At home with Tanya Harrison of Raja Homewares

Today, we’re going inside the resort style home of Tanya Harrison, the woman behind the new online homewares brand, Raja Home.

Tanya and I recently crossed paths, and when I looked at her Instagram and saw the photo of her daughter’s jungle themed room, I knew it had to be on getinmyhome!

Tanya Harrison is someone you’d describe as a “doer”. Going on maternity leave, about to welcome a third child, isn’t the typical time most people would launch a business…

But at 38 weeks pregnant, Tanya’s first shipment of products arrived and her dream to run an online destination for high quality, handcrafted rattan furniture and toys was born (just beating the arrival of baby Georgia!).

Raja Home was a calling Tanya had to feed her passion for interiors and her love for creating adventurous rooms for her three girls.

As Tanya told me, “new Mums spend a lot of time in the Nursery so it is important they feel proud, inspired and love the wonderful room they create for their child.”

So give yourself five minutes to dive into the world of Tanya Harrison, Raja Homewares and her gorgeous Sydney home.

Tanya, what has the journey of Raja Homewares been like so far?

An up and down rollercoaster ride! I started sourcing products whilst pregnant with my third and still working my regular part time Corporate job.

After many logistical delays, the first shipment arrived when I was 38 weeks pregnant… I’ll never forget unloading that container with such a big belly!

We then did a photo shoot, built our website and launched in November last year.

We’ve now been live a couple of months trying to develop brand awareness via social media and various markets around Sydney. It’s been busy and a lot more hard work than I ever could have imagined… anyone who has started up a small business, I have so much respect for them! It’s been gruelling with a brand-new baby, but also very exciting as I’ve always wanted to launch my own business!

Tell us about the story behind where you now live?

We live in Sydney in the Sutherland Shire where I grew up. We chose to live here because it’s a beautiful natural area close to beaches and waterways and we love this type of lifestyle. Not to mention we wanted to be close to my family. Without my Mum’s help I couldn’t raise 3 kids and a small business that’s for sure!

We knocked down and re-built from scratch, which was a rewarding project to be involved with as we got along great with our builder and it was exciting to see each new stage of development. There is also satisfaction to be had from knowing the house we’ve created suits us as a family and our personalities are reflected the in the choices we’ve made.

Tell us what you have done to the home since moving in?

We didn’t hire professional landscapers, we did the landscaping ourselves, so that is probably the biggest thing we’ve done since moving in. I absolutely love gardening so it was a really enjoyable undertaking. We’ve also done a lot of little mini projects which my Dad has had a big hand in! Like a DIY outdoor entertaining area, a sandstone letterbox and a built in desk where I can work from home.

What are the most important elements about a home to you?

My home has to feel like a place of comfort and rest for my family.

I always loved the feeling of staying in our favourite holiday villa in Bali so I tried to replicate that “resort” feel at home, so we have a lot of plants around the house and a relaxed type of style. The house also has to withstand three children! We chose hardy flooring, an open plan layout so we could keep an eye on them, and nothing is too precious.

What problem areas were there and how did you fix these?

Privacy from neighbours was an issue so we have planted a lot of clumping bamboo along the boundary and that has now grown to a height where all we see now is a wall of green!

How would you describe your interiors style?

I would say plantation.

We have relaxed large scale furniture with long horizontal lines & open-framed seating to create a casual feel, with an emphasis on comfort and relaxation.

You’ll see all natural materials such as rattan, bamboo, soft leather, seagrass, driftwood & dark sturdy timbers around my house. I’ve tried to complement this furniture with soft durable fabrics such as cottons and linen. And of course there are loads of plants and greenery in every room!

The girls’ rooms are magical! Where did your ideas for these come from?

Thank you so much!

I let the girls’ personalities dictate the style for each of their rooms.

My eldest girl Annabelle’s favourite animal is a leopard and she is a bit of a wild child with her crazy curly hair and boundless energy! So when I found the amazing custom jungle wallpaper I knew it would be perfect and used that as a backdrop to the natural rattan furniture in her room. We used the colour tones in the wallpaper to match the accessories like the canopy and rug.

My second, Emily, is a real girly girl so the limewash textured pink paint was perfect as a starting point for her and also makes a fantastic backdrop to the rattan toddler bed in her room and rattan toys. We’ve used brighter colours in the rug and bedhead for her to reflect her love of colour.

Finally my third, little baby Georgia, we went with a neutral colour palette as I wasn’t sure what sex my third baby would be! So it’s natural white walls, lots of greenery and rattan, my favourite combination!

Where do you love to source homewares from aside from Raja Homewares of course?

I love Few and Far, we’ve sourced a lot of antique Indian and Chinese furniture from them which is just incredible! I also love artwork and interesting prints for our walls. Neal Adams runs a gallery in Bali and we have a couple of his pieces of art which compliment our home beautifully. A We Are Pampa print is my favourite photograph at the entrance to our home.

Working at home, how do you create a space you can be productive in?

My Dad has just kindly constructed me a built in desk which is really large and enables me to spread out whilst working from home.

I try to make sure I only attempt to work whilst my eldest are at daycare or later at night, otherwise working from home in an open plan home doesn’t really lead to much productivity! Otherwise I really love working from home and the flexibility it entails, I can work when it suits me and stay in my PJ’s! I just have to be careful not to keep hitting up the fridge!

A huge thank you to Tanya for sharing her story and home with us. Visit rajahomewares.com and follow @rajahomewares on Instagram.

1 Comment

Talk to me!