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

A ’60s Cronulla Home Gets A Colour-Rich Makeover!

Interiors

So many renovation projects are designed with the sole intention of increasing the property’s eventual resale value, instead of catering to the current owner’s personality and taste.

This was clearly not the case in the Polychrome House, which features a boldly punctuated colour palette, abstract wall murals, and black interior crazy paving!

See inside this awe-inspiring home, designed in collaboration between Lymesmith and Amber Road.

2nd December, 2019

Lymesmith and Amber Road have renovated this Cronulla home featuring abstract murals.

Incredible crazy paving flooring!

The house was originally designed in the ’60s by architects Payne & Hunt.

The interior palette features two contrasting quiet and bold colour schemes.

Textural richness is created through layered materials, interesting tiles and eclectic furniture.

Original exposed brickwork was retained throughout.

The project is a radical and joyful update of a modest 1960 home.

‘I wanted to show that it’s possible to work boldly and playfully with older buildings, without either erasing everything with white paint, or being constrained by historical correctness,’ says Sonia van de Haar, creative director of Lymesmith.

The house is made for entertaining family and friends while enjoying Cronulla’s relaxed beachside lifestyle.

More colour in the bathroom!

‘The client enthusiastically embraced and encouraged the colour play, and had an active role in the project,’ says Sonia.

Beneath all the colour and fun is a solid and practical strategy perfectly suited to the client’s needs.

Leafy views from another bathroom.

Amelia Barnes
Monday 2nd December 2019

The driving concept was to make a house that reflected the client’s commitment to living life their own way and enjoying it NOW!’ – Sonia van de Haar

In Sydney – a city where property prices rate among the highest in the world – it’s so refreshing to see a home with a distinct personality, completely bucking ‘style for sale’ trends.

In this renovation project by Lymesmith and Amber Road, they have successfully updated a two-storey, architect-designed, ‘60s home in Cronulla to offer a better entertaining experience and some seriously character-filled interiors. ‘It was a delightful job because the client was so open and willing to try things out,’ says Sonia van de Haar, creative director of Lymesmith. ‘Nothing was seen as too precious or too serious, and nobody cared about ‘resale values’.  The driving concept was to make a house that reflected the client’s commitment to living life their own way and enjoying it NOW!’

One of the most distinct elements of the renovation is the black crazy paving flooring that works to blur the boundary between interior and exterior spaces. The idea for this flooring originally came from Yasmine Ghoniem of Amber Road, but the client, Harry Kapoulas, soon jumped on board. Harry ordered a truckload of stone and worked with a tiler to break this up and lay it. ‘It was a real DIY job and everyone loves that aspect,’ Sonia says.

The second key element of the interiors is the wonderful use of colour, made up of contrasting quiet and bold schemes. The quiet colours (warm shades of white, mushroom pinks and black) are the base neutral shades holding everything together to create harmony, while the brighter and deeper colours draw attention to the living areas and hero decor items. ‘This second colour set plays a more active role, especially in the downstairs kitchen and living area. Mustard terracotta and [navy] blue are dynamic elements that vibrate and delight the eye, says Sonia. ‘We were consciously having fun with the wackier side of mid-century design.’

That would be enough for most homes, but not Polychrome! Lymesmith were then commissioned to make two wall paintings for the house, developed from aerial photographs of the house location and drawing from the interior colour palette. ‘Moving through the house really is a pleasure,’ says Sonia. ‘One experiences colours in new relationships to each other, in relation to the garden, and in a myriad of unexpected ways.’

One of the reasons this home is so daring is because of the timeframe it was completed in. A serious illness in the client’s family meant this project was halted for almost three years. When returning to the home, both the designer and the owners had developed a new perspective of the space. ‘It was a great opportunity to look at the previous work with fresh eyes, which actually led to a bolder end result, which truly reflects the owner’s commitment to joyful living,’ says Sonia. ‘People that have come face to face their own mortality are more willing to live in the now and express their individuality.  So, our clients didn’t need inspiring, they inspired us, and they trusted us to bring our passion and talents to the project.’

Beneath all the colour and fun of this home, Lymesmith and Amber Road have executed a practical strategy perfectly suited to the client’s desire to entertain family and friends, and enjoy Cronulla’s relaxed beachside lifestyle. The kitchen and dining was relocated downstairs to better connect with the garden, and a formerly oversized and dark garage was integrated into the interiors to form an additional guest room and study.

If for some reason the owners of this home change their mind and seek a more neutral space in future, Sonia says this would be easy to revert back. In the meantime, this house proudly reflects and celebrates the individuality of its owners.

This Week

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan
  20 hours ago

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!
Sasha Gattermayr
  4 hours ago

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

An Amazing Mid-Century Home Gets A High-Tech Makeover!

A spectacularly restored and extended mid-century residence, located in Sydney’s Lower North Shore.
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

Cuckoo Clock Meets Modern Edwardian Home!

Rara Architecture and Interior Design creates a new Edwardian-inspired, Footscray home.
Miriam McGarry

This Week

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!
Sasha Gattermayr
  4 hours ago

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan
  20 hours ago

Similar Stories

Architecture

An Amazing Mid-Century Home Gets A High-Tech Makeover!

A restored and extended mid-century residence in Sydney’s Lower North Shore.
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

Cuckoo Clock Meets Modern Edwardian Home!

Rara Architecture and Interior Design creates a new Edwardian-inspired, Footscray home.
Miriam McGarry

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.