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!”
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.
“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.”
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.
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).
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.
Sarah’s furniture selections complement Robyn’s lovingly chosen artworks, and the statement pendant lights showcased throughout the home are perfectly proportioned.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
When Jessica isn’t styling shoots for magazines or foraging in op shops, she is tucked up in her 1970s home surrounded by a national park, writing about interiors, gardens and people for popular print and digital titles. Her book “Individual: Inspiration for creating a home that is uniquely your own” was released internationally in 2019.
Sign up for our newsletter
Want 20% off at THE ICONIC? Sign-up to the latest news from Home Beautiful.