In our Homes and People That Inspire Us series, we’ll be talking to content creators who embody the same values we celebrate at LinenBarn: slow living, environmental consciousness, and respect for the planet.
Today we’re talking to Chantelle Barresi, who you can find posting about her daily life in her first home on Instagram at @buildingouraston. She and her husband bought a parcel of land in 2019 to build their dream home, and a year later, it was ready to move in! She started her account as a way to share her building journey with family and friends and feel more connected during lockdowns. Her account quickly grew into an amazing community of people who share her passion for design and style.
It's fair to say that Chantelle is obsessed with changing her bedroom linen. After all, she says so herself right in her bio! But her love for linen extends to other rooms in the home, too. Even when it’s not the main focus of her posts, we love spotting all her gorgeous linens in the background.
These days, Christmas is in full swing on her account, and her tree is absolutely, jaw-droppingly stunning. We love the white and gold theme and how gorgeously it all comes together with the rest of the room. What makes it even better is knowing how meaningful the tree trimming tradition is to her family – as you’ll see in her answers below!
Hi Chantelle, tell us about yourself! What drives you to do what you do?
One thing that really drives me is seeing my home progress from a completely empty space to one that perfectly conveys who I am and what I love. There is no better feeling than finishing a space in your home, standing back and saying, “Wow, I created that!” I’m also motivated by my love for interiors, designing and creativity.
What inspires you?
I've loved design and interiors for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I would rearrange the furniture in my house all the time. My mum would get mad at me because it would always take her twice as long to put everything back the way it was, but I loved doing it. I am always so inspired by beautiful design and the way it can transform a space. It's so rewarding to see the finished product and know that you made your dream space a reality.
Is there a place in the world that you feel most represents who you are?
Broadbeach, Queensland. We are Melbournians and have lived here all our lives, but my husband’s family has a little unit there. We love to go there when we need some time away; it’s a home away from home and we have spent many special times there. We both love the idea of waking up in the morning, getting a coffee and walking along the beach. One of our 10-year goals is to move there and renovate a home. It definitely represents us and inspired our love for coastal-style interiors.
When you think about ‘home’, what do you think of?
When I think of ‘home’, I think of my family. I grew up in a small, loving home. My parents have lived in the same house since they got married. They brought me and my younger brother home from the hospital to it, watched us take our first steps there, watched us grow, and watched us both leave the same family home when we each got married. That’s what I’ve always wanted my new home to be: full of so much love and beautiful memories as my family home grows in the years to come.
What do you love most about your home?
What I love most about my home is the fact that it is our first home. It may not be exactly what I envision as my dream home, but I love the fact that we bought and built it at the age of 23; I feel like that is a huge achievement. I often catch myself looking around my home and feeling so proud of what we have made it to be.
What one possession do you cherish the most?
A lemon tree in our backyard that was grafted from my Nonno’s lemon tree. It is super special to me as he passed just before we moved into our house. Even though he never got to see our first home, I feel like a part of him is always here at home with me.
Do you collect anything?
I am proud to admit I have a cushion and bed linen addiction. You can never have too many cushions or bed linens, right?
If you could do so, how would you change the world?
I would change the world with kindness. I feel like there is not a lot of that in the world we live in right now. Imagine what a difference it would make if the whole world was a kinder place. Being kind to others not only makes you feel good, but sometimes a simple act of kindness can have a ripple effect as you never know what people are going through and how much your words and actions can lift them up when they need it most.
How are you consciously practicing sustainability?
I always try to do little things at home to practice sustainability. I use a brand called Pleasant State for all my cleaning products because they are natural. All you do is purchase their cleaning bars, pop them into a reusable spray bottle, and spray away. I also love a good old second-hand or thrifted item. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?
Do you have any family traditions? If so, what?
Since it’s Christmastime, let’s talk about that! I remember when we moved into our first home 3 years ago, we decided to continue my family’s tradition. Every year when I was young and it was time to put the Christmas tree up, my family would gather into the lounge room, put Christmas music on, and dance around. My mum and dad would set up the old video camera to capture the moment. We would all set up the tree together as a family, and later on that night, we’d rewatch it. I remember thinking as a young child that it was the absolute best day ever! It’s a tradition that I love and want to continue with my little family, too.
Don’t forget to check out Chantelle’s posts at @buildingouraston on Instagram, whether you’re seeking interior design and linen styling inspiration or you just want to see her adorable dog, Minnie.
We are honoured that someone with such a fabulous eye for style is a fan of LinenBarn, and we’re not sure what we like more about Chantelle’s pictures featuring our Cinnamon Gingham quilt cover set and fitted sheet: the way she expertly incorporated it into her room with the perfect finishing touches, or Minnie’s darling little face as she makes herself right at home on the lush material! We can’t say we blame her… it really is unbelievably soft!
Whether Chantelle is mixing up something tasty in her stunning kitchen wearing our Beige Gingham linen bib apron or sharing her favourite tips and tricks for making her house a home, there’s always plenty of inspiration to be found here!