Beaming as she opens her front door, homeowner Sarah’s smile radiates warmth and welcome, echoing the signature aesthetic that defines the thoughtfully curated interiors beckoning beyond the threshold. The 1950s cottage in Sydney’s southern suburbs that Sarah, an interior designer, renovated together with her builder husband, Tim, is a testament to their credo of, as she puts it, “creating something that’s going to stand the test of time”.
When the couple bought the home in 2014, it had been in the same family for three decades and “looked tired and rundown”, says Sarah. She had searched for nine months for a single-level home on a lovely street with a north-facing backyard. “Those were the key things,” she says. “We knew that, with our skills, we could change the rest of it.”
Sarah and Tim rented it out until they began renovating in 2018 when they gutted the interiors and reconfigured the layout to include a fourth bedroom (used as a home office) and second bathroom.
Just completed, the renovation is a total about-face that nonetheless honours the home’s sturdy bones and historical significance. “I didn’t want it to feel like it had lost its 1950s-cottage feel,” explains Sarah. “All the windows are brand new but they’re timber and the same profile that the original house had. It didn’t interest me to put aluminium in here. I wanted it to feel like it was a newer version of the original.”
Her decorating ethos is informed by the same attention to detail, with a focus on “buy well, buy once and then treasure it”. Sarah credits her “very creative and resourceful” mum, Judy, and late grandmother, Eileen, for instilling the values she cherishes.
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