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