When Sunday Collector stylist Briar Stanley spotted this 1960’s brick and tile home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches she saw its potential and put an offer in immediately. Recognising the home had great bones and a workable layout, Briar imagined opening up the spaces and updating the finishes, a process that ensued about a year later.
“The layout of the home overall was a good one, we just needed to modernise the flow. No stone was unturned – it was like a new house when we moved in, while keeping its original charming features from the sixties. I wanted the home to keep its character,” says Briar.
After a year of careful planning (the home was rented during this time), Briar set about opening up the home resulting in light-filled spaces that complement her stylish coastal aesthetic. “The day we knocked down the back wall of the house was a great one – so much light came streaming in! The light coming in from all the windows is definitely an aspect that makes the home a really lovely place to be. I don’t think I’d ever be able to live in a dark house again,” says Briar.
Personally, I love the way that the original features of the home were updated but ultimately maintained – for instance, the red brick exterior was painted in Taubmans ‘Casino,’ the balcony surround and ceiling were modernised with timber paneling and the front door was painted a fabulous shade of pink. “I always love visitors’ reactions when they enter through the pink door. The exterior was a relatively quick fix but made so much impact,” says Briar.
From fresh electrical wiring to new plumbing, the renovation process left no stone unturned. “We overhauled the inside, without changing the footprint. Literally every surface was refinished, and re-wired and we also updated all the plumbing, so it actually felt like a brand-new house when we moved in,” says Briar.
The kitchen features settler style grey cupboard fronts, Caesarstone bench tops in ‘Noble Grey’ and premium gold tapware from Sussex Taps. “I love the oversized kitchen and how it has truly become the heart of our home,” says Briar.
With European oak floorboards throughout, other notable features include encaustic floor tiles in the bathrooms, timber plantation shutters and statement breeze blocks. “I sourced breeze bricks from The Besser Block Centre, who make original designs from the 60’s, for our screening wall on the deck,” says Briar.
The indoor/outdoor flow aspect is another fabulous feature of the home with the indoors opening out onto a large level garden with pool. “The back deck fits a table for 12 and entertaining in the house is a dream with our large families. The kids love playing cricket in the backyard, and swimming after a long lunch,” says Briar who redesigned the original garden with help from her aunt Michele Shennen, a landscape designer. “She designed a really practical space with interesting yet robust plants,” says Briar.
“My signature look is always evolving, as I have to adapt for my different clients and the period of the home I’m decorating, but personally, my tastes are leaning towards being a little bit coastal, a little bit eclectic and a little bit Scandi in style. I generally don’t follow rules, I just choose things that I love along the way and it somehow works.”
Having caught the renovating bug, Briar recently sold the home before it even had a chance to get to auction. We look forward to seeing what she tackles next!