Inside Out (Australia)
After moving fromf London, a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor living was a major drawcard for this young family
A gorgeous Sydney house by the beach seamlessly blends indoors with the lush greenery outdoors to become a loved home for this young family
Six years ago, Alex and her husband Robbie left London for a simpler lifestyle in Australia. After searching in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for eight months, they stumbled upon their dream home - a beach bungalow tucked away in the northern end of Bondi Beach. Fortunately, the home had already been tastefully renovated by the previous owner so it was a case of “buying off the shelf and happily moving straight in,” says Alex.
Why did you choose Bondi? When we moved from London, Robbie’s sister Karina was already settled here, so it was an obvious choice. It was totally our vibe: we love being close to the ocean, close to family and friends, and part of the amazing community of like-minded creative young families.
What appealed to you about the house? Our favourite part of the house was the indoor/outdoor living space; we were very keen to enjoy as much time eating and entertaining outside as possible. We also loved the beautiful renovation by the previous owner, interior designer Kate Pulsford: the clean monochrome palette, details such as the barn doors, plantation blinds and leather pulls on all the wardrobes. We had been looking for a fixer-upper for about eight months, but this house was so ‘us’ that we decided to put our reno plans on the backburner and buy off the shelf. With kids aged five and two at the time, it was probably a lucky escape!
How would you describe your style? Pared-down, beachy and bohemian. We used to live in a house filled with trinkets and treasures but when we moved into this house, we loved the clean aesthetic, so we stashed a lot of stuff in the attic to keep the vibe a bit more minimal. I work from home a lot and find a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind, so I like to edit things back - I’m in a constant battle with the kids to keep their stuff in their rooms.
What’s your favourite part of the home? My favourite room is the open-plan kitchen and living space, which opens out onto the garden. When I’m working from home the wide galley kitchen is a dream to cook in. It’s flooded with natural light, unlike most commercial kitchens, and has enough storage and bench space for all my gadgets and goodies. As a former stylist and now a caterer, I’m constantly buying all manner of beautiful bowls, large rustic platters and antique wooden boards to display on our grazing tables. I love being connected to the rest of the living space while I cook, rather than shut off in a different room. The only downfall is that I need to keep it constantly tidy!
How do you like to entertain in summer? My cooking is very influenced by colour and I’m always interested in the aesthetics of a dish as well as the flavours – that also includes what the food is served on and how the table is set. I have a rustic approach to both and don’t like things to feel too ‘done’. We eat a largely plant-based diet with lots of beautiful seasonal produce, and I like to offer up lots of different platters within a loose theme. We love Mexican, Indian, Asian and Middle-Eastern food, so entertaining tends to lean towards one of those. Where possible, we like to eat in the garden. We might throw a whole fish on the barbecue to go with salads, and I usually kick off by serving a cocktail alongside dips and crudités. This is what LoveBites has become known for as a catering company as well: beautifully presented fresh, colourful bowls and platters of mostly plant-based goodness. Check out LoveBites on Instagram at @lovebitesbondi. See more from interior designer Kate Pulsford on Instagram @villa_interior_design.