Styling WowHaus: at home with artist Kate Jansen
Kate Jansen has translated her eye for color into a beautiful, unique home in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
When the Mustard team started planning the launch campaign for Poppy, Kate (a long-time locker lover) and her incredible home came straight to mind. An 11-hour interstate drive and three days of shooting later and Kate’s house proved to be the perfect canvas to showcase Poppy in all her glory.
Known as WowHaus, Kate’s mid-century Mornington bungalow is a devotion to the joy of color. “My love of color began when I studied illustration at art college in the south of England,” said Kate.
“I’d go to a lot of thrift shops and make clothes and cushions out of vintage fabric. I had my first car at the time, which was a white Citron 2CV, and I covered it in bright colorful vinyl flowers.”
When it comes to interiors, Kate’s color preferences have evolved over time. “I’ve always started with white floorboards and walls, which gives you the perfect blank canvas and from there I guess I’ve just started to experiment and explore with different colors.
When my family and I lived in our home in West London I had a soft spot for red. We had a really unusual retro spiral staircase and I had a bright red carpet laid on it. There was lots of pops of red throughout the house — red cushions, red doors and a red splash back in the kitchen. Then when we moved to Australia I started to broaden out into different colors and color combinations.”
But it wasn’t until she moved into her current home that she really started to embrace a truly bold and diverse color palette. “The character of this house, with its unique ceilings and U-shaped layout has really given me permission to be more adventurous. It has a beachy vibe that lends itself to mid-century modern styling that I just love. It is very eclectic with a lot of old and new mixed together — nothing really matches, but everything works together.
"Nothing really matches, but everything works together".
It’s an ongoing process. I’m very lucky that my husband is happy for me to keep changing things up, and that he doesn’t mind pink!” Kate shared with a laugh.
Kate’s love of color and her obsession with palm trees are what characterize her artworks. “I used to go to Palm Springs in the US with my parents on holiday as a child and it was one of the happiest times of my life. That’s where I draw my inspiration from, hence all the palm trees and swimming pools! It was a far cry from the south of England where I grew up — there were definitely no palm trees there.
“Ultimately, I try to make art that makes people happy. It’s colorful and fun with a sense of delight and nostalgia. I think my home reflects that about me as well. It’s bright and happy, people walk in and the first response is usually ‘Wow!”, which is where the name WowHaus came from,” Kate said with a smile.
"Ultimately, I try to make art that makes people happy".
When it comes to taking the leap to introducing bold colors into our home, Kate says start small and grow your confidence as you go.
“Just gradually introduce something and see how it looks, feel comfortable with it and then build from there. A duvet cover or a cushion can be a good start. Plants are also a great way to make a house more homely — or in my case a cat or two!
"I have seven Mustard lockers all in different colors, they’re a great statement and can be the perfect piece to start to build your palette around”.
Color is definitely more approachable and easier to use now than it perhaps was a few years ago and there are so many incredible brands and products now. Castle & Things is one of my favourite brands, I love everything they do. Greenhouse Interiors, House of Orange, Sage and Clare, Jumbled and of course Mustard Made. I have seven Mustard lockers all in different colours, they’re a great statement and can be the perfect piece to start to build your palette around.”
You can see more of Kate’s beautiful house, and discover her amazing artworks at @wowhaus.au on Instagram.