Gorgeous girl next door and well known Australian actress Kate Ritchie has been gracing our TV screens for over 20 years. Her big smile and down to earth nature make her an Australian favourite. Kate is currently a brand ambassador for Vaseline, a spokesperson for the Australian Red Cross and the ADCNSW and this week she jumps back into the Nova studio, hosting the Summer Breakfast show alongside Sam Mac. Kate and I met during my fashion PR days and she is an absolute delight to work with. Kate speaks with The Eye Spy Milk Bar about all the lovely details that inspire her at home.

Image source: Channel TEN/ photographer Carlos Furtado.

Which five words best describe you?

Sentimental, sensitive, generous, particular and (a) homebody!

Describe your perfect Sunday.

Getting up early and walking our dog, Mac, with my husband Stuart. We have so many lovely walks near our home and a fabulous dog park that is always on the itinerary. Stuart poaches perfect eggs and so often the best breakfasts are at home on our back step. It’s always nice to have plans but my most favourite Sundays are the ones where we potter around the house, maybe go to a market, buy some groceries and cook all afternoon into the evening. When it is football season, I quite like the Sunday afternoon game (on the TV!) and of course, 60 Minutes and a glass of wine. Heaven!

How would you describe your home decorating style?

Well, we are about to embark on a home renovation so right now that style is ‘storage unit inspired’! Previously though and what I hope we will get back to is fresh and comfortable, warm and welcoming. One thing is for certain, I like the feel of old over new. Worn timbers and linen rather than glass and metal. I lean towards whites and neutral tones but do love a navy or duck egg blue. I’m not sure how much it has to do with the decorating but my friends have always said they feel at ease in my home.. safe. As do I and I am guessing that’s a good thing!

Favourite place to shop for homewares/ furniture (shop or place?)

If I had unlimited funds I would love to fill my home with purchases from a place called ‘Antiques on Consignment’. It sits on the historic property ‘Kamilaroi’ on the Old Hume Highway, Braemar, an hour and a half from Sydney and is owned and run by a wonderful French woman, Lydie, who is as delightful as all of her beautiful furniture. My husband and I often take the drive to wander and get inspiration but for now, it is window shopping for us! Closer to home I love to visit a place called Lakota Trading. It is full of interesting vintage and antique furniture and homewares that feel as though they are all so carefully and lovingly chosen and pulled together for sale. There is a local homewares store called Humble Beginnings which always has the most beautiful window display and is one of those great ‘go to’ stores when you are in need of a perfect gift without spending an unnecessary fortune. They have recently started selling fresh flowers too which just make the whole place look and smell amazing. For larger purchases Laura Kincade and Coco Republic would have to be my favourites.

Biggest homewares/ furniture splurge?

When I won my Gold Logies I celebrated by buying myself gifts. Something I would always have and always remind me of that achievement long after they were packed away in a box somewhere. One of those times I bought a welsh pine sideboard that was once the back display counter in a grocery store. It really is special but a nightmare to move..

Fabulous find? (Best homewares/ furniture piece at an affordable price)

I collect so many little bits and pieces as I come across them. At junk shops and antique markets. This very cute footstool set me back $10 and is a favourite of my husband’s to eat his dinner off in front of the TV! I love antique cutlery too and this set we picked up at an antique fair. I just love the shape of the box and the proud presentation they always have. I am a big fan of vintage and vintage inspired aprons too and must have about 20 odd in total. They make me feel like a fabulous cook even when I am following the simplest of recipes!

Kate Ritchie 82

Best coffee in Sydney?

My favourite coffee happens to be in Melbourne at my favourite cafe in Little Collins Street! Caffe e Torta is the one place I must always visit when I am in town. The coffee is sensational and I am still searching at home in Sydney to find anything that comes close.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

When you find yourself composing a text message in anger or despair.. Sleep on it. You’ll find yourself deleting it in the morning and feeling extremely thankful it was never sent!

Who inspires you?

I have been working with the Australian Red Cross over the last year or so and have been inspired by so many people that work there or are involved with their tireless efforts. For example, the people who donate their time to the Telecross Programme and call the elderly and sick just to make sure they are ‘doing okay’ or the people who travel miles and miles to donate blood because they know it’s going to save someone’s life. People who do things for the benefit of others with no personal gain apart from self satisfaction and the odd ‘thank you’. Those things make me feel grateful and inspire me to make the very best of the hand I have been dealt.

What are you passionate about?

Right now, I am passionate about my writing. It is a skill I have been trying to nurture while having a little more time on my hands since my days in breakfast radio. It is all about trying to create some longevity in the industry and putting into practice the skills I have learnt over the years but never had the chance to test out! Whether my ideas live out their days in my computer or are actually printed or produced in the future remains to be seen but the process has been extremely rewarding. Oh, and the other thing I’m passionate about are my pumpkin vines that have sprung up in our veggie patch after I buried a rotting old pumpkin many months ago. They are my babies right now and I am willing them to grow and be strong, every day! I will be sure to send Katy a photo of my homemade soup or pie when it’s time!

Image source: Kate Ritchie

The Eye Spy Milk Bar would like to say a big thank you to Kate for sharing all the lovely details that inspire her at home x


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