Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Places & Faces

The Generalist: Style for One

Darryl Gordon turned countless people’s houses into homes with his interior design skills and eye for the perfect piece over the years, so it’s little surprise that his own place is a study in classical elegance and impeccable taste – for one.

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Living and working out of a 1845 colonial cottage in East Sydney in the shadow of the CBD Gordon has created, he laughs, something that’s “all about me”.

“It’s a very selfish kind of a house,” he says standing in the upstairs front room that doubles as his dressing room and television room.

A flat screen TV has been set low on the wall – just perfectly positioned for lying in front of, on the adjacent sofa alone. Upstairs at the back of the house, with a balcony overlooking the home’s shady courtyard, is the master bedroom. Here the walls are finished in an urbane burnt orange and, although it mightn’t be a huge space, the room and its contents somehow tread a fine line between indulgence and restraint.

In the corner of Gordon’s dressing room is an additional (and tiny) shower room. Gordon’s dressing room doubles as a guest room. Next is the boardroom, which doubles – technically — as a dining room but “if I’m entertaining I tend use the garden,” he says. “I’d only have people here if you can’t sit outside.” A consul table, sofa, chairs and coffee in the space are custom made and “kind of standard” or are, in other words, on show to clients.. “It works as a bit of a laboratory,” he says.

Through a panelled wall beyond the work space is Gordon’s eat-in kitchen, which opens to the back courtyard. “I always wanted to have a kitchen that was big enough to eat in.”

A marble-topped Eero Saarinen table is matched with dark Bentwood chairs on three sides and a banquette, with storage underneath, on the fourth. The space is at once intimate and light-filled and doesn’t open wide to the outdoors, as is typical in renovations of more slavishly contemporary sensibilities. “It comes down to what’s appropriate,” explains Gordon. “The house was built in 1845.”

When Gordon purchased the place, it came complete with approved plans to have these “huge glass doors” to the outdoors. “Which is a nice sort of lifestyle thing,” he says, “but it’s not appropriate to how the house was conceived.”

“I like creating views through windows and doors to something beyond,” he says.

“I think it works in a small space.” Which it refreshingly does. Or at least it does when you have a home furnished, and perfectly balanced, with handsome and exquisite things.

Words by Alex Dupont / reblogged from The Generalist 


Beth F