Af­ter five months of ren­o­va­tions, Kate and Simon’s ’80s fixer-up­per is now a large and light fam­ily home.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

An open-plan de­sign and min­i­mal Scandinavian-style decor has trans­formed Kate Ni­chol­son’s 1980s fixer-up­per.


our home at the open-house in­spec­tion, we knew we had to have it. We’d been study­ing the house on the in­ter­net and driven past many times. Once in­side, we im­me­di­ately saw po­ten­tial and be­gan ren­o­va­tion plans be­fore we’d even pur­chased the house.

The day we were handed the keys, we be­gan rip­ping down walls, re­veal­ing what would be our new large, open­plan liv­ing, din­ing and kitchen area. Al­ready hav­ing beau­ti­ful high cathe­dral ceil­ings, at eight me­tres in height, the room be­gan to trans­form very quickly.


Sadly, our engineer came for­ward and in­formed us that it may not be pos­si­ble to re­move so many in­ter­nal walls as many were struc­tural, load-bear­ing walls. For days we felt our dream of hav­ing one large, open room wasn’t go­ing to be pos­si­ble. Even­tu­ally the engineer came up with a plan for a huge steel beam to be in­stalled hor­i­zon­tally across the ceil­ing, and a large beam in the mid­dle of the room. At first I was ap­pre­hen­sive about a large col­umn in the mid­dle of the room, but the idea grew on me and now I love the beam and look at it as a fea­ture of the room – be­sides, it’s hold­ing up our house!

“Our 5.5-me­tre din­ing ta­ble is so spe­cial. It not only fits the large space, it’s also per­fect for din­ner par­ties.”


Once the ren­o­va­tions were com­plete, I set about paint­ing every room in

Du­lux “Vivid White” – it was the per­fect choice as it has no tint in it and is a very crisp, clean, bright white. The fresh white walls work so well with the min­i­mal, Scandinavian/coastal look that I’ve gone for when dec­o­rat­ing.

Fur­nish­ing the house was sim­ple

– I have a very ta­lented part­ner who makes beau­ti­ful hard­wood fur­ni­ture, so all our tim­ber fur­ni­ture, such as our din­ing ta­ble, cof­fee ta­ble, stools and beds all come from our busi­ness, The Wood Room (The­wood­


Dec­o­rat­ing the house has def­i­nitely been a process that has evolved over time, and I’m still con­tin­u­ally chang­ing rooms around, chang­ing fur­nish­ings and paint­ing rooms again. The same goes for the big­ger projects – we’d love to put in a set of full-length bi­fold doors in the lounge room, open­ing up to a pool – it’s a must for sum­mer!”

“I feel our home em­braces the ca­sual, easy­go­ing Aus­tralian lifestyle with its sim­ple, func­tional and open-plan liv­ing.”

All about hue Kate’s artist friend Anna Cayzer came up with a beau­ti­ful set of ab­stract paint­ings to tie in with the theme and colours of the home.

DIN­ING ROOM Great lengths

The fam­ily love to en­ter­tain at their large din­ing ta­ble, which Simon made us­ing Amer­i­can oak.

HALL­WAY Fe­line fine

Lily cud­dles Molly the cat in the hall­way, which leads to the four bed­rooms and main bath­room.

LIV­ING ROOM Calm­ing colours Floor­boards were sanded back and heav­ily treated with Porter’s Paints Lime Wash through­out the liv­ing area.

KITCHEN Bright idea

Pen­dants from Bea­con Light­ing hang above the Cae­sar­stone is­land and cut through the all-white kitchen. TIP De­fine sep­a­rate zones with a row of stylish pen­dant lights like these.

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