You don’t need a large space to create a personal, meaningful home, just look at the dreamy apartment of YSG director, Yasmine Ghoniem!
The designer’s Bondi apartment is just 55 square metres, but every inch is infused with her personality, distinct style, and exceptional use of colour.
Yasmine bought this apartment with her husband Tom Swanson as their first home in 2017. Despite its worn carpet, vinyl, and purple paint, the couple saw potential in its sensible layout (featuring no common walls or internal corridor, ensuring no wasted space) and high ceilings.
Six months of renovations (and numerous design tangents!) followed, although the overall vision remained constant. ‘The emotive sentiment was always the same: creating a retreat where feelings speak far louder than the furnishings,’ Yasmine says.
The interiors were completely overhauled, including new architectural cornices, skirting, bedroom and bathroom joinery. The kitchen was also redone, resulting in Yasmine’s favourite room in the house.
‘It was the most difficult to configure because it was like trying to stuff an elephant into a matchbox,’ Yasmine says of the kitchen. ‘The palette’s fresh and punchy, but neutral enough to not tire of quickly. The lighter peach ceiling makes it soar upwards.’
Opposite the kitchen is the new built-in living room lounge that Yasmine chose instead of a traditional sofa, so as not to overwhelm the space. ‘I had to economise on furniture selections so as not to clutter the floors and walls too much… This way I could control ratios,’ she explains.
If you’re familiar with Yasmine’s work, you’ll know colour is everything, and her home is no exception. ‘No blonde woods and maritime or navy blues, and certainly no all-white palette – that’s sooo not YSG!’ she says.
Dulux and Porter’s Paints underpin most spaces, layered with stone offcuts on ledges, vintage textiles, and eclectic furniture pieces. A delightful feature is the painted kitchen and entry floor – a richly detailed tapestry of salmon pink, hand-painted on the original timber floorboards by long-term YSG collaborators, Creative Finish Sydney.
‘At its very core, my outlook is nourished by the layers of my culture’ says Yasmine of her design aesthetic. ‘Mum’s Australian, Dad’s Egyptian, and I grew up between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, with a few years in between in Australia and a stint in America for studies and work post my schooling days,.’
While a feast for the eyes, this richly layered, tactile space is also remarkably comfortable, inviting Yasmine and Tom to flop into a state of complete relaxation when they swing open their front door.
Yasmine says the home only continues to improve over time, in keeping with her design ethos. ‘Every space I design always looks better six to 12 months after I hand over the keys because humans leave the most incredible scents and traces. You can’t buy that.’