Home Life Series

Meet the mother-daughter duo behind Brisbane's 5-star heritage listed accommodation, Miss Midgley's

To celebrate empowering and uplifting female connections this Mother’s Day – and the need for some serious R&R – we infused the Miss Midgley's guest house with a feeling of home, colour and relaxation in the form of a bookable Kip&Co x Miss Midgley's suite!

Nestled on the vibrant James Street, Miss Midgley's emerges as a timeless gem amidst Brisbane's bustling landscape. Originally a 160-year-old heritage home, this architectural marvel has undergone a meticulous restoration courtesy of the dynamic mother-daughter duo, Lisa and Isabella White. Both architects, they've now created five 5-star apartments that are not only pooch-friendly but sustainably designed (win win)!  

Join us as we discuss the joys and trials of working together, the evolution of their relationship, and the invaluable lessons they learned along the way.

Hi Lisa and Isabella, we’re thrilled to be here! First up, what can you tell us about the history of this amazing heritage accommodation? 

We're excited you're here too! Miss Midgley's is an 160 year old heritage home - one of Brisbane's oldest. We purchased the property in 2021 and spent a year renovating, designing and restoring the stone castle on the hill. Over the years, the building had gone from a private house, to a nunnery, a hospital and eventually a school. It needed some serious love and attention when it fell into our hands. The project was named after Annie Midgley, an ambidextrous artist and teacher who opened the private school in the building in 1905, called Miss Midgley's Educational Establishment. We shared our restoration journey in depth on our Instagram if you scroll to the start!

You two are an incredible mother-daughter team, a true powerhouse from the start of this journey. What sparked the idea for your venture, and what made you choose to partner with each other? 

Generally, we've always been really close. We're very creative and have similar brains! Having both finished our Masters of Architecture (albeit 30 years apart) we had always wanted to work on something together. Miss Midgley's was the perfect balance of our skill sets - Mum has 30 years of experience in property development, construction and architecture, and I (Izzie) had been developing skills in social media, branding and website design. We agree on most design decisions so that part was easy!

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What obstacles have you faced and what joys have you discovered while collaborating so intimately? How has your bond transformed throughout this shared journey? 

Izzie: It was great being able to see Mum in her element, she was on site most days with builders working out how to restore 160 year old stone work. She makes very clever design decisions, spends money where it matters most and moves quickly. I learnt a lot from watching her work. 

Lisa: It was the first time in a long time I'd worked with someone Izzie's age, and being so young she brought an optimism to the design process. She pushed me on things that normally I would have said was too hard! And the building is better for it. Izzie: It takes a lot of guts to do what Mum did, it's a public building on the main street of Brisbane's premier travel spot. The whole process made me realise how brave she is.

What unique experiences or touches do you aim to offer guests of Miss Midgley that set your place apart from others?

The beautiful thing about only having 5 apartments is that we can manage super personalised experiences. We source local honey, and wine - we've got a curated playlist for people to listen to while they're there. There are only three of us involved in running the business, the third is James our House Manager who ends up knowing almost every guest personally. Our social media is a gold mine for suggestions on local things to do within walking distance too.

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We are crushing over the rich pinks, deep hues and luxurious marble featured throughout Miss Midgley. Could you share the design vision or key elements that were essential to creating such a stunning ambiance in each of the guesthouses? 

Everything in this building is about the heritage stonework - which you can't source new anymore! These stones were cut by convicts in Brisbane's early days as a settlement. We wanted the stone to still be a hero and turned to the complimentary pinks, terracottas and browns found in the rock's natural colour palette. Inside the rooms, we made a simple decision to leave all the original building work white, and colour any new elements (kitchens and bathroom) deep terracotta! 

Woman to woman, how do you both prioritise self-care and boundaries to ensure a healthy balance between work and personal life?

We don’t! We obsess over our projects. We can talk about them endlessly. The key (for us) is to have enough on the go that you can rotate through new topics and ideas to keep it fresh. We make sure we look after ourselves though, we live active, social and busy lives but wouldn't have it any other way.