Today's Victorian terrace in Surry Hills belongs to people you should half know about already - the very clever and stylish Nicola and Orlando Reindorf, who run The Standard Store (one of my absolute FAVE shops in Sydney), as well as fashion agency The Flying Standard. I have huge respect for these guys, they are such a hardworking, creative and industrious husband and wife team - and so lovely to boot! You might recall I actually interviewed Nicola and Orlando a while ago - you can re-visit that interview here.
Nicola and Orlando live here with their two boys Cosmo and Zephyr - they have been here almost four years. Since first purchasing the home they've made a few changes - a ' tacky 80's back' was lopped off and reconfigured, whilst preserving the beautiful Victorian elements of the home. 'We put in a new kitchen and deck, and dug into the basement to create a new living area' says Nicola. One bedroom was also converted into an ensuite bathroom upstairs, which Nicola says 'was rather decadent but totally worth it!' (I concur! It's amazing!). The Reindorfs are now planning on phase two of their renos, which will incorporate a rooftop garden above the garage and a plunge pool!
There is quite a bit of magic going on in the Reindorfs' eclectic four level home. It's a brilliant mix of colour, pattern and light hearted styling details, combined with a few serious design and art treasures too. What's refreshing is the feeling of casual confidence in all decorating decisions that have been made here - from brave wallpaper choices here and there (so random and so brilliant!) to an eclectic mix of both modern and Victorian feature light fittings, to French vintage posters which sit so happily alongside contemporary Australian art. It really is the very best kind of mish mash - nothing is over thought, and each room conveys a real sense of having taken shape over time, organically rather than in one strategic swoop.
As this home perfectly demonstrates, Victorian homes actually take a bit of mad colour and contemporary styling surprisingly well! In fact it can sometimes be easier to add a little unexpected colour or pattern to a period home than to a contemporary space, where spaces are often larger, more open plan and a little more daunting. The hidden nooks and narrow stairwells of this home have been given such interesting, eyecatching treatments... it's such a refreshing and fun approach, and gives this grand old Victorian terrace real personality.
Many of the art works in the Reindorfs' home are made by friends and family. The neon piece in the kitchen by Dion Horstmans is a firm favourite - 'you can see it from the back lane, and it makes the house look like a house of fun – it draws you in!' says Nicola. Furniture wise, an old armchair in the front room is a particularly treasured piece - it's been reupholstered in Ghanaian kente cloth from Orlando’s father. Nicola also especially loves the Koskela dining table - another bright colour pop that is the perfect complement to Dion Horstman's artwork in the kitchen.
As with any house (especially in Sydney!) a major drawcard of this home for the Reindorfs is also the location. 'I love Surry Hills, we walk to walk in five minutes, we have everything on our doorstep, but when we come home it's actually really quiet and private, even though we live in a built up area, we don’t have anyone looking in on us' explains Nicola.
MASSIVE THANKS to Nicola and Orlando for sharing their fabulous home with us today! Don't forget to pop in to The Standard Store when next in Sydney, and say hello from me!