What turned out to be a two-and-a-half-year project initially started as a simple consultation for a new armchair and coffee table. I met with my clients at their North Shore home and was immediately impressed with the original 1930s revival Regency and classical Art Deco detailing of the property. Having lived there for 20 years, my clients had carried out renovations along the way that had sacrificed the original detailing of the home. Though I had met with them to consult on a couple of pieces of furniture, I pointed out my bigger visions for their home – including the desire to see the house reworked and restored to its best – and they were excited. We began the project immediately.
With a redesign of the lower and upper ground floor plans focused on initially, a full DA was submitted for approval. While the application was awaiting approval, extensive exterior works were carried out including new custom wrought iron fencing to the boundaries of the property, new white fibreglass pool, installation of stone columns to the rear colonnade and entry, creation of an outdoor terrace pergola expanding the footprint of the home, a cobblestone driveway laid, limestone paving laid to the entire rear of the block and a custom-finished tennis court in two-tone grey.
Once the DA was approved, 11 months of building works began. During this time a key focus was to reinstate detail into the project, which was in keeping with the era of the original build. Nickel-plated deco-lined hardware was fitted throughout, and timber panelling fitted to the powder room, dining room, stairway and top landing. Reclaimed floorboards were found to match the existing ones and stained dark, custom joinery was drafted and fitted, and eight sets of custom-designed French doors were implemented to the rear of the build to open the house up to the colonnade.
Following all structural changes, the house was given a complete furniture and furnishing design – everything from a custom-designed and -made dining table and sofas down to custom monogrammed sheeting and towels, seasonal napery selections for the dining zones, and flatware and dinnerware selections for everyday and formal use. Customised window coverings were installed and hand-knotted silk rugs laid. I finished up with accessories and the sourcing of meaningful artwork selections for all rooms. You could say this is a top-to-toe designed home in its truest sense.
It was a wonderful experience to work with clients who appreciate quality and who recognise how important good design is, even if it means much of the design is custom. It was important to me that every element in the house be considered. To create a home for my client that was filled with pure enjoyment and style – beauty everywhere you look – was my goal. I have to say, they really were dream clients and they extended a huge amount of freedom to me to design the house as I saw fit. For this I am very grateful.