Personal Space: at home with Gina Liano

Gina Liano in her Toorak home. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

Gina Liano in her Toorak home. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

Avid fans of Real Housewives of Melbourne know they get mere glimpses of Gina Liano’s home on screen. Although she lives in the reality TV spotlight, the barrister, author, and now fragrance and shoewear entrepreneur, guards her privacy zealously.

Home is an intimate space. The four-bedroom, three-storey townhouse in Toorak, styled after an Italian maisonette, is a voyage of discovery.

“It’s got the ceiling height of a Victorian home but, if you stand at the back door, you feel like you’re in Tuscany,” Gina says.

The family moved in two years ago and Gina loves the location. She says she hasn’t done a lot of decoration, “because we’re filming, with cameras and lighting. I’ve had to leave that front room (where she does to-camera segments for the series) pretty simple.”

Instead, she populates the rooms – glossy black kitchen, parquetry flooring, sweeping staircase – with furnishings she loves.

“I like things that are a bit traditional. I like glamorous things. I don’t mind a bit of gold leaf, a bit of silver leaf.”

With two sons and two dogs in the house, Gina says she spends time in her bedroom when she can. “I’ve got a balcony up there, an en suite, a walk-in wardrobe. I’ve got lots of room up there for grooming, having a rest, watching TV.”

 

DOLL

A fan had this made in New York for me – he sent it to me. I thought “how gorgeous is that, the effort?”. It was very sweet, and I loved it. The workmanship is great. I sent him a fragrance and a book as a big thank-you.

A life-like doll given to Gina by a fan. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

A life-like doll given to Gina by a fan. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

 

SHOES

Season 2 of Real Housewives (February 2015) was when I introduced my shoe range. Shoes have to be comfortable and I know mine don’t look comfortable but they are. They have to be sexy, blingy. My influence is Sergio Rossi shoes, but they’re $1200-$1400 a pair. I’ve taken that shoe in my mind’s eye and developed a range thinking I would like to be able to make these shoes at a more affordable price.

A special pair of Gina's shoes. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

A special pair of Gina’s shoes. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

 

MIRROR
(Shown in lead image)

I’ve been going to Mirror Mirror on Hoddle Street for years. That mirror was $1700 reduced to $350. They have the best sales, they always look after me. We went past the other day and found that there, and I just said, yup. I think it’s so glamorous.

 

CHAIR
(Also in lead image above)

I got this at Robertsons. I’ve got a black linen bedhead so it matches and it looks good with an ottoman. It ties in really nicely. And I love the fact that it’s a bit masculine.

 

DOGS

I’ve had dogs my whole life. Ninja’s a toy poodle crossed with a lab. Noodles is a cavoodle. We got Ninja six years ago after my Maltese poodle passed away at 14. We fell in love with Ninja, he looked like a teddy bear. One of Josh’s (Gina’s assistant) friends told me that there were puppies at the pet store in South Yarra … so we went in and there was Noodles in the cage all by himself and we got him out, and he was a big rascal.

Noodles & Ninja. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

Noodles & Ninja. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

 

HAND PRINTS

I love these handprints of my sons, Christos and Myles; they’re 26 and 20 years old now. I bought this kit. I actually made the mould and set up the plaster. The handprints were done on New Year’s Eve 1999, turn of the century.

Two framed handprints, pressed by her sons on New Year's Eve 1999. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

Two framed handprints, pressed by her sons on New Year’s Eve 1999. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

MOTHER AND CHILD STATUE

When I was going through cancer, my mother was distressed, of course. I was only 36. She thought I wasn’t going to make it. She bought me this, she couldn’t talk, she was so choked up. She said: “I want you to live, Gina.”

A statue gift from her mother when Gina was battling cancer. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

A statue gift from her mother when Gina was battling cancer. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

JEWELLERY AT BEVILLES

I love jewellery. I’ve done jewellery in conjunction with another girl who designed the pieces … so far. This is a new range I’ve designed. I’m hoping to get that out early in the new year. I love white gold and diamonds, silver, and I love semi-precious coloured stones. They’re quite substantial, there’s a lot of weight in them.

Pieces from Gina's jewellery range. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

Pieces from Gina’s jewellery range. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

 

FEARLESS BY GINA LIANO

I’ve just released my second fragrance, called Fearless by Gina Liano. The base is amber and vanilla, cedarwood and iris. When I developed Fearless I thought of the sensuality. It’s summer, so it’s going to be hot. I thought of what it was going to smell like on the skin if you’re going to dance … or what it smells like on a man if it transfers onto him and it smells beautiful.

Fearless by Gina Liano retails exclusively at Chemist Warehouse, $39.99 100ml.

Gina's Fearless range of perfume. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

Gina’s Fearless range of perfume. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

 

FEARLESS: MY LIFE MY WAY

I presented one part of a chapter to Hardie Grant. They wanted it published for Mother’s Day last year … I signed the contract on December 9. I was filming until December 15, so I [had] nine days to deadline. I thought how many words does a book need? It’s about 80,000; I’m just going to have to write 10,000 words a day. But it actually came out quite good because it’s in one voice. It’s an easy read. I didn’t have to research it – it was all there in my head. I wrote it like I speak, it’s like a narrative.

Gina's auto-biography, FEARLESS: MY LIFE MY WAY.

Gina’s auto-biography, FEARLESS: MY LIFE MY WAY.

 

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