Interior designer Tamsin Johnson and husband Patrick stumbled upon their Tamarama home slightly unexpectedly. The 1970s beach side bungalow caught their eye one dark Friday night in the middle of winter, when Tamsin was 8.5 months pregnant. With not-great-timing and only a late night glimpse, the couple turned up to the auction the next day regardless… and the rest in history!
The beach bungalow is typical of the older style houses in the Tamarama area, with simple bones and an interior layout of many little rooms. Tamsin and Patrick quickly set about gutting and reconfiguring the house. ‘We retained the facade, but not much more’ Tamsin admits. The redesign included converting six small rooms into one large space on the top floor, for a more open-plan approach. The renovations also entailed upgrading series of small windows into a huge opening to welcome in the ocean views, complete with bifold steel framed doors that spill out onto the terrace.
When the structural renovations complete, Tamsin put her interior design skills to task, transforming the interiors into a calm, refined space that feels like ‘an extension of the coastal surroundings.’ The aim was to create a home that would offer both ‘warmth and togetherness in the winter’ and ‘freshness and tranquility in the summer time.’ We can definitely see that perfect balance playing out here!
The family are also big entertainers, and wanted their home to be easy for cooking, and hosting friends and family. Tamsin describes her design approach as one that ‘relies on the warmth of materials, the smell of the ocean, natural finishes and collected furniture.’ A neutral base palette and chalky white walls also provide the perfect backdrop for the Johnson’s enviable art collection, which they have built over the past 12 years.
The family love the Tamarama area, and the strong sense of local community. Tamsin highlights ‘we know all the neighbours and the kids play in the streets after school.’ Connected to its surroundings, yet sleek, cosy and intimate, this is a home that gets the balance just right.