LIGHT SWITCH
Belle Magazine Australia|October 2021
Dialling up the interior colour palette from dark to light introduced a lively, contemporary ambience to this family home in Sydney.
JUDY PASCOE

Faced with an overwhelming amount of dark timber joinery and chocolate-hued floors, the new owners of this house on Sydney’s lower North Shore called on interior design studio Hugh-Jones Mackintosh to lighten and brighten the interior for their young family.

The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home plus study had only been built a few years earlier, but the heaviness of its interior fit-out did not match the sunny position or the tranquil views of Sydney Harbour from the upstairs rooms.

Before they purchased the house, the family had moved around interstate for several years and, having grown tired of renting and living in different locations, were keen to put down roots. While they loved the location of the property and the size of the flat block, the house was not exactly their dream home.

“The owners approached us to work some interior design magic,” says founding principal Justine Hugh-Jones. Adds principal Katrina Mackintosh: “The house was unimaginative and bland, and the layout was predictable.” It wasn’t hard for the duo to see how they could elevate the mood and “weave a new look into an existing house”.

The downstairs living areas immediately benefited from a wash of Dulux ‘Snowy Mountains Half’ and the floors were sanded to a natural oak shade, which provided a luminous and neutral backdrop. The joinery was painted and remodelled to blend into the interior. However, Justine says they didn’t want to “just do a white house. In lightening it up, you have to be clever with warmth,” she says.

All new furniture was selected for the home and the designers had carte blanche from their “very trusting clients”. The chosen colour palette features coastal shades without being beachy, says Katrina, and pops of mustard, blush and terracotta throughout lend depth. Texture and an eclectic combination of shapely furniture add interest and sophistication.

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