Sophie Trippe-Smith and her family have lived in this 1880s Balmain terrace home since 2013.
After a few years in the house, they decided to enhance the good bones of the property with a fresh lick of paint inside and out, and some structural renovations. The family bravely decided to live in the home throughout the renovation, which Sophie admits was challenging, but says, ‘We overcame this by having a positive happy, attitude and a “light at the end of the tunnel” feeling!’
Sophie is a born and bred Balmain enthusiast, and describes ‘walking up and down this street since I was a little girl, thinking that one day I would like to live here.’ The family initially lived just around the corner, but outgrew their small property. When this terrace came on the market, Sophie walked inside and instantly fell in love.
Her adoration of the property has only grown with the renovations, with the new garden oasis and double garage providing added sanctuary and functionality to the home. The renovations also include new joinery and lighting in all of the bedrooms.
Sophie says she was initially slightly daunted by the renovation process, but found reassurance in the capable hands of interior designer Kate Bell and landscape designer Adam Robinson.
The home is now filled colour, personality and beloved items. Sophie explains, ‘I feel like my home’s style is always evolving. I adore eclectic, colourful interesting pieces. I don’t really like anything to match.’ Favourite treasures include the Gubi Beetle chair covered in green velvet (that no one but Sophie is allowed to sit in!) and a grasshopper floor lamp. This colour carries into the dining area, with its green leather banquette seat.
A self-described ‘art addict’, Sophie cannot choose her favourite artwork, but she loves the Esther Stewart piece in the dining room, and the neighbouring Mark Howson work. ‘They are both Melbourne artists, and seem to complement each other and just complete the house,’ she says.
Since our original visit, Sophie has added even more art to the home, including a painting of the Australian bush by Melinda Marshman, an abstract painting by Helen Eater, a floral work on paper by Galina Munroe, a sculpture by Jane McKenzie, and a portrait of herself by Vanessa Stockard. ‘My kids are still getting used to having Mum on the wall watching their every move!’ Sophie says.
The family are also currently in the middle of kitchen renovations, to open up this space and bring more of the outdoors in.
The pièce de résistance of this home is the rooftop terrace, which offers views across to the Sydney CBD. The family love dining on the roof, waving goodbye to a cruise ship, and watching the sunset. Sigh – Sydney living never looked so good!
Sophie is currently establishing a new art business, after following her passion and completing an art curating course at Sotheby’s in London at the beginning of this year. Stay tuned to her Instagram for the details and launch!