Australian Homes

Suzanne Gorman, Jon McCormick and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 15th January 2014

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.

Downstairs study nook, adjoining kitchen. Wallpaper by Cloth by Julie Patterson. Oak + natural papercord Wegner CH53 stools by Carl Hansen & Sons, from Cult. Drawers from Ikea, Paper art on middle shelf ‘Home in Monochrome by Suzanne Gorman, pottery dragon on top shelf – ‘Dragon from the East’  made by Suzanne’s son Joe, pottery king on top shelf – ‘King Regenald’ by Suzanne’s son Harry, Felt embroidery art on top shelf -‘Black Sun’ by Rachel Castle. Top right is a print of a Steve Ormandy painting, ‘I intend to own one of these one day as an original…. definitely on the dream list is an Ormandy painting!’ says Suzanne.  Suzanne’s favourite piece of art that she owns is by David Band, ‘The Moment’, 2009 – it’s pictured on her screen saver here, and the original is hanging on her stairs,  unfortuntely we couldn’t get a good angle on it and so it’s not pictured here, sorry Suzanne!  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Suzanne and Jon’s master bedroom is so calm and beautiful and oh so ‘grown up’!  It also overlooks the beautiful pool!  Ivory linen quilt cover by Miss Molly, from Temple & Webster, Texidors grey cashmere throw from Mark Tuckey, Charcoal spot & natural spot pillow slips by Rachel Castle, charcoal linen sheets & euro pillow slip by Sheridan, Lanterne Wall Lamp by Pierre & Charlotte, black + white resin container on shelf above bedside by Dinosaur Designs.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Linen armchair from Lived In Coogee, handmade knitted patchwork throw on chair by Judi Cox Handknits & Suzanne Gorman Project, textile art (on left wall) by Be Gunn from Unravelled Textiles, vintage linen curtains with silver ricrac trim, designed by Suzanne Gorman Projects, made by No Chintz, Ivory linen quilt cover by Miss Molly, from Temple & Webster, Texidors grey cashmere throw, from Mark Tuckey, Charcoal spot & natural spot pillow slips by Rachel Castle, Lanterne Wall Lamp by Pierre & Charlotte.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Ensuite. Cararra marble penny round tiles, American oak vanity, basin & taps from Roger Seller.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Suzanne’s home studio, from where she runs her interior design consultancy.  Handcrafted ply tressel table with yellow cord, by Tressel Table Co (…after seeing Patrick on The Design Files, apparently!).  ‘Live What You Love’ print, framed, from Heartfish Press, Etsy.  Vintage pottery lamp base with spotted shade, designed by Suzanne, made by No Chintz, wooden tray from Country Road, twig sculptures by Twiggargerie, from Mark Tuckey. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Ivy, the family pooch, poses for a photo on 17 year old Harry’s bed!  Wall banner by Pony RideR, Handmade velvet + felt cushion by Unravelled Textiles, Charcoal velvet pillow slip by Rachel Castle, framed world map wrapping paper, from Nest Homewares, Thirroul. ‘Plaid’ handloomed woollen throw on ladder at left by Texidors, from Mark Tuckey.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

‘The Blue Room’ – a smaller lounge room / TV room near the kids’ rooms.  Oil on canvas on back wall – ‘Women 2’ by Sarah Nicotra, Oil on canvas in centre left – ‘North Bondi’ by Craig Parnaby, Enamel on canvas – Graffiti by Justin Feurring, Rug – ‘Segments’ by Suzanne Gorman from Designer Rugs, handmade velvet & knitted stripe cushions by Judi Cox Handknits & Suzanne Gorman Projects, Mini Zaishu stools by Spacecraft, ‘Fly’ acrylic pendant in ‘petrol blue’ by Kartell, Sofa by King Furniture.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

14 year old Sami’s bedroom. Aquarius cushion by Jonathon Adler, embroidered heart cushion from No Chintz, handmade patchwork cushion by Unravelled Textiles, fluoro pink spot pillow slip & quilt cover by Rachel Castle, fluoro coral ‘Necklace Cushion’ by Spacecraft, fluoro pink hand screen printed cushion by Bonnie & Neil, steel frame mirror by Mark Tuckey, feather juju hat on wall from Table Tonic, teal blue limited edition Componibili side table by Kartell, Muuto Dot Wall Hook, Wall mural painted by Suzanne Gorman (top right), acrylic on canvas Rainbow by Sami McCormick, seen in reverse of mirror!   Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

11 yr old Joe’s bedroom.  Pine Eggcup Stool / sidetable by Mark Tuckey, Watermelon + yellow velvet quilt cover (no longer available) & blue velvet pillow slip from  Rachel Castle, Paper garland from Pomtree, Etsy, ‘Van Day Out’ wall decal by Clair & Jeremy Weiss for Pony Ride, Rhino cushion from Bo Concept,handmade felt + velvet cushion by Unravelled Textiles.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

11 yr old Joe’s bedroom.  Love the sky blue walls and RED details!  Wall behind desk is painted ‘Ocean Surf’ by Dulux. ‘Desk 51’ & ‘Humble Red Hot Mesh Chair’ from Blu Dot Australia.  Framed embroidered handkerchief from Third Drawer Down.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Now that’s a backyard to aspire to!  ‘We built the pool and garden 10 years ago, before we renovated, and did the design ourselves’ says Suzanne. The Date Palm is reminiscent of one Suzanne’s nan Gorman had in her back garden, so is quite sentimental.  There are a lot of Californian bungalows and date palms in Willoughby – they go together’ says Suzanne.  This tree is in fact the only original plant left in the garden – the rest she and Jon planted.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 15th January 2014


  • Jo Foster 3 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful.

  • Bianca 3 years ago

    Beautiful (and functional looking) family home!

    Would you please share the brand of the ensuite bath tub?

  • Engracia Findlay 3 years ago

    This house has taken over my all time favourite from the Martino’s house in Glen Iris posted a few years ago, what a beautiful aesthetic, love it all, wonderful family home Suzanne.

  • Kelly Gilbert 3 years ago


  • Tara Maes 3 years ago

    For having a two year old in 1999, Suzanne is doing incredibly well, because she looks all of about 25! I think this is now my favourite home you’ve ever featured – so perfect!

  • harriet 3 years ago

    Gorgeous! I wonder what the lovely soft grey wall colour is in the bedroom?

  • Kelly 3 years ago

    Home envy!!

  • 3 years ago

    love it. darker toned colours in the living/dining room add great atmosphere.

  • Norma 3 years ago

    Gorgeous house. Love it all.

  • meg 3 years ago

    I instantly loved this house – I was wondering whether the owners would share the name of the person who did all their custom/built in furniture? I loved the design and the quality of workmanship and materials they used….

  • Carley 3 years ago

    Gorgeous home!! I was wondering what colour the deep indigo paint is in the living room. Its just what Im looking for at my place!

  • Katie 3 years ago

    What a special home – both stylish and relaxing in one. It really showcases the elegant and clean designs of Fiona Lynch and Mardi Doherty (speaking as another fan and client of theirs), as well as all the beautiful touches of Suzanne herself. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  • Rossana 3 years ago

    What a beautiful house. Tastefully done and achievable.

  • Emily 3 years ago

    Love this home. Would also like to see the front facade, and more street frontages in general on TDF.

  • Catherine 3 years ago

    Dreamy, want to visit this gorgeous home.

  • Vic @ Cush & Nooks 3 years ago

    What a beautiful home, I absolutely love it! I especially love the dining room and it’s indigo blue walls. x

  • Andrew 3 years ago

    Love the warm rich palette and accents of colour. Beautifully edited spaces all round.

  • gemma 3 years ago

    a stunning home!

  • Jo Ingleton 3 years ago

    Could you please share the brand and colour of the Indigo wall?

  • Jo in NZ 3 years ago

    This is a delightful home. I think Suzanne has real talent. The only thing that jars for me is the juju hat, which sets things squarely in Blogland 2011; otherwise, the decor would be beautifully timeless.

  • Allison Taylor 3 years ago

    Wonderful interior styling

  • Jenny 3 years ago

    Love this home that comes across as being both creative and calming.

  • Kate 3 years ago

    Any chance anyone knows what colour the walls are?

  • Margie 3 years ago

    So gorgeous, and great to see some patrons of our local gallery in Thirroul, Egg and Dart.

  • Jeni McD 3 years ago

    Fantastic Suzanne…….what a wonderful designing road you have travelled!
    Of course I love your colours too.

  • Tracy 3 years ago

    I think this is now my favorite home featured. Love the wallpaper in the study nook.

  • Suzanne Gorman 3 years ago

    Thanks for all the generous comments – I am completely humbled and surprised! I can share paint colours etc . Just need to look them up later – am at the beach today :)

  • Suzanne Gorman 3 years ago

    Tara Maes …… best comment ever! Let’s not do the maths! SGxx

  • Natalie 3 years ago

    What a gorgeous home you have Suzanne! adore the relaxed and comfortable vibe you have achieved while still going for beautiful, well designed pieces – thanks for sharing!

  • Kajsa Jeppson 3 years ago

    Yet another beautiful home in Australia. I think you guys have excellent taste when it comes to interior design. Love this newsletter, too.

  • sunshine & daydreams 3 years ago

    So much to inspire me here as we attempt to start renovating our run down CalBung. If only we had a Date Palm & room for a pool!!!

  • Paula 3 years ago

    Takes your breath away! I can’t wait for my husband to come home so I can out the ipad with these beautiful images under his nose!!!! Gorgeous!

  • Mia A. 3 years ago

    WOW! Absolutely Stunning. I would love to come and visit one day.

  • Lily 3 years ago

    So many beautiful touches – love all the details. The pool looks very inviting on a hot day!

  • Chris Dent 3 years ago

    This is a seriously gorgeous home – modern but warm and inviting. I just LOVE the decor – super well done Suzanne.

  • Laelene 3 years ago

    Adore this house – thanks for sharing. Can I ask what is the indingo dark colour on the dining wall.

  • Julie 3 years ago

    OMG A seriously delightful home. So much style yet so liveable. Well done Suzanne on your home and your career. I am instantly inspired. Your home consolidates everything that is contemporary yet remains timeless. Thanks Lucy for profiling and Sean for photographing. Love Love Love.

  • kathy 3 years ago

    I fell in love with this house years ago, when it was featured on the doherty & lynch website. Its nice to see how its evolved.. Seeing what has changed and what is the same..
    Plus always love a house plan.
    Joinery contacts would be super awesome…

  • Michelle 3 years ago

    superb, one of my favourite homes ever! thanks for sharing

  • Evie 3 years ago

    Supremely tasteful and liveable home. I’d love to know what the ensuite floor tiles are – they’re beautiful.

  • Sally Wilson 3 years ago

    Great use of colour, I would love to know the exterior paint colour

  • julia-tagandtibby 3 years ago

    I love the color choices, clean lines and light! And yet it still looks like a family home. beautiful!

  • Lauren 3 years ago

    I just can’t tell you how much I love this home! Probably my most favourite ever. Thank you.

  • belynda 3 years ago

    Well hello there painting on the wall, glad to see you live in such an amzing home with a gorgous family..
    Love from Belynda Henry

  • Suzanne Gorman 3 years ago

    For paint colours, perhaps keep an eye on my Instagram and I will detail colours in and out – I am on hols now and will get onto this next week when we are home.
    For questions on joinery, the joiner is no longer working unfortunately but there are plenty of wonderful joiners about. For joinery design you can try me(!) at Suzanne Gorman Projects in Sydney or in Melbourne try Doherty Lynch or Fiona Lynch Studios. SGx

  • Suzanne Gorman 3 years ago

    Bianca the bathtub is the IOS by Victoria and Albert. SGx

  • Holly 3 years ago

    Loved the blue walls however I feel that this house looks very similar to many of the houses seen on TDF. It would be great to see some more interesting, eccentric houses featured, like they once seemed to be in the past.

  • Jen W 3 years ago

    Gosh im so in love with this house!!!! Id like to ask Suzanne so many questions but my main one is where do you get your lovely lamp bases from? I love the mix of old base and new shade :) Gorgeous!! Thank you for sharing with us xj

  • dmLights 3 years ago

    Love the Kartell Fly lamp in the blue room!

  • Colleen B 3 years ago

    Your home has photographed beautifully, Suzanne. Congratulations.

  • Michelle 3 years ago

    OMG I love this house…..simple , functional and colourful !

  • Trudy - HOME etcetera 3 years ago

    I love the chosen doona covers, bed linen and cushions in the bedrooms of this home. Great neutral colours in the quilts with textures and pops of colour achieved with the cushions. Love it!

  • Francesca 3 years ago

    This is a really interesting and quirky home, and the colours are absolutely cheerful and vibrant! I would say that you have definitely honoured that “Californian Bungalow” vibe very well. And the pool is gorgeous! It’s great that you put so much of your own character into this space… always very refreshing. Well done!

  • Super cute place! I love all of the colors and patterns. The doted wallpaper looks really sweet.

  • Marike 3 years ago

    Paris is waiting!!!! See you soon (and bring those yellow shoes)! Love, M x

  • Jamila 3 years ago

    Gorgeous home! Love the calm feel of the master bedroom.

  • Sascha 2 years ago

    Iv read through the comments did you advise what the indigo wall colour was?
    Love love love it

  • Amanda 1 year ago

    I also really would love to know the name of that dark indigo paint that was used! Did anyone ever find out? Please share!!

  • Angela Lara 1 year ago

    I am trying to match a blue in my den for my walls and was wondering what is the brand of paint and color name?

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