A picturesque setting on a wide, leafy avenue in Chelmer set the scene for this home’s elegant update. The transformation was a collaboration between the building designer, Nathalie Knight from The Outside Perspective, and Paul Coulson, head interior designer at Earthborne By Design, who oversaw the design direction and facilitated the renovation project with BC Group builders.
“The brief was to relocate the internal stairs of the home to the front entry to utilise the space better, and to create a dedicated dining space and open-plan living area with more direct connection to the outdoor living and pool area,” explains Paul.
“The project kicked off the week the COVID lockdowns were announced, which proved a challenge for obvious reasons!” he adds. “Our clients opted to continue living in the home during the renovation, which required some careful consideration and site management to keep safe social distancing among the build and design teams, and adhere to COVID-safe regulations throughout the project.”
The homeowners wanted to create a sense of nostalgia for an exotic destination with a colonial influence, which can be seen in spades in the new kitchen design.
“They absolutely did not want an all-white kitchen, so we chose a deep blue colour from the Dulux colour range called ‘Oolong’ for the cabinetry to add drama and depth, and a beautiful jade green tile for the feature splashback” says Paul of the bold design.
“The homeowners are a little quirky and wanted to feature pineapples, monkeys or tigers in the interior design, so we found a beautiful fabric selection from Warwick Fabrics called Barbados Night to use for the kitchen window treatments and the lampshade over the dining table, all adding a touch of whimsy to the open-plan cooking and entertaining space.”
The furniture choices by Earthborne by Design are traditional in aesthetic, with the clients’ personal artwork collection helping steer the designer’s overall style and direction.
All the internal doors and hardware have been updated with an old-world shaker profile and pewter door hardware, in keeping with the classic colonial style. Engineered European oak timber flooring in Oxford Grey, freshly installed throughout, adds to the charm of this elegant home.
Another promise that was expertly delivered by Earthborne by Design lies in the home’s front foyer, where the new grand staircase is reminiscent of times gone by. “We’ve designed the new staircase to create a sense of arrival, with its classic black-and-white tiles offering that feature ‘moment’ as you enter the home,” explains Paul. “When our client first saw their new home, with its light and elegant open-plan living spaces, they were thrilled, commenting that it now feels like it should always have been this way.”
Photography: Ash Chynoweth