Maria opens the doors to her luxurious and contemporary home

Hold on to your hats because we’re ranking this house tour in our top 5 most stunning homes, EVER!

Maria is a renovator-turned-interior designer and has created a luxurious new home for her family that’s contemporary but full of warmth and elegance.


Living room

Tell us about yourself. What does your work entail and where does your love for interior decorating stem from?

“I’m a mum to two beautiful young girls and married to a sports fanatical husband. After working in the advertising and marketing industry for more than 17 years, I decided I needed a career change to pursue something more creative. Having completed a few home renovations and a knockdown rebuild, I realised my passion was for interior design, styling and homewares. I was born to a commercial builder and a very stylish mama, so building and style are in my DNA.” says Maria.

“I am currently completing a Diploma in Interior Design and have just started my business Studio Black Interiors to be able to help people create their dream space and solve those decor dilemmas. I certainly feel like I am living my dream!”

Tell us about your home.

“My husband and I took on the challenging task to build our own home (as owner-builders) last year. It was the most stressful, but rewarding year of my life!

“We built the house in Canberra in 10 months (and didn’t get divorced!). Our family home is a four bedroom, two storey home with a style that’s a mix of minimalist and modern. I love simple palettes, clean lines and no clutter. I’m a cement, stone, timber and marble type of girl.

“Building it was one of our greatest achievements.”


Study nook

Where did you turn to for inspiration when considering the design and decoration of your home?

“Before we began building, I used to cut out pictures from magazines and scrap book my favourite looks (totally old school I know!),” laughs Maria.

“Now I seek inspiration from the world around me. I get inspired by beautiful architecture, fashion, photography, the colours I see every day in nature, as well as seeking inspiration from the amazing talent we have in this country. I love to read design blogs and magazines, and also follow my favourite designers on social media to keep up to date with the latest trends and innovations.”

What do you love about your home most?

“I’m still in the building honeymoon phase, so I love everything!

“I love the high ceilings in the main area of the house, which are built around the sun — it creates such a warm, light-filled and inviting space.

“The materials I have used — timber, concrete and stone, paired with a palette of crisp white, greys and charcoals — form a great base to make other features pop like the copper pendants in the kitchen.

“I LOVE artwork and its ability to really personalise a space. Art is how I have brought colour into my home.

“I am also a sucker for tiles. I think my favourite room, is the little guest powder room because the Carrara marble hexagon tiles just steal the show!

“I also love my kitchen, I spend the most time in it so it had to be practical, functional and good looking. The cooper pendants just give the space the WOW factor. Those pendants are my hero piece as you enter the space.”


Powder room

Describe your style? How is this reflected in your home?

“Minimalist and modern with a bit of Scandi thrown in!

“I love a neutral colour palette, simple and understated furniture, ultra clean lines balanced with the occasional pop of colour through art, natural fibre throws or furs, or a single piece of furniture.

“I’m a minimalist at heart and love a modern look that’s also warm and friendly.”

“I like to live as clutter free as possible (this is often a hard look to maintain with two young girls!) so it’s important that every space and item has a function.

“I love mixing inexpensive items with a few statement pieces for a personalised look. I often find that it’s important to spend your money on the biggest item in the room and incorporate smaller accessories that may be on a budget.”

If there was anything you could change about your home, what would it be?

“I built this house before I started my interior design course. After studying for the last year, I have learnt so many things from my amazing teachers (who work in the industry) and all my gorgeous and talented class mates.

“I think if I had the chance to change anything I would have taken more risks, and been more creative as I am more aware of what’s available in the market and where to source great materials.

“I also would have budgeted for all new furniture! It’s been challenging incorporating pieces that don’t really suit the new style (think heavy furniture and lots of red décor from early 2000!).”

What pieces are most special to you?

“The items that make me most happy is the artwork I have chosen for the house. It’s not expensive by any means, but it gives me such happiness as each piece I have chosen has meaning and a story behind it.”

Thank you so much Maria for sharing your luxurious and contemporary home with us. To keep being inspired by Maria, follow her on Instagram @studioblackinteriors.

Kids room

Luxurious and contemporary home


  1. Hello from a Kiwi Girl – Grandmother x 3

    What is the height to underneath your study desk please? I am just making one, but I don’t think the joiner is familiar with what I want, as I just don’t want a desk – table top. I want some drawers under the desk like your lovely study nook. I am only 5’4” so I don’t want it to high and I want to get my legs under my home office desk. It is not my working desk, if that makes sense. Thank you

    • Hi Patricia, thanks for your question. The standard height of desks is 710cm and the desk drawers look to be 15-20cm deep so the clearance under the desk would be 690-695cm. Hope this helps 🙂

  2. I’m sure its too late to find out, but the laundry tile on the floor is just perfect – do you know where I could find it? It looks warm toned, which I adore.

    • Hi Sarita, they are such a beautiful tile! It’s a natural marble mosaic in brick bond shape and is available widely across Australia. Are you based in Canberra? Or what city are you located? x

  3. Those tiles in the laundry ? I need them please. Where did you find them?
    Beautiful house. So many ideas for my renovations.

  4. Everything is beautiful. I am looking for a hand towel holder like you have for the flooring vanity in the powder room and can’t find anything like it. Where did you purchase?

    • Hi Ivey, thanks for your lovely feedback! The island bench is made of concrete. The back bench is Caesarstone in Frosty Carrina. Thanks. Maria.

    • Hi Michelle, thanks for your lovely feedback. I’ve used Dulux White on White for all the main walls in my home. It’s a very crisp, bright white. The study nook is actually a cream snakeskin wall paper! Thanks. Maria. Studio Black Interiors.

  5. Hi I’m curious where the octogon tiles in the bathroom came from? They are gorgeous! I am having a hard time finding that size.

  6. Hello,

    I absolutely love this home. I would really love the details of the little guest powder room. such as where the pendant lighting is from and any other details you are able to give me.

    Thank you so so much!!

      • Hi Fontini, the powder room pendant light is from Beacon Lighting, the tiles are Carrara marble, and the fixtures and basin are from Reece bathrooms. The vanity top was made by Monaro timber and the mirror is from Clickon Furniture. Hope this helps 🙂

  7. What a beautiful, warm and inviting home! Coming to the end of a 9 month renovation I am also a timber, concrete. stone and marble girl with a love of the monochromatic. Thankyou Gina and Style Curator for lots of inspiration along the way…the next months will find me busy styling my beautiful new abode

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment Susie! So exciting you’ve come to the end of your renovation and can get on to the fun part of furnishing! We’re about to create some shopping style posts so hopefully these will come in handy when picking out new pieces for your home x

    • Such a good way of putting it Jane and so many aspects of her house have that same ‘dramatic but inviting’ feel – she’s got a great eye and we’re sure her interior design career will be a success!


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