A Sydneysider moves into the home that she once admired as a child, giving it a new life with greenery, sunlight and soul
A Sydneysider and her family move into the home she admired as a child, making it their own with a colour palette inspired by the sea
who lives here? Lisa Barnett, her husband Neil, their sons Will, 18, and Sam, 15, and Maisy the staffordshire bull terrier.
WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELIEVE IN FATE, the story of how Lisa Barnett came to buy her Sydney home on the Northern Beaches seems predetermined. “I grew up only a street away from the house. In fact, my parents’ friends owned it for many years,” Lisa says. As a young girl, she’d admired the property’s architecture and front garden, so when it came up for sale four years ago, she had to see it. Having lived in London for 20 years, Lisa couldn’t resist the distant views of the Central Coast, not to mention the visits by previous owners who spoke of happy memories made there. “That’s why the house feels like it does,” she explains. “I think it’s full of the love of all its past owners.”
IT’S ONLY NATURAL Wattyl Interior Design i.d “White” paint was used throughout to create a blank canvas for colourful pieces. “The crisp freshness of white brightens any space,” Lisa adds. Large windows offer glimpses of the gardens, and mirrors are placed to bounce sunlight around. To add warmth, carpet woven from New Zealand wool was used in the bedrooms, while rugs are layered on top of the original wood flooring. Oceanic shades of green and blue, which Lisa loves in the Australian light, are present in the upholstered furniture and art, and many of the materials used are natural, recycled or vintage.
DREAM TEAM Lisa worked with interior designer Kate Manning to make the home her own, knocking down a wall, redesigning the kitchen and lovingly decorating each room. “I think you can tell when someone has taken their time,” Lisa says. “It’s taken me three years to get this far and it’s still evolving.” This patience is what gives her home soul – she waits for pieces she feels connected to, much like the home itself. “It would be great if one day in the future, my boys bring their grandchildren to this place and tell of their memories here.”
Pièce de résistance The Arabescato marble in the kitchen was chosen for its warmth. This depth is complemented by the island’s Treasury Bronze cabinets and doors painted in Murobond “Raw Earth”. The tapware is from the Brodware “Yokato” range and there’s plenty of space to pull up a Thonet cane seat and eat in.