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As­tay at El Fenn in Mar­rakech in­spired the aes­thetic of this fab­u­lous home in Syd­ney’s east. The clients bought the rel­a­tively new build while liv­ing in Lon­don, then en­gaged de­sign­ers Jus­tine Hugh-Jones and Ka­t­rina Mack­in­tosh, of re­cently re­launched stu­dio HughJones Mack­in­tosh, to freshen it up, in­tro­duce more light and cre­ate a stylish, con­tem­po­rary home for their fam­ily of five.

While the bones of the de­tached, five-bed­room house were good and no struc­tural work was needed, the look was dated, and the de­sign­ers opted for a fresh white pal­ette en­livened with green accents through­out. The court­yard at the front of the house is a show­stop­per, wel­com­ing vis­i­tors, act­ing as an ex­ten­sion of the liv­ing space for en­ter­tain­ing or as a pri­vate sanc­tu­ary for re­lax­ation, so at­ten­tion was fo­cused here to get it right.

Says Jus­tine, “This was a re­ally crit­i­cal part of the de­sign. We worked to bring the court­yard into the house – and the house into the court­yard – and make a re­ally beau­ti­ful, rich state­ment.” They en­gaged Richard Unsworth of Gar­den Life to cre­ate a plant­ing scheme that pro­motes a lush, cool en­vi­ron­ment, with palms and cac­tus, succulents and trail­ing creep­ers spilling from planter boxes and en­velop­ing the high walls.

The clients had fallen in love with the deep-green zel­lige tiles in the Moroc­can ho­tel and wished to fea­ture them in the ren­o­va­tion. Luck­ily the de­sign­ers had a con­tact in Mar­rakech who was able to track down the ex­act tiles which have been used to stun­ning ef­fect to cover one wall of the court­yard. This dra­matic fea­ture is a mas­ter­stroke, a graphic and unique back­drop to the mul­ti­func­tional space which is the pivot of the home.

Into this haven of green, the de­sign­ers in­tro­duced lay­ers of tex­ture with Emu ‘Heaven’ black mesh chairs and built-in seat­ing, »

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