The 'Home Snob' Instagram creator has injected the Melbourne abode with a soothing scheme.

| By Rachael Thompson | Home tours

Content Creator Ella Barba’s Rental Home Is a Lesson in Using Neutral Tones

The 'Home Snob' Instagram creator has injected the Melbourne abode with a soothing scheme.

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour the rental home that content creator Ella Barba's has styled to look effortlessly chic.

Making a rental home stylish and feeling as though it's your own is a challenge many of us are faced with. But for content creator Ella Barba, it's a skill she's mastered and one that she's sharing with her loyal followers on her account @homesnob. "I seriously believe you can style any home or space to feel and look beautiful, no matter the home," she tells Bed Threads Journal.

Before having her three children, Ella worked in PR and Communications for Lululemon. The last few years have seen her casually involved with social media management and content creation of small businesses and running her Instagram account Home Snob.

The latter is what she's best known for. This account serves as a go-to for interior design, home renovation, and architecture inspiration, as well as a useful resource for house design hacks. "I particularly love working with like-minded brands in trying to style their products in a way that is aspirational and easily achievable," she says. Those who have an affinity for calm, minimalist design will relish her artistically curated feed and the home that she's renting in Melbourne.

In recent years, embracing an all-neutral palette in the home has become one of the more popular trends for designers and design enthusiasts alike to embrace. It's not rare to hop onto social media and see a space that's swathed in pared-back hues. It’s also not the easiest look to get right if you're not perfectly balancing textures, tones, and shapes, but Ella Barba’s home is a lesson in how to do it. She currently lives in a rental property with her young family while they wait to start their next build.

The welcoming abode is swathed in lashings of creams, whites, and tans, uplifted by various textures and shapely furniture. “There’s such a sophistication and sense of calm that comes with using neutral tones in a home,” she says.

Despite the high ceilings and tall windows, the rooms in this home feel warm and intimate. In the living area, a curvaceous tan leather sofa from Coco Republic and a pair of stacked stone coffee tables sit on a plush cream rug. There's plenty to admire here, yet the dialled-down palette saves it from looking cluttered. The dining area features rattan chairs and an expansive timber table that bring her young family of five together for meals.

Moving to the primary bedroom and you are greeted with Oatmeal linen that makes the space a soothing oasis to retreat to each evening. A curved bouclé armchair and marble bedside table rest on a woven rug. All in all, this house presents itself as a chic haven and Ella has proven that living in a rental needn't mean you can't make it feel like a home.

We spoke to Ella about her upcoming project and her top home styling tips.

Shop Ella's home edit.

Hi Ella! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

Well, hello! I guess you could say I make content for my Instagram platform Home Snob. It’s mainly home and interiors content, things I’m inspired by and soon-to-be our new house build (coming oh-so soon). I particularly love working with like-minded brands in trying to style their products in a way that is aspirational and easily achievable.

How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?

I’m naturally a creative person. I love beautiful imagery, fashion, interiors, mood boarding, and creating. It’s always been an outlet of some sort for me, even when I was young. A hobby I suppose you could say.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?

At the moment my career is taking a backseat to care for my three children, something I’ve been privileged to take space for the last four and a bit years. I have a four-year-old named Bobby, a two-year-old named Summer and a five-month old named Gia. Life is BUSY at the moment in a very different way than before.

Before I had my kids I worked in PR and Communications for Lululemon, which I loved. And over the last few years, I’ve been able to take on some casual work involving social media management and content creation for a few small businesses, as well as some intermittent brand work through Instagram. It’s been lovely to keep my toes in the water ever-so-slightly and I’m very much looking forward to jumping back in the “work saddle” very soon. I miss it and I think I need it in my life.

What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?

Ever since working casually for myself the last few years in and around my children, a lot of that work has simply come from word of mouth. Therefore, I think you can never discount the power of this very influential marketing tool. It’s priceless and it applies to almost all fields of work.

Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?

Absolutely. You can be the most ‘qualified’ person on paper but if you don’t have anything additional to offer, like the next person likely will, then it’s going to be hard to stand out. I studied PR and Journalism at uni and that was great, but I also did a lot of internships and work experience and those experiences were priceless. Therefore, I would tell my younger self or anybody else for that matter to also focus on the side hustles that will beef up your experience and your resume. Whether it’s work experience and interning, blogging, or creating cool content, there are lots of ways to do it these days.

Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?

We’ve lived in our home for a year and a half.

How did you initially know this was the space for you?

We’re currently living in a rental property since selling our last home and now waiting to start building our next. To be honest, the home we’re living in isn’t anything special, it’s quite average you could say. BUT, the beauty of that is I’ve been able to make our temporary home feel beautiful to live in and I think that’s the secret sauce to interiors.

You can make any space look and feel fabulous with the right colour choices, styling and upkeep. And you don’t need to spend the earth to do it. We chose this rental because it’s got a lot of natural light throughout, high ceilings and big white walls. So all in all, it was just a great canvas for creating a home that we felt good in (because we all want to feel great in our own space, right?).

What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?

The thought process was to capitalise on what the house already had, be it high ceilings, natural light, white walls, and spacious big rooms, and then style it to at least feel like it could be our forever home (even though it’s obviously not).

I seriously believe you can style any home or space to feel and look beautiful, no matter the home.

What are your favourite pieces in the home?

I’m obsessed with my leather Coco Republic sofa. It’s luxurious and sculptural and I will have it forever.

Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?

Always! It’s amazing what a new vase or book can do to shift the look and feel of a space.

Which is your favourite room in the house?

The formal living room is my fave for sure. We don’t spend much time up there but when we do it feels a bit special. It’s framed around the black fireplace in the centre and feels light, airy and plush.

Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?

It’s been a long time coming (seriously, like two years) but we’re just about to start building a home that I’m excited to document on Home Snob. We are subdividing the land and instead of building a second home (as initially planned) we will sell that land and live in the first home until we find the next project.

For more from Ella follow her @ellabarba_ @homesnob

Photography by Maddie Roux, Stylist, Beck Simon

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