Breezy coastal home makeover

Updating the layout in this two-storey home has delivered a beautiful, nature-filled outlook

An awful floor plan, dated interiors and poky rooms made this Mediterranean-style, 1980s home in Sydney the perfect challenge for a pair of seasoned renovators. 

The work

The walls between an existing series of rooms upstairs were torn down to create an open-plan living space, with high-pitched ceilings and new flooring. This included a new kitchen, dining and living room opening onto the existing wide balcony.

Downstairs, an old rumpus room was transformed into a parents’ retreat including a main bedroom, walk-in robe and separate media room. French doors replaced old sliding doors, minor improvements were made to the two bathrooms and the staircase was reconfigured. 


The result

After: breezy, beachy, classic style (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

Decorating ideas to steal

Balinese daybeds from That Bali Place, painted white, have pride of place on the revamped balcony. Their low-set form makes for uninterrupted views when sitting in the living room.

Hand-dyed batik scatter cushions bought in Chiang Mai (try My Island Home for similar) introduce colour and make the balcony a favourite spot to relax.

Living room

Living room (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

A handsome fireplace is now the focal point of the stunning open-plan living space.

A beach home feel has been created using the ‘Weekender’ lounge from Freedom, a mix of patterned and monochrome H&M and Ikea cushions and a graphic West Elm rug.

Other decor ideas are the stylish original Harry Bertoia ‘Diamond’ chair (available through De De Ce), and Coco Republic coffee table. 


The chic new coastal style kitchen includes beautiful wide oiled boards on the floor and all-new Polytec ‘Kingsford’ Thermo laminated matt Ultra White cabinets from Cabinets Live, topped with Caesarstone in Raw Concrete.

Dining room

Clear glass pendants, bought on Ebay, were selected to take a back seat to the striking dining room pendant, found at Papaya. 

The New Zealand kauri pine dining table, a bargain buy on Ebay, looks fabulous teamed with the replica ‘Series 7’ Fritz Hansen dining chairs from Chicicat.

Main bedroom (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

Main bedroom

The downstairs rumpus room was converted to the main bedroom, with a stunning lotus wall panel, found in Chiang Mai, forming the bedhead. 

The gorgeous over-dyed Turkish rug was bought at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. On the bed is a luxurious Baksana ‘Ash’ and ‘New Bliss’ bedlinen, with a throw that picks up the hue of the Turkish rug. Throw pillows in sea glass colours from Orson & Blake are the perfect finishing touch.


New ‘Ashington’ in Tyne carpet from Choices Flooring delivers a fresh update to this bedroom with neutral tones, with a ‘Brusali’ bed from Ikea providing the main furniture choice. 

A comfy Ikea ‘Strandmon’ wing chair provides the ideal vantage point for the view through the new French doors, while Adairs bedlinen complements the greenery outside. 


The bathroom received just minor tweaks; the original travertine wall tiles were retained, but the shower cubicle was taken out and replaced with a shower screen. The take-me-away-on-a-holiday coastal mobile was found at a Palm Beach market.

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