A classic Federation renovation imbued with French vintage style

Classic tones and vintage pieces take this family's Federation home to another place.
Modern French provincial kitchenAlana Landsberry

When decorating her Federation-style home in Sydney’s Lower North Shore, Jackie, who lives there with her husband Rory and their three pre-teen daughters, gave herself carte blanche to fill it with all the beautiful French vintage pieces her heart desired. “Sourcing items from France is my favourite pastime,” she shares. “And my business, Dusty Luxe, that I co-own with my sister-in-law Anna, gives me endless access to unique vintage pieces.”

Timeworn furniture, copper pots and pans, ornate mirrors and scenic artworks imbue the home with rich warmth and lived-in character and are the perfect complement to its heritage features. In addition, a romantic palette of pastel blues, greens and dusty pinks enhances the French vibe and allows the antiques to shine.

“I’m a big believer in filling a home with things that evoke memories,” says Jackie. “They give the home a unique character and I love that I can be transported to France by just looking at a particular object or special piece of furniture.”

When Jackie and Rory inspected this Sydney home they saw its potential. “I fell in love with the hallway arches, oversized skirtings and ornate ceilings and knew it would be the perfect fit for my style and love of French antiques,” says Jackie (pictured above with her three daughters and retriever Lenny).

Who lives here? Jackie, co-founder of vintage furniture and homewares importer Dusty Luxe, her husband Rory, owner of innovation business Makinex, their three daughters and Lenny their flat-coated retriever.

What’s your style? Jackie: “A fusion of Hamptons, British Colonial and French provincial.”

Favourite materials? “I love original, organic and natural materials such as raw timbers, stone, copper and brass.”

The best thing about vintage? “Giving new life to pre-loved objects is great for both the environment and as a point of difference in design.”

What are your future plans? “None at the moment, other than collecting more artworks and vintage French pieces.”

KITCHEN Jackie describes her kitchen as a lovely mix of old and new: “All new appliances and technologies mix with vintage pieces to give it character,” she says. Bianca Carrara ‘Cabochon’ floor tiles from Aeria Country Floors and cement splashback tiles in Rose from Tiles of Ezra lend a French farmhouse vibe, as do Lincoln Brooks ‘New Orleans’ bar stools, a Bisque Traders ‘Petal’ pendant from Urban Lighting and traditional rangehood cover. Open shelves display glassware and ceramics, while vintage copper pots from Dusty Luxe add a rustic touch above the stove.

Mud Australia serving bowls and a cake stand from Dusty Luxe sit on open shelving above the kitchen bench.

Jackie and Rory purchased the four-bedroom, three-bathroom property in 2019. They’d outgrown their previous home and were on the lookout for a place with multiple breakout spaces for their daughters. With its heritage frontage and contemporary classic rear extension, this new home was the perfect blend of old and new, with just a few tweaks needed to make it feel more ‘them’. “We always love putting our own stamp on things, and the back of the house was ready for a renovation,” Jackie tells.

The home is now transformed, with a taste of things to come in the entry where new oak herringbone floors (try Royal Oak Floors) and walls painted in the soft tone of Porter’s Paints Newport Blue elevates a table, chest and mirror from Dusty Luxe.

A new kitchen and laundry were a must for Jackie, along with two new bathrooms, oak herringbone floors and fresh carpets throughout. A new internal staircase was installed, with a clever wine cellar built underneath, and the living spaces were painted white to create a sense of space and act as a neutral backdrop for Jackie’s objet d’art.

DINING A grey display cabinet from The Society Inc and farm table from Dusty Luxe connect the new half of the house with the original front. “I’m lucky to work with a buyer on the ground in France and often hear first-hand the stories of each piece. For example, this beautiful dining table comes from an estate on Lake Annecy,” says Jackie. A timber fruit bowl from Dusty Luxe and Emac & Lawton wall light continue the French theme.

With their busy lifestyles running two businesses and raising three kids, Jackie and Rory appreciate the home’s easy flow and comfort, with all the living areas on one level. “The main kitchen, living and dining space is where we come together to share a meal or relax together,” says Jackie, who can take her pick of rooms to work from. “I mainly prefer the dining table or kitchen island, as it’s lovely to work among some of my favourite pieces.” Nothing is too precious, including the vintage items – “they’ve survived this long, after all!” says Jackie.

In fact, they make a great talking point when entertaining. “It feels very much like ‘our home’,” she says. “Everywhere I look brings me joy to know all my vintage pieces have a story to tell.”

WINE CELLAR The stairwell designed by Sydney City Staircases includes a wine cellar and wallpaper from Designers Guild.

In keeping with her French provincial theme, Jackie selected muted shades for the walls, artworks and furniture. “The main aim of the renovation was to lighten the house up and make it feel more like us,” she says. These soft greys, blues, pinks and greens lend a sense of romance and elegance.

LIVING The living areas are painted Porter’s Paints Popcorn to create a sense of lightness and spaciousness, then layered with elegant artworks and furniture. In this main living space, the family relax on a Coco Republic sofa and armchair. An artwork by Alesandro Ljubicic titled Vert De Rose picks up on the tones in the Coco Republic rug where Lenny likes to relax, while the Urban Lighting pendant and sandstone fireplace surround add raw texture.

Vintage paintings and vessels from Dusty Luxe feature in the living room.

“In the bedrooms, I went for more romantic, moody colours that have a French feel,” says Jackie. This space is painted Porter’s Paints Nettle and has a custom bedhead.

BEDROOM , In The Sac bedlinen, Pottery Barn side table and table lamp and Emac & Lawton ceiling pendant playing up its historic charms.

In a genius move, the couple installed a triple vanity and a trio of arched mirrors from eBay in the upstairs bathroom shared by their three daughters “to keep the peace when they become teenagers”. Cement wall tiles in Rose from Tiles of Ezra, wall sconces, tapware and an aged vessel add pretty details.

Copper taps and vanity from Just Bathroomware in the girls’ bathroom give the space a French provincial feel. Sconces from Lighting Collective.

Popham Design ‘Hex’ floor tiles from Onsite Supply & Design are a playful base for the Just Bathroomware bath.

BEDROOM Two beds topped with pink bedlinen sit atop a floral rug, all sourced from Pottery Barn Kids in a bedroom belonging to one of the couple’s daughters, which has an extra bed for sleepovers. “The girls definitely have opinions on what they like and I’m lucky they love pink as much as I do!” Jackie tells. The colour theme has even been extended to the flamingo decals on the wall.


Builder: Hamish Roughly, HR Constructions, 0438 256 154,

Interior design: Dusty Luxe,

Landscaping: Andi Mazzolani, Gardenwise Design and Landscaping, 0422 141 030,

Kitchen and Joinery: Peter Robinson, Premier Kitchens, (02) 9958 4000,

Tiling: Aeria Country Floors, (02) 9975 7883,

A Chambord butler sink is a stylish touch in the pared back laundry.

HOME EXTERIOR Porter’s Paints Triple Lead on the front door contrasts the facade.

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