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A striking family home that balances practicality with panache

With an eye for both practicality and polish, one clever Sydney couple built their dream home from scratch.

The week Veronica and Mark moved into their home was life-changing in every way. “Two days later I gave birth to our baby girls,” recalls Veronica. “We came home with a new family to a brand new house – albeit with no kitchen sink! It was overwhelming, but really special.”

Eighteen months earlier, the couple had purchased a sizeable block of land (1030 square metres) in a quiet suburb in south-west Sydney.

The formal living room at the front of the home is a vision of monochrome magic, with walls painted in Dulux White on White and steel doors powder-coated in Dulux Colorbond Monument. The cladding in the entryway adds interest and dimension – “We didn’t want an artwork in the entryway so this is a nice alternative,” says Veronica – while a rare hint of pattern comes courtesy of the graphic floor rug; try Temple & Webster’s Grey Diamond Flat Weave Wool-Blend rug for similar.

As the founders and owners of King Homes NSW, Veronica and Mark had designed and built countless custom homes for clients, but this was their first opportunity to create their own abode from the ground up. “It was a different experience – we got to really think about how we live and what would work for us,” explains Veronica.

“I’m not a chef but I do enjoy cooking,” says Veronica,

pictured above with her husband Mark and their one-year-old twins, Mila and Willow. “I find myself in the kitchen more than ever before, cooking for two little babies. It’s also a great space for entertaining – we have the family gather around the island bench, and if a girlfriend comes over she can pull up a bar stool and we open a bottle of wine.”

The pair’s vision was simple but considered: a liveable family home that made good use of the land and boasted eco credentials.

The hub of the home is also a haven of calm, designed to keep clutter at bay. The star of the space is the island bench, a curvy custom creation by Vision Kitchens & Joinery featuring engineered stone benchtops – Talostone in Super White – plus polyurethane VJ panelling below painted in Dulux Vivid White. Shots of black come via the ‘James’ bar stools from Interior Secrets, Reece ‘Mizu Drift’ tapware and Schweigen rangehood. Yet the slick space is anything but sterile, with streams of natural light and a fragrant olive tree in the corner.

Top of the priority list was a solar panel system and double-glazed windows on the north-facing back of the property, followed by a focus on durable materials.

Talostone in Super White adds luxe appeal to the kitchen benchtop.

“We had little ones on the way and we didn’t want to be precious, worrying about dogs or heels scratching the floor,” says Veronica, who worked with Mark, a builder, on the design.

A sleek bar is ready for entertaining.

Built over nine months, the result is a striking two-storey, five-bedroom home that balances practicality with panache. A kitchen, living and dining area is at the heart of the action, defined by monochrome hues and bountiful storage.

Homeowners Veronica and Mark took a thoughtful high/low approach to designing the south-west Sydney home they share with their one-year-old twins, Mila and Willow. “I like to invest in high-quality furniture,” says Veronica, referring to the King Living ‘Jasper’ sofa, paired with Globe West ‘Elle’ coffee tables in the living room. Laminate flooring from Preference Floors continues through to the dining area, which boasts soaring ceilings thanks to a void, plus a replica Lindsey Adelman Agnes pendant from Zest Lighting.

“The kitchen is definitely a favourite space,” comments Veronica, pointing to the “secret” butler’s pantry behind custom-made cabinetry and the marble-look Talostone benchtops.

Vessels from Papaya and Target.

(The couple was so committed to this material that they paused construction while it was out of stock – hence the missing kitchen sink on move day – but it was worth the wait.)

The American oak table was custom-made, its rich black stain providing a foil for the vivid artwork, Farmer by Remy Prideaux.

Upstairs, the bedrooms are awash with colour and softer textures – including a sweet space for the girls, Mila and Willow. Out the back, a tiled alfresco area and infinity pool is a magnet for gatherings.

“I love to sit in here and read a book,” says Veronica of this cosy retreat. “The doors create a vacuum seal so it’s really quiet.” The custom-made sofa by BB Furniture is just the thing to sink into and is scattered with plump cushions and accompanied by a sleek glass-topped coffee table (try James Said for similar styles).

Decorating, says Veronica, is a hobby she’s honed. “I love mixing timeless designer pieces with department store finds to stretch the budget,” she explains.

Custom shelving in Polytec Woodmatt Black epitomises stylish storage.

But above all, her philosophy centres on streamlined style. “It’s all about good, built-in storage solutions – we like living in a home where things seem organised, tidy and consistent.”

If guests arrive, one might pull up the occasional chair – a replica Harry Bertoia ‘Diamond’ from Replica Furniture – and admire the vibrant swirls of Heaven, another piece by South Australian artist Remy Prideaux.

That said, the year that followed the family’s whirlwind move in December 2019 didn’t necessarily lend itself to order.

Entertaining is a breeze in this chic outdoor area, which overlooks gorgeous greenery. The pool, constructed by King Homes NSW, is the main drawcard. “We live 50 kilometres from the CBD, which means it gets hot,” says Veronica. “The pool’s been a very worthwhile investment.”

As the world went into lockdown, Veronica, Mark and their girls spent more time in their new home than they’d ever anticipated – and loved every moment.

A custom-made table is paired with graphic outdoor chairs from Dick Smith.

“We’d really taken the time to create a home to perfectly suit our family and lifestyle – and it does,” reflects Veronica. “We plan to stay here for a really long time.”

How to conjure drama, depth and softness all at once? Take notes from Veronica and Mark’s bedroom, which centres on a striking panelled feature wall in Dulux Monument. “We chose it instead of a bedhead,” explains Veronica. The dark tones are also countered by luscious teal and navy bedlinen – Morgan & Finch velvet designs from Bed Bath N’ Table – plus Beacon Lighting bedside pendants (try the ‘Create’ style for similar), which lend a dose of contemporary cool.

“Everyone told me not to choose this dark wall colour, but it adds a lot of depth.” ~ Veronica

“There’s a huge window on the opposite facing wall, so it’s still really light and bright.”

“A palette of black, white and grey needn’t be boring, especially when you bring in lots of texture.” ~ Veronica

Swathed in natural tones, the main upstairs bathroom

stays true to the couple’s clean and simple design ethos. A ‘Luna’ basin from Caroma sits atop easy-to-clean Talostone and custom-built American oak joinery, while large-format porcelain floor and wall tiles enhance the sense of space. The Reece ‘Mizu Drift’ tap brings a bolt of black, a recurring theme throughout the home. And the masterstroke: a recessed shaving cabinet offering slimline storage.

An upholstered bedhead by BB Furniture is the hero of the guest bedroom.

“I wanted to keep this space pretty neutral,” says Veronica of Mila and Willow’s nursery. A wall painted in Dulux Dieskau is adorned with stickers and name plaques from Rockmelon Xo, then finished with custom wainscoting painted in Dulux White on White. The elegant details continue with Pottery Barn Kids’ ‘Fillmore’ convertible cots.

The black, grey and white theme extends to the main bathroom.

This open-plan zone on the second-storey landing might

often be strewn with toys, but it’s still inherently stylish, kitted out with a custom-made sofa by BB Furniture, an ‘Omni’ ottoman from Temple & Webster and a Brenda Meynell artwork.

The powder room features a door painted in Dulux Rainmaker.

With a super functional layout, the laundry features Polytec

Woodmatt Black cabinetry.

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