This is one of our more intriguing home tours, although the backstory is not immediately apparent from the stunning photographs of Terri Winter and her family’s home in Northbridge, NSW.
Terri and her husband Bernd were not looking to purchase a house when this deceased estate home came onto the market. In fact, they had just sold their previous home, to invest in Terri’s business, top3 by design, and were planning to rent for a while.
However, the intrigue of this unique house got the better of them, they went to look, and instantly fell in love. Overlooking a huge overgrown garden, the property had previously belonged to surrealist painter James Gleeson, who configured the space to accommodate a studio – leaving an unconventional home layout. Terri highlights ‘it was such an odd house, because it is really really long and mostly only one room wide… like a big caterpillar on the top of the hill.’ Despite the awkward spatial flow, the couple registered to bid and ‘next thing we knew, we bought a house!’
Before they moved in, Terri injected a moment of luxury by secretly plumbing in a wooden bath as surprise for her husband Bernd. She explains ‘we had nothing in this rundown old house except a beautiful bath and 3 Kartell lights we wired in the living room!’
It took several months before the family were able to move into the house, as all of the carpets needs to be pulled up, sooty walls repainted, and rotting timber verandah railings replaced with glass. The 50’s blue kitchen was also replaced with Ikea base cabinetry, and a custom steel benchtop by cabinetmaker Dave Reddy.
The renovated house, now lovingly named ‘The Gleeson’ after its original owner, is now filled with beloved treasures, and carefully selected designer details. Terri explains ‘I think a home is like a tapestry of your life, all the pieces weave together to form a story of your journey. It is never finished.’ She admits that despite building a business based on the concept of a minimal, curated selection, and while she ‘loves the idea of being a minimalist… I just never will be!’