Get The Look: Maple Cottages


Maple on Albert and Maple on Edward, two luxury modern farmhouses which sit side-by-side on the one block just minutes from the heart of Berry, perfectly showcase Simone Mathew’s (SOUL Home) interior design ethos. That is, whether it’s your forever home or a getaway, make it a soulful home infused with ‘that holiday feeling’. Actually Simone’s hand can also be seen on all of our Linnaeus Collection properties, creating a signature LC design aesthetic with a unique sense of space, proportion and connection to nature. We love getting a sneak peek at the ‘how to’s’ behind design projects, from ideas around the placement of furniture to pre-thinking the impact of a curved wall instead of traditional straight lines, or including soaring pitched ceilings, built-in day-beds and health-giving greenery. Such fun seeing how you can play with interesting textures in bed linen, curtains and rugs and make bold statements with timber, stone and other natural materials. We think you’ll enjoy it too.


1. We know your design ethos is about making every home feel like you’re on holiday. That they have at their heart ‘that holiday feeling’. How did you achieve that with the Maple Cottages?
With a less is more approach. The properties are not overstyled or over-designed. Instead it’s about making the materials hero and providing a sense of space. No-one wants to feel like they’re crammed in when they’re on a getaway and the design of the properties, with their oversized pitched ceilings, creates a sense of abundant, airy roominess from the minute you open the door. Making sure you have enough seating for all guests to come together when they want to is important, as is creating some break-out spaces for a bit of quiet time too. Having plump, cosy furniture to flop into, floaty curtains that allow lots of light in, a well-provisioned kitchen, a fireplace for when it’s cold and a plunge pool for when it’s hot, luxury in bathrooms and bedrooms (how much do we love that!), then pared back styling and working with a classic black and white palette.
2. Does Maple have a particular design style?
In every property I design, I employ my 70/20/10 styling rule. It just works. I start with trying to understand the psychology of a space: how it’s going to be used and by whom. How people want to feel when they’re in a particular space will help me decide on how to furnish and accessorise it. But back to the 70/20/10 rule. If I was to ask you what your style was, I’m guessing you’d say “I’m not quite sure – I have a few.” And that’s great. That’s me too. So the rule goes 70% of one style, 20% of another and 10% of your final. Combining these three styles is how you create a style that’s uniquely yours and which doesn’t feel like a decorator showroom. Instead it’ll be your very own design signature. And Maple? I’d describe it as 70% organic, 20% classic with a final 10% layer of edginess.
3. The Carl Linnaeus philosophy of creating a balance between us and our physical environment is behind every property in the Linnaeus Collection. How did you achieve that with this new build?
By connecting the outdoors with the cottages. The whole property is designed to feel like the line to the outdoors is blurred. You can see how the heart of the properties are focussed to the outdoor entertaining spaces and the surrounding landscaping, and we bring the outdoors in with carefully chosen, easy-care greenery.
4. We have an appreciation of quality craftsmanship and the bespoke, and hope our guests do too. What are your favourite design features or architectural details at Maple?
My fave is definitely the pitched ceilings in the living/dining spaces. Their sheer height is such an imposing feature and by creating an electrical plan with no lights in the ceiling – apart from the feature pendants – their architectural merit is further accentuated. It’s a great example of how less is more. I also truly enjoy the simple curved shapes that have been used in both cottages such as the sophisticated arch upon entry into Maple on Edward and in the powder room at Maple on Albert. It allows the spaces to feel lighter, more interesting and turns what could have been rather bland spaces into spaces that stand out because of their subtlety in design. So simple but so visually impactful.
6. You’ve designed what the interiors will look like down to the last detail, including bespoke joinery throughout, luxurious bathrooms, statement full-width ledges behind those 5 Star beds and so much more. How do you then choose the right furnishings, from lounges to light fittings, door furniture and tapware to mirrors and floor rugs?
It is all about understanding the spatial plan first, particularly knowing what size furniture and complimentary pieces will best fit the space. We all know how too much stuff in a room feels, and equally, how the warmth can be stripped out of a room with too little in it. It’s important to know how you think guests want to enjoy their holiday and not make them feel like a space is too precious to have fun in. And it is about truly understanding the 70/20/10 style of a property and working to that with every decision. Having some fun with selections is equally important. I find choosing art is always fun as is adding pops of colour or layers of materials to create new levels of interest. But never forget purpose. Every item you source for a property has a purpose, right down to the coffee table books you choose.
6. What about soft furnishings?
It’s all about the layers and textures when it comes to soft furnishings for me. It’s what creates the ‘cosy’. My mantra? You can never have too much linen! On beds, on windows, on furniture. Such beautiful tones you can buy in soft, easy-care, luxurious linen! But durability in a holiday home is also super important which is why we put our faith in tried-and-true brands such as Culitver.
7. Are you an indoor plant girl or fresh flowers?
Real, living plant girl for sure. I truly love the joy in watching things like Devil’s Ivy grow and grow and grow! Then there’s the joy of finding creative ways to include those long tendrils of greenery in your decor. In holiday accommodation though, just remember plants that love neglect are your best friend. PS there aren’t too many things I love more than a fresh bunch of flowers as well. They just add a special something to a room, with each bunch putting its own unique stamp on a space. This week block colour. Next a mix of Spring blooms!
8. What is your top tip for crafting a beautiful home that makes you feel like the holiday stays with you 24/7?
Firstly you need to take a minute or two to understand what makes you feel like you are on holiday. (Cue steaming cuppa or glass of bubbles…). It could be a colour, an object, a print, a fragrance, certain textures. Defining what those things are, are the key. When you’ve listed them, then you can start to inject them into your decorating and surrounds. Maybe start with just a fragrance such as the Lumira Balinese Ylang Ylang which I burn to remind me of, yeah, you’ve got it – Bali, which holds a special place in my heart. Lastly, I’m an anti-clutter girl too. I love the feeling of space around me. It’s one of the key things for me which always evokes a feeling of being on holiday.


Tiles –  Amalfi

Ceramics – Ecology

Salt and Pepper Shakers Country Road

Joinery – Polytec Woodgrain

Handles – Iver

Artwork – Olive Etoriel

Linen: Cultiver throw/LM Home linen/Saarde blanket

Artwork – Art and Framing Co

Pendant – Imprint House 

Side table – Designed/sourced in Bali through SOUL Home

Vase – T&C Furniture

Linen and bedding- Cultiver, LM Home

Pool – Plungie

Pots – Balcony Garden

Fireplace – Oblica

Log stool – MCM House

Fire tools – Early Settler

Artwork – Stuart Cantor

Bowls – sourced through Cabana Jo’s in Berry

Light fitting – Emac & Lawton

Cobblestones – Gather Co

Doors – Custom designed in Bali through SOUL Home

External light – Emac & Lawton

Outdoor setting – Globe West

Glassware – Freedom

Servingware – Ecology

Oil bottles – Ecology

Pot – SOUL Homes sourced

Table and chairs – Globewest

Cushions – Eadie Lifestyle

Throw – Saarde

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