Af­ter 12 years of changes, Steph and Glenn’s late-1960s house in Syd­ney’s north-west is now colour­ful, quirky and much-loved.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Years of changes and lots of TLC have turned Steph and Glenn’s late-1960s house into a colour­ful and quirky oa­sis.

“GLENN AND I HAD BEEN to about 100 open house in­spec­tions when we came across this quite av­er­age one. Although where we were liv­ing with our three lit­tle girls was spa­cious, we were keen to move sub­urbs. From the out­side it looked small but in­side the house was really quite large. It had a great outlook over a golf course, was within walk­ing dis­tance of two schools and the lay­out was quirky, which I loved. How­ever the tex­tured wall­pa­per cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing the ceil­ings, was far less ap­peal­ing. But I had a strong feel­ing that this was the right house for us and I knew straight­away what I could do to it, so we made an of­fer in the drive­way!


The split-level house, built about 50 years ago, was in a fair con­di­tion when we moved in. But the in­te­rior decor was a com­plete dis­as­ter – that wall­pa­per had to go! We be­gan tear­ing it down the first night we moved in. I’d put the kids to bed at 7pm and spend the next five hours re­mov­ing wall­pa­per.

Over the next 12 months we tack­led cos­metic changes, re­paint­ing the walls, re­plac­ing the dark wood pan­elling with

a more mod­ern style, which we painted white, and re­car­pet­ing the be­d­rooms. Af­ter a year we were ready to make struc­tural changes, and knocked down about six walls to cre­ate two large open-plan ar­eas from the tiny sep­a­rate kitchen, liv­ing and din­ing rooms. Six years ago we built the deck and last year re­placed the back ve­ran­dah.

Although we’d made bud­get changes – like paint­ing the tiles – we lived with the orig­i­nal bath­rooms un­til ear­lier this year when both were over­hauled. Many happy hours were spent por­ing through mag­a­zines and on­line to de­sign them! I in­cluded a laun­dry shute in the main one as noth­ing ru­ins a new bath­room more than a pile of filthy clothes!


I love all styles, ex­cept min­i­mal­ism! I like clut­ter and things that re­mind me of some­one or some­where we have been. In­spi­ra­tion comes from mag­a­zines, Pin­ter­est, open homes and also Ja­pan, where I lived for six years. Most of our fur­ni­ture comes from eBay, Gumtree and garage sales – on Fri­day nights I’d map out the next morn­ing’s garage sales (Glenn al­ways feared my call, ask­ing him to hook up the trailer!).

Pas­tels have al­ways been a favourite with me, but I also like bold colours. Tech­ni­cally noth­ing matches but it all seems to come to­gether in the chaos, like my mint green kitchen cup­board doors, replica Tolix stools and the pretty enamel cook­ware hang­ing up in the kitchen (which is too beau­ti­ful to ac­tu­ally use, I just love look­ing at it).


I’ve never lost my child­ish ex­cite­ment about Christ­mas. We usu­ally eat out on the deck and ev­ery­one con­trib­utes: Un­cle Ron does the ham, my mum brings her del­ish Christ­mas cake and my mother-in-law makes her sherry tri­fle. We fin­ish off with pool pony wres­tles – I love the vibe of the day!“

READY TO HANG Round mir­ror, with leather strap, $19, from Kmart.

BLOW IT UP Luxe float swan in Gold, $99.95, from Sun­nylife.

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