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A striking Sydney home with a vivid palette

A glamorous palette defines the fun and fearless aesthetic of this family home, where the spaces pulse with a palpable sense of joy, love and harmony.

Shades of white and layers of neutral fabric hold a perennial place in many homeowners’ hearts, but the maven of this abode is passionate about interiors that are a dash more daring. “My girlfriends have Hamptons-style homes, and it’s beautiful, but it’s not me,” admits Robyn, an accountant with a penchant for colourful art, show-stopping pendant lights and rooms that burst with boldness. “My house is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love things that are quirky and different. Interiors should be fun!”

A cheeky bird print from Designer Boys Art looks over the home’s casual dining space, where the ‘Hampton’ table from Interiors Online and Hans Wegner ‘Wishbone’ chairs from Replica Furniture are used daily. “It’s open to the kitchen so we can be cooking and all chatting at the same time – it’s an easy space,” says Robyn. The bar cart from West Elm holds John’s collection of sake vessels.

The Sydney home that Robyn shares with husband John and their children, Tom and Caitlin, is definitely fun, but not at the expense of functionality. In 2017, they purchased the early 2000s-built house, drawn to its five bedrooms and multiple living spaces.

A dining table and chairs from Globe West feature in the elegant formal dining space. The couple like to entertain with flair, so Robyn made sure their formal spaces were treated with lashings of luxe. “I wanted a look that was high-end and adult — something with wow-factor,” she says. The circular ‘Central Park’ rug by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs highlights the sophisticated curve of the ‘Theodore Vogue’ velvet sofa in Cobalt Blue, which also complements the Elle Luxe round coffee table (both sourced from Globe West). The contours contrast with the clean lines of the ‘Brussels’ armchairs from Coco Republic, while West Elm’s ‘Swoop Arm’ chandelier and an abstract painting by Camilla Cicoria add further panache.

“Our family was moving into the next phase of life,” explains Robyn, “so we needed a home that allowed for our soon to-be-teenaged kids to have their own spaces, and for John and I to have a separate space to relax in.”

In this glamorous and grown-up formal lounge room, another Florence Broadhurst wallpaper (‘Pagoda’) “has pushed the boundaries and it has definitely paid off,” says Robyn.

The home on Sydney’s upper North Shore gave the family the ability to spread out comfortably, however the rooms were bland. Robyn had visions of a to-die-for main ensuite that echoed the luxury of a five-star hotel bathroom, and a formal living and dining space that would set the stage for sophisticated dinners and cocktail parties.

“Clean lines and a fresh feel were musts for the couple’s new kitchen, but they were worried a simple white kitchen might not create enough wow-factor,” says designer Pat Clarke from Dezign Kitchens. Bar stools from Temple & Webster add a masculine touch that picks up on the flooring tones.

Cue designer Sarah Comerford and her team at Home By Belle, and Pat Clarke from Dezign Kitchens. “Robyn is very visual and fantastic in the sense she knows what she likes,” says Sarah, who orchestrated the home’s revamp in stages (excluding the kitchen).

Visual drama is created through contrast, as seen through the use of a Silestone Suede benchtop in Lagoon, with the island finished in Dulux Domino, and elegant pendant lights from Cosmo Lighting.

Before the family moved in, Sarah’s team made cosmetic changes, such as recarpeting and painting, while the bathrooms, kitchen and outdoor entertaining area were renovated in the following 18 months.

In the grand foyer, an impressive Carisbrooke 18-light pendant by Elstead Lighting evokes the monochrome shapes of the ‘Dreamtime Abstract’ painting from the Bunyara Collection from Designer Boys Art. Robyn chose the eye-catching pendant and her interior designer, Sarah Comerford, prompted her to upsize it. “We needed grandeur in this large space; anything too small would get lost,” explains Sarah.

Sarah’s furniture selections complement Robyn’s lovingly chosen artworks, and the statement pendant lights showcased throughout the home are perfectly proportioned.

“I believe in creating focal points in a room – pick the players,” says interior designer Sarah. “You need to have the drama, but not go too over the top.” In the couple’s striking suite, the ‘Strand’ four-poster bed by Uniqwa commands attention, in unison with the Bamileke feather headdress by Safari Fusion over the bedhead. The Adairs cushion and throw in Rust inject spice while the Temple & Webster rug adds a splash of cool underfoot.

The addition of the striking wallpaper to the teenagers’ retreat and formal space was a crowning moment. “It’s always a fun night when we have friends over for dinner and drinks, so the room has to be fun too!” she cheerfully explains.

“This Camilla Cicoria artwork was the first art piece I bought for our home,” recalls Robyn. “I saw it in the window of Martine Gallery and I just loved the colours.” The throw in Mustard from Adairs (on the ‘Albany’ bench seat from Williams Sonoma) highlights the golden touches in the painting, while the Smart Strand Silk Natural carpet in Charcolette 989 by Harvey Norman creates a cosy, cocoon effect together with the moody wall colour.

Colour and pattern aren’t the only things that energise the home. The love and affection between the members of the family, including Goodie their golden retriever, fill the rooms. “Family is everything,” says Perth-born Robyn, who grew up in a large, close-knit family.

The ‘Vittoria Mia’ sofa from Globe West is a favourite in the upstairs living room. The teenagers’ retreat is anchored by the striking ‘Turnabouts’ rug in Magpie by Florence Broadhurst from Materialised. The ‘Hudson Round’ coffee table from Globe West continues the circular theme.

Laughter and easy chatter flow between Robyn, John and the kids when they are at home, and the fact they can easily retreat to their own quarters for quiet time enhances the harmonious atmosphere. Asked what this house was missing when Robyn first laid eyes on it, she exclaims, “It was missing love!” The couple had seen so many homes during their house hunt that they became attuned to this nuance.

“I love the layout of luxury hotel bathrooms and didn’t want an open concept space for our ensuite,” says Robyn. The shower and toilet are hidden behind dark frosted doors, allowing the resort style Industrie Tapware bath, and the statement pendant by Cafe Lighting, to be the focal point of the room. Shimmering mosaics across the wall reflect light and increase the room’s

sense of opulence.

“You can tell when people take pride in their home, and you definitely notice when that’s lacking,” she notes. Judging by the care poured into revitalising this home, and the joy that’s palpable when this family is together, there is no doubt that this functional and fabulous home is overflowing with the colour of love.

Clever lighting design on a vanity unit from Custom Display Solutions adds glamour.

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