Meet the Boutique customers - plus their darling cat, Billie - behind the stylish Instagram family @billieliveshere. From picking the right builder and floorplan to selecting the right cushions and throws, Stephanie and Hugh offer their advice for designing the home of your dreams.
Why Boutique? Love at first sight
With over 15 years of hairdressing experience under her belt, beautiful aesthetics and curated design were always going to be at the centre of Stephanie’s perfect build. After visiting display homes in Melbourne one Sunday with her parents and husband, Hugh, she knew Boutique was ‘The One’ to make her vision come alive.
‘We pulled up and right in front of us was a Boutique home with the Escala façade, and the words out of my mouth at that moment were ‘oh my!’’ recalls Stephanie.
‘When you walk into a Boutique display home you get a sense of luxury finishes, styling and high-quality materials. We both personally fell in love with the windows!’
Despite being convinced such an extravagant looking abode was bound to be pricey, Stephanie and Hugh struck up a conversation with a New Homes Consultant who put their mind at ease, finding them a floor plan that suited their block, lifestyle and budget.
‘We were 100% sold and signed the dotted line,’ Stephanie adds.
What to expect from the build journey
Starting from scratch was all about the freedom to choose for the newlyweds, but they were willing to spend time finding the right builder. For those just starting out on their own journey, Stephanie says quality workmanship and product, as well as a promise that your home will be delivered perfectly, are key.
‘Stay organised and save as much as you can so you have no regrets later and you build the home you really want,’ suggests Stephanie.
‘Boutique’s homes are full of quality and have a great structural guarantee. That’s important because this is the hard-earned money you work for every day and your dream home you’re building.’
After a host of land settlement delays, Stephanie was grateful for a smooth building process. Watching their home come together so quickly was a highlight for the young couple.
‘Seeing all your colour selections and the floor plan come to life was incredible! I remember calling my husband looking in through the window with such excitement as our floorboards had been put down,’ she says. ‘All our choices at the colour selection were there in real life!’
Honing in on your own design aesthetic
Stephanie and Hugh’s style mesh their personalities. Hugh contributed his earthy timbers, greys and greeneries, and a Scandinavian games room. You see Stephanie in the girly Scandi-boho sunroom, and the rest of the Danish-inspired interiors, all with a feminine finish.
Mood boards were the secret to Stephanie’s cohesive finished product.
‘Remember that you can always add colour with soft furnishings. Be sure to pick some stand out features in your home to upgrade. For us, it was the facade, bricks and stone benchtops that added a wow factor,’ she says.
Building a style-focused social following
Stephanie used social media extensively during and after her build for design and style inspiration, with Pinterest and Instagram her favourite platforms.
‘I recommend pulling inspiration from fellow homebuilders or homeowners too. The #ourboutiquehome hashtag is great to check out other people’s homes,’ she says.
Building her own social media following, then, came naturally. Now, she not only owns and lives in a home she loves but also enjoys the broader community that goes with it.
‘I started @billieliveshere not knowing what it would lead to – really just hoping that it would give people inspiration with their own homes, just as much as I did from stylists and like-minded people on Instagram,’ she says.
‘There really are some amazing, lovely and talented people around!’
See more of Stephanie's home by following her on Instagram here.
Photos by @hausofcruze