IN A fairly classic example of a renovation disagreement, Emily Barnes had her heart set on an oven her husband thought was a little out of the budget.
Instead of turning it into a passive-aggressive marital clash, she simply shrugged and set about thinking of ways to raise the shortfall so everyone would be happy.
She hit up a few garage sales and started buying things she saw as under-valued to on-sell.
Her eye was continually drawn to furniture items that were in serious need of some TLC, so it wasn't long before she turned her hand to a little restoration.
The first few pieces sold like hotcakes and orders started rolling in for more.
It was the birth of Coquelicot Designs.
"One Saturday morning, I set out to do my rounds of the garage sales and stumbled across a some antique chairs which I saw potential in and purchased on a whim," she said.
"Working with these pieces saw my love of fabrics and design flourish and, as with my furniture, my unique design style was very well received.
"My early pieces sold very quickly, which led to me moving towards custom design.
"The following years saw huge growth and I now work full-time working closely with clients to design their piece, making sure every detail is taken care of."
The struggle of dragging four children under seven around to garage sales and estate sales every weekend eventually began to ease as her renown grew and people began telling her about interesting pieces, so now she could focus on her quirky designs.
These days she tended to be booked out months in advance and had no shortage of enquiries.
While the restorations weren't cheap, with fabric, often hand-painted, ordered specifically for each piece, there was no shortage of people on the hunt for the one piece that could bring their home design together.
Others were keen to breathe new life into family heirlooms and were happy to pay whatever that took.
Her unique style was drawn from a range of places.
"I suspect my brain works differently to others," she said.
"I see the world as an ever-changing landscape from which to draw inspiration from.
"Architecture, the styling in shop window, a café, a sunset, the way shadows fall over the path - they all combine to bring me inspiration."
Mrs Barnes said the business had finally grown to the point where she was preparing to open a show room in Toowoomba after years of going between her storage shed in the garage of their Ramsay home to a workshop in the city.
You can see more of her quirky designs on Facebook.
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