Considered, clever and warm, like its owner, the home of Wendy Moore is truly special. It’s not just about how it looks – sophisticated yet relaxed with a subtle Art Deco nod – it’s about a feeling; friends are welcomed with hugs and cups of tea, family gathers for intimate celebrations or casual drop bys, and the stuff of life unfolds. “A house is bricks and mortar, but a home is more than that. A home is a sense of belonging, a collection of memories,” says Wendy, who lives here with her husband, Pete, and their 12-year-old twin daughters, Darcy and Ruth.
You might recognise Wendy as a host of the much-loved TV show Selling Houses Australia. She also leads a passionate team as general manager of the LifeStyle Group at Foxtel; is director of her own company, The Interiors Edit; and even edited this very magazine for over a decade. But when asked what she does for a living, she simply replies, “I’m passionate about homes. Not houses, not interiors, but homes”.
Wendy’s life can be unpredictable. Selling Houses Australia shoots all over the country and she is often away for a week at a time. This makes sharing time with her mum and three sisters, Lynne, Sandra and Diana, also busy professionals, even more special. “We feel incredibly lucky to have each other. We’ve all been pulled in different directions at different times in our lives, and what we’ve found is that it’s better if the four of us and Mum have time where it’s just us to catch up,” says Wendy.
Sharing a simple yet elegant Christmas lunch at Wendy’s home is one way they can do that. “It’s hard being away from your family, and that often means you miss out on time with your extended family, too,” she says. “It helps you appreciate what really matters about being home.” For Wendy, it’s important that Christmas celebrations are relaxed – not too perfect – because that’s when the magic happens. “The best stories often come from the nightmare moments that you can have,” she explains. “Like the time you found your kid dropping the glass Christmas baubles because they loved the sound of the ‘pop’… Which is what I did when I was young, apparently!” she says with a laugh. “We have to take the pressure off and just remind ourselves that what we’re doing is creating and allowing moments to happen that you’ll remember. You won’t remember if your tree was perfect, but you will remember watching your kid hang all the decorations in a tiny cluster at the bottom of the tree. And that’s the thing that matters.”
“Coming home is a moment that matters; what I’ve found is that you really have to be enmeshed in the fabric of home as soon as you walk in the door.”Wendy
It’s a philosophy that carries into the design and decoration of Wendy’s home. Wendy and Pete bought the house in Sydney’s Inner West in 2008 but waited for as long as possible (until “the girls couldn’t really fit in their room anymore”) to take on a renovation. “It was a bit of a traditional renovation of an older-style home, where we retained as much as we could at the front of the house and knocked off the back,” she explains. “We added a big open-plan kitchen/living/dining area, and then did a new split level to add another two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs.”
Practicality is key and the home works perfectly for all members of the family. Pete, who loves to cook, has a light-filled kitchen with top-notch appliances. For Wendy, it was about connection. “I wanted to create go-to spaces. For me, I have a particular corner of the lounge where I know if I sit down, the girls will sit next to me and snuggle up.” And the girls? They decided to continue sharing a room – at least for now – albeit one a bit larger than the one they shared previously. Finishing another busy year to focus on Christmas holidays with family is something Wendy looks forward to every year – and what a lovely place to do just that.
Every year Wendy looks forward to a summer spent doing not much at all. For her, Christmas is about spending quality time connecting with her family. Pork crackling is a must-have on her festive table in Sydney. “It’s a bit of a family tradition for Mum to cook the pork the night before, and for us to eat the pork crackling on Christmas Eve while it’s still hot,” she says, so serving a roast was a must for this family celebration!
“I know that if I’m sitting on one side of the kitchen island, I’m going to have a conversation with somebody, and that’s going to be a good conversation,” says Wendy. Her gorgeous kitchen was designed and renovated with practicality in mind. Her husband is a keen cook, so the couple devised the plan together, which was brought to life by the talented team at Provincial Kitchens. Thoughtful details make the kitchen work – appliances like the integrated Sub-Zero fridge and wine fridge, bespoke pull-out drawers created for their contents, and a clever little coffee and toast station. One of Wendy’s favourite features is the laundry tucked behind fluted glass pocket doors that cleverly mask the practicality within. “Having that very generous island in the kitchen anchors the whole space, which becomes a bit of a gathering space, and the area connects to the design of the original part of the house with the curved windows; it’s a very simplified Art Deco style,” says Wendy of the entire open-plan zone.
We love… layered lighting
Wendy and Pete’s renovation drenched their interiors with natural light, which had an enormous impact on the home and how it feels. “I love the natural light now, it changed everything. I feel instantly lighter because of that,” says Wendy. To complement the lashings of sunlight, the couple also installed pretty yet practical task lighting exactly where it’s needed most.
Wendy and Pete always knew they would renovate. “When we bought the home, we had a plan. We thought we’d do it in five years, but we didn’t really need to do it, so we just waited for as long as we could,” she says. Their new top-floor master suite is now the stuff dreams are made of. Wendy chose the bedside tables, My Design blackbutt headboard and floating bed base from Snooze, dressed in its linen ‘Pinstripe’ quilt set. A Suzie Anderson Home cushion adds a pop of texture. “I wanted to have curves, not just on the windows, but within the room so that it all kind of felt like it flowed nicely. It just feels like there’s so much light and air in that whole space. From a design point of view, that was the key thing,” she explains.
Wendy took the opportunity to install her dream walk-in robe in the renovation. This streamlined zone allows her to open up the doors, stand back, and see what outfits she has at a glance, which she loves. The cabinetry was completed by TTK Kitchens + Joinery.
“Oh, I don’t think I’ve ever had enough wardrobe storage in a house. But I feel pretty close now! Of course, I’ll probably just buy more clothes to fill it up!”Wendy
Walking into the main ensuite is a real wow moment, a large part in thanks to the statement Dado ‘Julia’ bath. “That was a dream inclusion,” says Wendy, who enjoys regular baths, often chatting to her daughters while she soaks. She loves the traditional floor tiles from Olde English Tiles in Sydney, but cautions that mosaics can be tricky to clean due to the excessive grout lines – she plans to regrout and seal these ones to reduce time between cleans. Striking a balance between a sense of openness and the need for privacy was vital. “We created a curved wall to tuck the shower and the toilet behind – that was key to making it work,” says Wendy. A splash of colour is delivered via artwork, curios and a washer from Suzie Anderson Home.