Colour CUES

With space and stor­age is­sues solved, the own­ers of this Syd­ney bun­ga­low set their sights on a blue kitchen – and from there every­thing flowed.

Australian House & Garden - - Houses - STORY Deb­o­rah Grant | STYLING He­len Carter | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY John Paul Urizar

A1920s home can be a chal­lenge to mod­ernise. Small rooms and win­dows block­ing light, lim­ited stor­age and tiny cab­i­nets are at odds with the open-plan life­style most of us now as­pire to. But Syd­neysiders Ni­cola andMark Lacey­were fear­lessintheir­mis­sion: to re­tain the orig­i­nal fea­tures of their lower north-shore house and its Cal­i­for­nian bun­ga­low fa­cade while achiev­ing bet­ter flow and func­tion­al­ity in­side. Top­ping their wish list was a fab­u­lous en­ter­tain­ing space and time­less interiors.

There were a few other is­sues to be dealt with. A 1960s ren­o­va­tion had de­liv­ered ter­ra­cotta tiles through­out the living ar­easandtherew­ere­room­sof­f­room­sinthesin­gle-lev­el­struc­ture. Plus, the back­yard pool was on a di­ag­o­nal, sur­rounded by rock­eries that pre­vented the Laceys’ two sons, Tom, now 13, and Ed­ward, 11, from us­ing the out­door space.

The nine-month ren­o­va­tion to open up the ground floor and cre­ate a par­ents’ zone up­stairs, as well as build a new car­port and re­po­si­tion the pool, was con­tracted to David Campbell Build­ing (DCB). The firm’s de­sign di­rec­tor, He­len Carter, took care of every­thing from con­cept de­vel­op­ment to cus­tom join­ery – and even styled the home for this shoot. As the clients had a clear idea of what they wanted, things went fairly smoothly.

“When I first met Ni­cola for our de­sign con­sult, she came armed with books, fold­ers filled with tear sheets and pic­tures on an iPad, all of which were some shade of blue,” says He­len. “Af­ter un­load­ing them onto the ta­ble, she looked at me, laughed and said, ‘Can you tell I like the colour blue?’ That was the jump­ing off point for the whole con­cept – Ni­cola’s love of blue and the calm­ing, serene feel­ing it gave her.”

He­len im­me­di­ately went for the idea and started to de­velop the blue theme, so Ni­cola knew she fi­nally had the right de­signer. An ear­lier meet­ing with a big-name kitchen com­pany had ended with their rep declar­ing, “Don’t be ridicu­lous; kitchens have to be white,” which abruptly ended that con­ver­sa­tion.

In­cor­po­rat­ing the inky navy colour Ni­cola wanted (Du­lux Pit Stop) into the mas­sive new kitchen is­land bench, He­len bal­anced it with a blue-fronted fire­place on the op­po­site side of the

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