Located in the eastern Sydney suburb of Queens Park, this character home was in a state of faded glory before interior designer Alex Gourlay of Vellum Interiors transformed the main living spaces recently bringing warmth, character and functionality to the abode that is home to a young family of four. I love the result and particularly the way in which the designer made the heritage features look really modern with a mix of moody paint and contemporary furnishings.
“The rooms were completely unused because the clients were at a loss as to how to make them work for their lifestyle. Having moved from a terrace, they didn’t have enough furniture to fit in the spaces either,” says Alex who helped the family make their new, much larger, house work for them with a clever mix of paint, cabinetry, lighting fittings and soft and hard furnishings.
First up, the cornices and ceiling roses were reinstated which helped restore the home’s former grandeur. “I love that they look like they’ve been there forever,” says Alex of the new plasterwork.
A dividing bookshelf was also added that cleverly separates the two formal spaces (the dining and lounge) while making both rooms feel larger in the process. “The bookshelves work really well to delineate and define the spaces, but they’ve also added handy storage and a feeling of warmth and cosiness in the sitting room too,” says Alex. The shelves are styled with a range of books, greenery and beautiful objects.
After the plasterwork and cabinetry was completed the home was painted with a mix of elegant mid grey and green tones including Dulux Tranquil Retreat in the hallway (a mid grey), Dulux Knight of the Realm in the formal living area (a deeper grey) and Dulux Milky Spearmint in the formal dining room. “I think the colours are really striking and create mood in each space,” says Alex.
When it was time to select furniture the designer deliberately chose a lot of curved edges and organic materials to break up the long, narrow old rooms and make them feel more relaxed. Complementary (but not matching) LightCo pendant lights in both rooms add further decorative flourishes.
“I’m very proud of the way that heritage features have been highlighted, and then seamlessly combined with contemporary fittings and furniture. I see this as a union of the features of the house and the character of the clients.”
Photographer: Pablo Veiga