Australian Homes

Fiona Bateman and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 1st August 2012

Painting by Jan Billycan at Short St. Gallery, Broome. Table from Original Finish, Newtown. Chairs by Tolix at Thonet, BTC Titan pendant lights from Dunlin Home. Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Painting Lydia Balbal at Short St. Gallery,  Cane Chair from Revival, Milton, NSW.  Cushion from Koskela. ‘I love the cane chairs – we found them in Milton on the South Coast, at a 20th Century furniture shop called Revival’ says Fiona.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Woven baskets on wall by Tjanpi Desert Weavers at Koskela. Photos – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Another stunning Sydney home for you today – this is pretty little cottage on a steep, leafy street in Neutral Bay belongs to florist-turned-interior-designer Fiona Bateman and family.

Fiona and husband Henry have been here for the past seven years.  In that time their family has grown to five – kids Freya and Edward share a room at the front of the house, whilst baby George has his own bedroom which doubles as a workspace / playroom for now.  Fiona has recently finished renovating the rear of the house of create a little more space for her growing family – the living area and kitchen have been updated and opened up to form a relaxed open plan living and dining space.

As you can see, Fiona and Henry have a passion for aboriginal art, and have an impressive collection of much-loved paintings purchased from various trips around Australia.  One of Fiona’s favourites is the Weaver Jack painting (above Freya’s bed), purchased whilst Fiona and Henry were having their honeymoon in Broome – ‘it’s our first real piece of art’ says Fiona.  Fiona has some (understandable!) trouble  pinpointing just one ‘favourite’ piece though – ‘…the weavings hanging in the kitchen give me such joy every time I look at them… as does the beautiful kitchen table from Original Finish, my love of it has never wavered!  SO this sounds like everything in the house is a favourite! Oh well.’ Ha ha.  It’s ok Fiona, you’re allowed more than one favourite!

I’m loving the bold details in this elegantly decorated home – the consistent colour palette of reds, pinks and greens make the perfect vibrant punch on those bright white walls, alongside more classic furnishings in neutral hues.  And of course Sydney’s signature lush foliage peeks through every window and door, adding another layer of beautiful deep colour to each room! (*sigh* I wish Melbourne were this green!).

Indeed, for Fiona, one of the biggest drawcards of living in this pretty little pocket of Sydney are the beautiful leafy surroundings. ‘What I love most about Neutral Bay is all the beautiful parks on the harbour foreshore, and all the greenery – while also being 2 minutes away from the harbour bridge and the city’ she says, adding ‘ There is also a wonderful sense of community with everyone being so jam packed together.’

It’ll be no surprise to learn that Fiona has an impressive creative background – and a bit of a green thumb!  After spending the early years of her career in fashion, working with respected Australian design brands such as Akira Isogawa and Scanlan and Theodore, Fiona launched her floristry business in 2010 (such beautiful floral creations for weddings and events – have a little look).  More recently she went back to study Colour and Design, and founded her interior design consultancy Bateman Brown earlier this year.  Her aesthetic combines rustic and industrial elements with unexpected colour, inspired by the natural environment.  Fiona now works on a variety of design projects including events styling, colour consulting,  and residential renovations.

Massive thanks to Fiona and family for sharing their home with us today!

Suzani from I & B Perryman Oriental Carpets, Woollahra. Table from Original Finish, Newtown. Chairs by Tolix at Thonet, Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kids corner in the kitchen / pantry area!  Stools by Anne Claire Petit.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Painting by Lydia Balbal at Short St. Gallery. Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Freya and Edward’s room – painting by Weaver Jack at Short St. Gallery, Broome.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

All clothing by Mamapapa, locker from Ici et la.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Freya and Edwards room – Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

George’s room / playroom. Painting by Donald Moko.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Restored 18th Century chair from Howell & Howell, Woollahra, cushion from Koskela.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Beautiful classic Victorian bathroom, woodblock by Belinda Bateman.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master Bedroom, painting by Madigan Thomas at Short St Gallery, Broome. Pillowcases by Rachel Castle.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master Bedroom.  Cherrywood bench from Original Finish, Print by David Rose.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking through from kids’ room to hallway and master bedroom beyond.  I love the colour of that front door!  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Hallway looking through front door – Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Front exterior details.  Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Exterior.  SO cute! Photo – Rachel Kara, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 1st August 2012


  • Mary Anne 4 years ago

    Fresh, lovely and inviting! The aboriginal art adds warmth and Colour – just gorgeous!

  • SunKissed Sisters 4 years ago

    This is such a happy home!

  • Cathg1g2 4 years ago

    Love all the Aboriginal ARt
    Front yard of vegies, bonus city living!

  • Gaz 4 years ago

    I love the woven baskets and time worn pieces throughout the home. It has such a warm feeling. I love the way the owner has furnished the house with travel memories, the indigenous artworks look great on those white walls. Very inspiring!

  • Gaz 4 years ago

    PS. The children’s art looks amazing too!!

  • Mel 4 years ago

    The woodblock by Belinda Bateman in the bathroom is truly beautiful.

  • Kamsiha 4 years ago

    im in love with the whole house and everything it….great colours and tones …

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    I’m in design files heaven right now, the colours…the art, the furniture!!!
    it’s brightened my day….seriously.


  • Jo 4 years ago

    Love how ‘under styled’ it is, simple, pretty and bright. Lovely.

  • Susan Miles 4 years ago

    Lovely, lovely family home.

  • Amy Prior 4 years ago

    This is such a glorious unpretentious home- in love!

  • Alessandra Dias 4 years ago

    Stunning! Just a question – how to protect the painting on kitchen wall from grease and other cooking substance?

  • Lucy 4 years ago

    Thanks for your comments guys! Allessandra that is a great question, I was also wondering about the lack of a rangehood (because I kind of hate rangehoods) and wondered if that was an issue. I would love a kitchen with no rangehood…!

    Perhaps Fiona will respond to our questions later today! I’ll drop her a little email now. x

  • Rebecca 4 years ago

    Love this one! If possible, could you share with us what colours are on the walls and skirtings? It looks white, but with some lovely warmth. Thanks!

  • Annie 4 years ago

    What a beautiful, understated home but yes, my first thought on seeing kitchen shot was ‘ack, no rangehood, and all that wonderful art and fabric nearby, wouldn’t last a year in my place!!’. i love the benchtop-cum-mini-splashback with integrated powerpoint.

  • Katrina 4 years ago

    I love the colour and aboriginal art , however, the simple but beautiful style in the main bedroom has inspired me to type a little message. Can you tell me where you purchased the striped valance on the main bed? Thanks and for sharing your lovely home.

  • Lakshmi 4 years ago

    I’m fascinated by your skills to find such treasures. And, almost always, the wall art is impressive – especially the one in George’s room.

  • Taila 4 years ago

    LOVE the colour of the front door too…any chance of getting details of it?

  • Sally 4 years ago

    Oh wow, this is gorgeous. So bright and fresh, loving all the art work and colourful details!

  • Lucy 4 years ago

    Shannon Fricke has a bedlinen range which includes a striped valance.

  • Kath W 4 years ago

    One of the best homes ever. From where is that ottomanish thing by the front door?

  • Fiona 4 years ago

    Thanks everyone for all your lovely encouragement! Here are some answers to those questions, yes Lucy is spot on of course with the valance, it’s from Shannon Fricke’s collection. All the walls and skirting’s are Resene Quarter Bianca and the front door is Porters Atlantic. I’m not sure where the ottoman came from my mum just brought it over one day because we didn’t have much to sit on at the time! I’m sure I have seen them in persian rug shops though.

    As for the range hood issue, we were told they are totally decorative unless ducted right outside which was impossible here as we bump right up to our neighbours. I wan’t at all fussed as I’m really not mad about range hoods and to be honest my stove top is mainly used to boil eggs and cook porridge…..bbq for everything else!

    Hope that all helps!

  • Lindy 4 years ago

    Love the cushion covers, they are available online from (looks like they are not stocking those two designs at the moment but there are lots of others).

  • Renee 4 years ago

    What a beautiful home. The artwork sings. Just stunning.

  • Angela Vasquez 4 years ago

    I love the frames and the colors about all the environment, the images are truly respectable! x

  • cathy 4 years ago

    I have to agree with most these comments, the Art work is stunning, well chosen for the house. The house looks beautiful and very livable.

  • rowan 4 years ago

    love the collection and groupings of indigenous art -the woven pieces are gorgeous! The pieces are bright and contemporary such fabulous additions to the living spaces and childrens’ bedrooms -fabulous!!

  • bianca 4 years ago

    Such a lovely home with the perfect balance of white+colour. I must have looked through the photos about 3 times already!

  • Megan Riddle 4 years ago

    I love the colourful pieces of furniture and artwork, so uplifting and cheerful.

  • Tania 4 years ago

    This house is my idea of perfection. So much style but still looks lived in and liveable. The black and white tiled bathroom, the claw foot bath, the lovely old mixed with new… And best of all, all that incredible Bidyadanga art work. Heaven!

  • Marmalade 4 years ago

    I am so in love with this house too I could probably marry it.

  • Lézard mandarine 4 years ago

    J’adore cette maison ! Bohème, colorée, artistique.. bravo pour ce reportage !
    I love this house. Bohemian, colorfoul, artistic… Bravo for this report !

  • Tiffany 3 years ago

    Oh my, I think this house is now up for sale! I’m off to check it out in the flesh!

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