It’s hard to believe that this Sydney home was built in 2012. Designed in Federation style, the Balgowlah family residence has very high ceilings, decorative cornices, ceiling roses and stained-glass windows with the benefit of modern, open-plan living too.
“The home has a contemporary, open-plan living space so is very much built for today. The starting point for me any project is the original architecture of a house, so I wanted the new additions to be in keeping with the modern, yet formal style of the home,” says interior designer Alex Gourlay of Vellum Interiors, who was tasked with upgrading the home’s indoor and outdoor living areas in time for summer.
And while the home isn’t old, the owners were keen to make some design changes given their three children are now a little older. “The brief from the clients was to make the most of their open-plan living room and deck for both summer and winter, and also refresh the furniture – they were ready to upgrade to more ‘grown-up’ pieces now that all three children were out of nappies. The youngest is now five years old. A key part of the brief was to make the scheme work seamlessly with the existing look and feel of the home, and design with un-fussy, clean lines and flexible, child-friendly solutions,” says Alex.
“My clients were very clear in what they needed – their top priority was a new outdoor dining setting before Christmas. Inside they were after a fireplace, for both heating and decorative functions, and storage to hide away the AV equipment. They had a Samsung Frame TV on the way, so the fireplace needed to be wide enough to fit the TV above it,” says Alex.
“The fireplace is quite traditional, and looks like it’s part of the architecture, then moving onto the deck, the furniture and joinery is quite contemporary. My favourite element is the line created from the inside joinery to the concrete bench top outside. This creates a real connection of the two spaces, and makes the inside feel bigger, yet they’re still two distinct areas. I also love that the spaces are now much better set up for both summer and winter living,” says Alex.
Photography: Jacqui Turk