether it be colourful, warm or neutral hues, if you love something, it will always work. Stop putting rules on how to decorate your home – make it your home and live in it however you please. Don’t believe in the saying; blue and green should never be seen unless there is something in between. Blue and green look fabulous together.”
Wandering through Lizzy’s home she is true to her word. A pink front door painted in Taubmans ‘Roseberry Rose’ makes a statement as you enter the home, bold paint choices have been used on the walls as the perfect offset to Lizzy’s eclectic art collection. And when you enter the inviting master bedroom, tangerine orange has been used to paint a bedhead onto the wall that sits perfectly with the bright mismatch of print and colour on the bed.
Lizzy quotes designers Bree Leech, Carolyn Burns -McCrave,and Julia Green as inspiration. She loves shopping online at Greenhouse Interiors, Jumbled, and Gorman to name a few. Her local haunts include Bunnings, Limberlost Nursery andSpotlight. But one of her favourite loves is thrift shopping and second-hand marketplaces. “My greatest budget buy actually leads into my greatest budget decorating tip. I purchased two lamps for $20 from Facebook Marketplace and I spray painted both the bases (one navy blue and one lime green). I then added new shades, the floral shade, which features in my living room, is fabric glued onto an old plain black one. Let spray paint be your best friend! If you want to change a colour of anything e.g. lamp bases, vases, furniture, pots, cupboard handles, candle sticks, picture frames… the list goes on!! Using spray paint is a very budget friendly way of updating a look in your home.” Lizzy says her biggest splurges are for professional picture framing and coming in a close second, bedding, and soft furnishings.
When Lizzy isn’t concocting creative designs for her clients or painting something around the house she loves brekky dates at Vivo, Palm Cove with her girlfriends or sister when she is in town visiting, followed by some time spent on the beach just listening to the waves crashing and the sea breeze in her face. “All whilst childfree” she adds with a wink. As for family time “We love to go to the beach or take our ski boat up to Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands and spend a day on the lake with our family and friends.” But the family’s favourite place to be? “We love staying home and hanging out.” And this is evident in the colourful, imaginative, and welcoming family home that Lizzy and Ivan have createdtogether.
See more of Lizzy’s bright filled home on Instagram @lizzyhigham_interiorstyling.