The bold dining room of Suzanne Gorman and family! Tub chairs from Orson & Blake – ‘These are vinyl – truly!!’ says Suzanne, ‘we’ve had then for 15 years/they still look contemporary’. Oak dining table by Zuster, Kilim in Chevron stripe by Cadry, Mirror Ball pendants by Tom Dixon, from De De Ce. ‘August’ acrylic painting on canvas by Belynda Henry, ‘Pot of Gold’ pot by Pop and Scott on sideboard, with Birds Nest fern by Garden Life. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Dining room details. Top shelf – ‘Sydney Harbour’ oil on ply painting by Robert William Reid, from The Egg and Dart Gallery, Thirroul – a favourite gallery of Suzanne and Jon’s on the South Coast of NSW, which will be exhibiting more of Reid’s art next month, as it happens. Lime vase on top shelf from Dinosaur Design, hand made wooden apple vessel with brass leaf on middle shelf by Suzanne’s daughter Sami, Origami ball by Hideyo, Bottom shelf – ‘Middle harbour’, oil on canvas by Craig Parnaby, inky blue ceramic lamp with indigo linen shade designed by Suzanne, fabric from No Chintz, Chubby oak bird by Vedel, from Great Dane. Oak dining table by Zuster, Tub chairs from Orson & Blake, Kilim in Chevron stripe by Cadry, Mirror Ball pendants by Tom Dixon, from De De Ce. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Beautiful kitchen! Kitchen benchtop in Super White Grain by Stone Italiana, joinery in Dulux Fair Bianca Half and Dulux Domino, Angle Leg Stool in white & oak from Mark Tuckey, MHY pendant lamp in yellow by Muuto, Large Catalina vase on bench top by Country Road. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Detail from the open plan living area at the rear of Suzanne’s home. Cocoon Chiminea hanging fireplace from Top3 By Design, Pottery duck, a much loved object made by Suzanne’s clever daughter Sami. Mater Bowl Table in ‘natural’ from Cult, Wall sculpture by Kenya – from Small Spaces, Vintage 60’s style pottery lamp, with shade designed by Suzanne in Acid Yellow Awning Stripe from No Chintz, Pewter & brass vases from Country Road, Nimbu rug in yellow/cream – from Bholu, Screenprint with stripes, small ‘Discus Surus’ by Rachel Castle – a birthday gift from Rachel Castle, Suzanne’s friend and mentor, Acrylic on canvas painting, ‘Navy Flower Spot’ also by Rachel Castle…. ‘no words for how much I love the colours in this piece!’ says Suzanne. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Suzanne graciously poses for a portrait in her beautiful kitchen! Angle Leg Stool in white & oak from Mark Tuckey, MHY pendant lamp in yellow by Muuto, Suzanne wears Gorman. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The home of a interior designer is always a bit special, and today’s fabulous family home in Sydney’s leafy suburb of Willoughby is certainly no exception. It belongs to designer Suzanne Gorman, her husband Jon McCormick (an engineer working in corporate property services), and their children, Harry (17 yrs), Sami (14 yrs) and Joe (11 yrs)… and Ivy their sweet little dog.
The McCormick family have been here a long time, almost 15 years. They first moved here from Bondi Beach in 1999 when Harry (now 17) was only 2 – at the time, of course, theirs was a tiny family of just three, but in the years that have passed, the family has grown, and they’ve renovated along the way to accommodate each new addition.
‘When we bought our house, we liked the potential of both the home, an unrenovated, 1924 Californian Bungalow, and the area too’ explains Suzanne. ‘The house was quite reminiscent of my maternal grandparents’ house in country NSW – also a Californian Bungalow with a large date palm in the garden just like ours, so the decision was partly sentimental’ she says.
Suzanne and Jon have renovated their home in stages, starting in 2002. ‘We started by landscaping, replanting the garden and building the pool’ says Suzanne. The garden is now very established, and the tall trees and foliage make for a beautiful, lush and very private outdoor area. Major internal renovations commenced four years later, in 2006. ‘By that time, with three children, space was getting pretty tight inside – the only shower that worked was in the tiny laundry’ recalls Suzanne. The original four room bungalow was retained, out of respect for the history of the home and surrounding streetscape, whilst a significant contemporary addition comprising kitchen, study and living room on the ground floor, and three bedrooms/two bathrooms upstairs was added.
Initially, Suzanne took on the interior design of these new rooms on her own (before she had formally trained as a designer) but soon realised that the project would benefit from the input of an experienced design team, and so revered Melbourne interior design firm Doherty Lynch were engaged to assist. Suzanne worked closely with Mardi and Fiona to realise the project, which eventually inspired her own career change. ‘I loved the process so much that I went on to study design, and now have my own interior design studio, Suzanne Gorman Projects‘ says Suzanne, who has been working in the industry for six year now.
Last year, Suzanne gave the home a major restyle, introducing deep indigo paint in the dining room, a yellow front door, new wallpaper in the bathrooms and laundry, a ceiling mural for Sami’s bedroom and of a few special pieces of art. It’s clear that Suzanne really treasures these creative opportunities that her home has given her, starting with the original impetus to study interior design. ‘I am lucky that I am given a lot of liberty to test my creativity her at home, from my family’ she says. ‘Last year I was up a ladder painting a mural on my daughter’s ceiling while she slept under me. I painted through the night (above her) and when she half woke up in the middle of the night, she gave me a sleepy thumbs up!’
Despite its generous proportions, there’s something unmistakably friendly, relaxed and ‘real’ about this home. It’s clear this is a space used and loved by all members of the family. ‘Ultimately we are homebodies, very content to be at home, and I think part of that comes from having pulled this house together over many years’ says Suzanne, by way of explanation. ‘It has become something that represents us quite well and that tells our story’. Suzanne says her home feels (mostly!) complete now, and nothing else major is planned…. ‘a huge relief for Jon’, she says!
HUGE thanks to Suzanne and family for sharing their stunning home with us today! For more of Suzanne’s work do pop over and check out her website here.