Sweet Digs Australia: An Exclusive Look At ‘Casa de Flex’, Flex Mami’s Dreamy New Hobart Home

Welcome to Sweet Digs Australia, where we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious, and always unique homes of women and gender-diverse people across the country. This week, we snap out an exclusive first look at Lillian Ahenkan's freshly purchased Hobart home.
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If Flex Mami is becoming a homeowner, she is doing it the Flex Mami way. Who else, other than the Sydney-based powerhouse, could purchase a property and transform its interior into an otherworldly, pastel dreamscape in four months flat?
In Dodges Ferry, a coastal town just outside of Hobart, you’ll find a sky-blue weatherboard two-bedroom house. Earlier this year, the property was bought by Lillian Ahenkan (Flex’s government name) for just under $700,000. In the short months since, she estimates she’s invested $120,000 into renovations — though she’s far from finished.  
It’s hard to voice Ahenkan’s roles in one breath (she’s an award-winning influencer, author, DJ, presenter and entrepreneur), and now, she can add renovator to her list — “I think I’m in my furniture design era,” she quips.  
The Hobart home is truly a pastel wonderland — light pinks, limes, purples and orange paint lick the walls. With her signature bold style and undulating furniture, the space screams avant-basic, in the best way possible. The brief was “contrasting colours but not clown college,” Ahenkan says, referring to the unmissable explosion of playful colour in each room. 
The vision she has for the ‘Casa de Flex’ is gutsy — she’s set on providing her guests with a full sensory experience, one where function and aesthetics live in equal harmony and where her inner reality matches outer reality.
Her high standards mean that nothing in her house is immune from perfecting; Ahenkan’s brief for her florist was a bouquet that screamed “princess alien,” and the power points throughout the space all wear colourful covers. In the same vein, she won’t show us her bathroom and only gives a two-second peak of the backyard that she hasn’t finished renovating, though mentions that it’s twice the size of the house. 
Ever since Ahenkan’s friend moved to Hobart about half a decade ago, she’s been transfixed by the city’s interwoven embrace of arts, culture, music, fashion and food. Pancho Villa is her top restaurant pick, followed by Sonny and Lucinda. Her Dodges Ferry address is where she plans to spend 30% of her time in the coming years, a “home away from home”.
For the other 70% of the year, The Palm Springs-inspired abode will be a boutique holiday home available to rent on Airbnb. “We actually WANT you to have fun, relax and get wine-drunk, just don’t trash the place, please. You can't take the bed with you when you leave but your memories are YOURS to own,” the listing reads.
The semi-rural property’s renovation was conceptually dreamt up by Ahenkan, but brought to life by building company Roberts and Rogers. Ahenkan moved some of her existing, beloved pieces into the place, including a three-year-old Roly Poly chair from Driade and her Seletti Wears Toiletpaper mirror, featuring several businesspeople’s arms holding out lipstick.
One of the first new purchases Flex made for her Dodges Ferry home was a two-metre aluminium dining room table, aptly named the Yum Table. It’s completed with a set of vintage chairs from Luke’s Furniture in Melbourne, coming in at $4,000 for the set. 
“My life’s purpose is to tablescape,” she says, half-jokingly. But atop the table sees dinnerware from In The Roundhouse, coloured glass candleholders, funky martini glasses and the aforementioned ‘princess alien’ flowers; it’s clear Ahenkan has a knack for staging beautiful settings.
The one-story home also has its fair share of Facebook Marketplace finds, including a $10 ‘90s Frangipani surfboard “monstrosity” (as Ahenkan describes) that she upcycled into a mirror, and an oval glass-topped coffee table with ceramic-look swans that she spray-painted pink.
But overshadowing all, are her one-off, self-designed creations. “My DIY and purchasing era? I’m done. Everything from scratch,” she says. Take the main bedroom’s custom-made, $2,000 boucle bedhead and base, the lounge room’s handmade TV cabinet, or the second bedroom’s pastel platform bed that cost between $4,000 to $5,000 to make in a mere five days.
Ahenkan suggests looking the rooms in her new digs like you would a boyband. “They wear similar outfits, but they have their own solos. You can tell they’re part of a group, but they shine separately. Same vibe for the house.”
She leaves those undertaking renovations with several tips. “[Don’t] get too attached to ideas before you understand the labour involved, the time to source materials and the overall cost of it… Once you renovate one room, you’re gonna wanna do every single room. The zeros keep zeroing.”
And: “Always ask. A lot of what you see in this [house] was the result of me just posing a question… Can we turn a door into an arch? Is it possible?”.
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