A literal step back in time, this 1970’s blonde brick and tile home remained entirely untouched until interior designer Heather Gampe of Oak and Orange transformed it with her builder husband. “The home was in completely original condition. In fact, the same owner had lived in it since it was built,” says Heather who renovated the home within a tight timeframe and budget.
“We wanted to create a bright, warm and inviting home with a subtle cottage feel given the home’s location and target market,” says Heather of the home that is nestled at the foot of the Blue Mountains in Sydney’s west.
Removing the original home’s non-structural walls made a big design impact as well as making it more liveable by modern standards. “We were able to remove non-structural walls to create open plan living and install brand new sliding doors onto the large back deck with beautiful views of the Blue Mountains,” says Heather.
One of the first things to go was the original carpet – a riot of rust-hued pattern that I feel wouldn’t look so bad if there was less of it (for example, a cushion would be fabulous!) – exposing original floor boards below. “Underneath the original carpet we found beautiful Jarrah floors which we were able to repair and restore and this set the tone for the remainder of the home,” says Heather.
Aside from the deep Jarrah floors everything else was replaced with neutral, mostly white, tones – a strategic decision by Heather who describes her signature look as combining white with timber. “I love the blank canvas that white creates but I especially love it teamed with the warmth of timber and rattan. I love simplicity and texture. As a property investor I see all of our homes as an important investment for our future so I like to keep large ticket items in neutral and versatile colours and materials then I add texture and colour with items that can be inexpensively changed at a later date,” says Heather.
Given paint is relatively cheap and easy to replace, the brightly coloured new front door is a great example of taking a low-risk design punt. “I love the front door colour. I chose this at the time Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle and was given his new title so Taubmans ‘Sussex’ was the perfect choice,” says Heather.
The white theme continues in the all-white kitchen where herringbone tiles inject personality into the space. “The beautiful kitchen splash back tiles were a plain and white but had the most gorgeous texture. Laying them in a herringbone pattern brought some additional character to what was a simple, white kitchen,” says Heather.
Photography: Clarity Photography