Full House

A gre­gar­i­ous Syd­ney fam­ily de­cided the time was right to trans­form their home from for­mal to easy and breezy.

Australian House & Garden - - Contents - STORY Deb­o­rah Grant | STYLING Kayla Gex | PHOTOGR APHY John Paul Urizar

Good ar­chi­tec­tural bones and har­bour views have now reached their full po­ten­tial.

‘The home had great bones with beau­ti­ful ex­ist­ing iron win­dows and a fab­u­lous an­tique Span­ish front door.’ Lynda Kerry, in­te­rior de­signer

En­ter­tain­ing is the main ac­tiv­ity at this sprawl­ing three-storey home. Lo­cated in Syd­ney’s East­ern Sub­urbs on a steeply slop­ing 1000m2 block that af­fords un­in­ter­rupted north-east har­bour views, it’s a reg­u­lar venue for the own­ers’ char­ity events and ex­tended fam­ily’s weekly gath­er­ings.

Built in the 1950s and in­fused with a mod­ern Span­ish flavour in the ’90s, the five-bed­room home was sub­stan­tially ren­o­vated in 2014, a year af­ter the cur­rent own­ers – a fam­ily of five with two sons and a daugh­ter in their early 20s – moved in. They en­listed the help of in­te­rior de­signer Lynda Kerry, ar­chi­tect Michael Sut­tor and build­ing firm GNC Qual­ity to per­son­alise the house.

“I was in­vited to view the home be­fore they bought it, so you could say my role in the ren­o­va­tion started early on,” says Lynda. “The home had great bones with beau­ti­ful ex­ist­ing iron win­dows and a fab­u­lous an­tique Span­ish front door, but its for­mal wall­pa­pers and silk cur­tains didn’t suit my clients’ lifestyle. My brief was to take the ‘mod­ern’ out and make the home more tra­di­tional.”

But first, struc­tural ad­just­ments were called for. The orig­i­nal house had a great lay­out and space wasn’t an is­sue. Stor­age, how­ever, was, so Michael added a but­ler’s

Good things come to those who wait, it’s of­ten said, and in the case of this Bris­bane home, that holds true. It took 14 years to trans­form the tim­ber worker’s cot­tage into the el­e­gant home it is to­day, but home­own­ers Leanne and Damian wouldn’t have it any other way. “If we’d had the bud­get, we would have fin­ished the house years ago. But if we’d done it back then, it would have looked en­tirely dif­fer­ent to how it does to­day,” says Leanne. “Dur­ing those years, we trav­elled, saw beau­ti­ful things and stayed in won­der­ful places. Our tastes have evolved, and as a re­sult the house is far more in­ter­est­ing.”

The cou­ple had been on the hunt for some­thing low-main­te­nance when the in­ner-city res­i­dence came on the mar­ket. “I had walked past this house reg­u­larly for years, as a good friend of mine lived just down the road,” says Leanne. “I could see that it had beau­ti­ful bones and the po­ten­tial to be a very el­e­gant home.” De­spite hav­ing their minds set on some­thing con­tem­po­rary, a love af­fair had be­gun.

Hav­ing worked with Rowena Corn­well, in­te­rior de­signer at Bris­bane firm Coop Cre­ative, on their pre­vi­ous home, Leanne knew she’d be just the per­son to help bring their vi­sion to life. “For me, it was a joy­ful process,” says Rowena. “We didn’t even need to com­mu­ni­cate much of it; we had an un­spo­ken un­der­stand­ing about where this house needed togo. Le anne loves colour, tex­ture and beau­ti­ful things, and she wanted a home that was not just com­fort­able, but lay­ered and pol­ished.”

DIN­ING ROOM The an­tique French din­ing table and chairs up­hol­stered in a Pierre Frey fab­ric set up a com­fort­able din­ing zone. Iron chan­de­lier, Imag­ine This. Over­sized urn, Orient House. Mir­ror, Parterre. Sisal rug, In­ter­na­tional Floor­cov­er­ings. Vin­cent’s Gar­den deck chair, Cotswold Fur­ni­ture Col­lec­tion.

KITCHEN Thanks to the gen­er­ous is­land bench the kitchen has been trans­formed into the home’s so­cial cen­tre. Bench­top in Giallo An­tico mar­ble, Arte­do­mus. Pol­ished nickel sink and taps, The English Tap­ware Com­pany. Leather stools, In­style. Ilve cooker.

Smart buy: Hundi pen­dant lights, from $450 each,

Côté Mai­son. For Where to Buy, see page 188.

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