This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Tamsin Johnson's Tamarama Wonder!

Homes

Tamarama is tucked between Bronte and Bondi Beach… aka one of Sydney’s most enviable beachside locations. Interior designer Tamsin Johnson and husband Patrick Johnson (designer and tailor of P. Johnson fame) fortuitously stumbled upon their 1970’s home here, and purchased it the very next day, before undertaking a complete re-design for their young family.

Tamsin and Patrick share this serene space with kids Bunny (18 months) and Arthur (3 years). A dreamy coastal delight, within arms reach of the city!

27th November, 2019

Those views! Gervasoni sofa, custom marble coffee tables, and rust linen tub chairs. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rust linen tub chairs for TJ design, timber chair handmade by Tamsin in woodwork classes, and artwork by Luke Sciberis. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Tasmin in her Tamarama home. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files.

Custom made marble table and Nicky Kehoe dining chairs.  Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A collection of books and treasures. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Dining room details. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Treasures on the marble table. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The new open space living area with USM credenza, Kirst Budget artwork and 1930’s French armchairs from TJ shop. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The bright white kitchen, with Lucy Culliton chicken oil painting and collection of murano glass. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artwork by Jack Wall, and TJ custom black wall lght, antique bronze sculpture and Alex Eagle hat. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Welcome to the Tamarama home. Wall sculpture by Brendan Huntley and painting by Daniel Boyd. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pino Manos artwork, Aldof Loos coat racks, and custom made cushions and banquette. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Luxe bedroom details with Coen Young artwork, Anna Charlesworth wall light and society bed linen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Periin and rowe tapware from English tapware company and Gio Ponti mirror. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Serene bathroom vibes. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pierre Jeanneret writing chair, custom plaster console by TJ design, and art from Galerie Pompom by Danica Firulovic. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 27th November 2019

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.

This Week

Food

The Tastiest Recipes Of 2021

From savoury galettes to triple tiered vanilla sponges with craem and lemon curd, these are our five most popular recipes of last year.

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Tiny Homes

The Most Inspiring Tiny Homes Of 2021

From converted shipping containers to prefabricated dwellings available for purchase, these were our favourite tiny houses of 2021.

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

Homes

Designer Anna Spiro’s Heavenly Island Home

The celebrated interior designer shares her relaxed yet luxurious Minjerribah/North Stradbroke holiday house.

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis
  13 hours ago

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

Gardens

Heide Museum’s Enchanting New Healing Garden

Heide Museum of Modern Art opens a new healing garden – a therapeutic space to benefit the mind, soul, and body.

Food

Julia's Herby Prawn Mayo Sandwiches

Julia Busuttil Nishimura serves up the ultimate summer sanga. YUM!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Architecture

9 Outrageously Beautiful Australian Coastal Homes

From humble shacks, to architectural masterpieces, these are our favourite beachside homes of 2021!

Creative People

Seven Standout Emerging Creatives of 2021

Discovering talented new creatives is our favourite thing we do – here are the artists, designers and makers who got us talking in 2021.

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

Surf's Up In This Manly Apartment!

A home re-configured for beachside living, by McNally Architects & I+D Studio.

Interiors

A Fashion Blogger’s Stylish Tamarama Apartment

Decus Interiors overhauls the Tamarama apartment of Carmen Hamilton, founder of Chronicles of Her.
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

A Contemporary Interpretation Of Coastal Australian Architecture

A sleek, modern family beach house by Cera Stribley Architects on the Mornington Peninsula.
Amelia Barnes

This Week

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis
  13 hours ago

Gardens

Heide Museum’s Enchanting New Healing Garden

Heide Museum of Modern Art opens a new healing garden – a therapeutic space to benefit the mind, soul, and body.

Creative People

Seven Standout Emerging Creatives of 2021

Discovering talented new creatives is our favourite thing we do – here are the artists, designers and makers who got us talking in 2021.

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

Tiny Homes

The Most Inspiring Tiny Homes Of 2021

From converted shipping containers to prefabricated dwellings available for purchase, these were our favourite tiny houses of 2021.

Food

The Tastiest Recipes Of 2021

From savoury galettes to triple tiered vanilla sponges with craem and lemon curd, these are our five most popular recipes of last year.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Food

Julia's Herby Prawn Mayo Sandwiches

Julia Busuttil Nishimura serves up the ultimate summer sanga. YUM!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

Architecture

9 Outrageously Beautiful Australian Coastal Homes

From humble shacks, to architectural masterpieces, these are our favourite beachside homes of 2021!

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Homes

Designer Anna Spiro’s Heavenly Island Home

The celebrated interior designer shares her relaxed yet luxurious Minjerribah/North Stradbroke holiday house.

Similar Stories

Architecture

Surf's Up In This Manly Apartment!

A home re-configured for beachside living, by McNally Architects & I+D Studio.

Interiors

A Fashion Blogger’s Stylish Tamarama Apartment

Decus Interiors overhauls the Tamarama apartment of Carmen Hamilton, founder of Chronicles of Her.
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

A Contemporary Interpretation Of Coastal Australian Architecture

A sleek, modern family beach house by Cera Stribley Architects on the Mornington Peninsula.
Amelia Barnes

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.