Last time I visited J’s house, I raved about her decorating style and regretted that I hadn’t taken photos of the elements that J has used to to effectively and beautifully decorate her fully-renovated highset. So on today’s visit, I made sure to look around and photograph J’s beautiful home.

It’s been a while since our kids last played together, so it took my girls a while to start interacting fully with J’s two children: almost-5yo S and 3yo W. After they got used to each other, I had a difficult time persuading my girls that it was time to go!

I had a lovely visit with J. We sat up on the deck in the sun as the children played underneath us in the playroom or in the house. The kids looked after themselves, leaving us to enjoy a long talk with lots of laughs.

Aisha, 5yo, + S, 4yo, July 2010
After Aisha warmed up, she and S became "best friends".

Delaney, 6 months old, + J, July 2010
This was the first time J met Delaney. (My babies have a reputation of making other mothers clucky, so watch out, J!)

S, 4yo, + Aisha, 5yo, + Brioni, 3yo, July 2010
The girls disappeared into S's room for lengths of time to play with the dollhouse and browse through S's jewellery box.

W, S, + Aisha, 5yo, July 2010
J has a terrific climbing tree in her backyard — a heavily pruned frangipani whose branches are perfect for little hands to hold onto.

Aisha, 5yo, July 2010
Aisha bravely climbed right up into the top branches. She has grown exponentially in courage in the last six months!

Aisha, 5yo, + S, July 2010
Another favourite game was shopping. S controlled the cash register, and my girls would offer their food to get it scanned and then give money (or swipe a card) for payment.

And here are some of the features that make J’s house beautiful. It’s not necessarily my style, and nor would it suit all homes, but they tie neatly together in her house, making it into a true “home beautiful”.

J's home beautiful
Polished timber stairs and balustrades against bone-white walls.

J's home beautiful
A delightful combination of warmth and texture in the floorboards, rug, wooden chest, leather couch and silk cushion.

J's home beautiful
In her kitchen design, J left a cupboard space open so she could view and easily access her fine collection of cookbooks.

J's home beautiful
The original lead-lighting glass was retained in some of the main doors and windows.

J's home beautiful
Other furniture also uses lead-lighting to mimic the style of the house.

J's home beautiful
A beautifully turned furniture leg emphasises the richness of the wood against the painted skirtings.

J's home beautiful
In S's room, a lovely flower provides reading light with style.

J's home beautiful
A window-seat is covered with a striped cushion in the same colours but contrasting pattern to the curtains.

J's home beautiful
Framed vintage prints hang on the wall in S's room.

J's home beautiful
A child-sized chair provides a quiet place to sit in W's room.

J's home beautiful
A crystal bowl holds roses on the deck.

J's home beautiful
Mondo grass is cultivated under the outside staircase.

Do any of these photos inspire you?