Poppy Lissiman, fashion designer of her namesake label, and Harrison Kennedy, strategy and growth lead at Uber Eats, lived in tiny rental apartments for years before making the move from Sydney to Fremantle in late 2020.
The house-hunting process was incredibly competitive, but everything fell into place upon discovering the perfect home. ‘When the first open house happened, we put an offer in on the spot, and couldn’t believe our luck when the owner accepted,’ says Poppy.
Originally built in 1990, this house exudes a much older feel than its age suggests, appearing almost like a rustic Tuscan villa. Poppy and Harrison appreciated its thoughtful construction, incorporating recycled materials, including Oregon beams from the old Fremantle Woolstores, bricks from a former hospital, and stained glass windows salvaged from various properties.
The existing material palette was ‘pretty spot on’ – the house just needed a few important tweaks!
Poppy and Harrison’s vision was to turn the poky kitchen, laundry and bathroom into one big entertaining space that opened to the garden. To achieve this, they were fortunate enough to have Harrison’s mum, architect Louise St John Kennedy, at their disposal!
‘Renovations are something she doesn’t normally do, but she kindly made an exception,’ says Poppy. ‘Louise and I spent many, many late nights revising every inch together, which was such a special bonding experience and something I’ll always treasure.’
The kitchen, laundry and bathroom were eventually gutted (with the timber repurposed), while a north-facing dining room wall was replaced with glass bi-fold doors opening to the yard.
A second bathroom upstairs was also completely redone featuring peach-coloured tadelakt; whilst elsewhere, walls throughout were painted Dulux Antique White U.S.A; and Jarrah floorboards were exposed and polished.
Poppy and Harrison also spent plenty of time tending to the garden that had barely been touched in 20 years. ‘The plan is to get the house covered in creepers to look like a green box within the next few years.’ says Poppy.
Given the property is quite a departure from their previous places, Harrison and Poppy sold most of their existing furniture and bought new pieces to suit this space. ‘We were used to never entertaining more than four people at a time, including ourselves, in our previous places in Sydney, so I feel that in this space we have been able to embrace the warmth of entertaining and having the room to show off a bit more!’ Poppy says.
The earthy palette of the original home lends itself to the couple’s styling, allowing them to play with mixed materials and contrasting colours. ‘Our art and some of our furniture tends to err on the side of being quite loud, so we were conscious of giving it space to breathe,’ Poppy explains.
The couple’s vibrant art collection feels right at home here, particularly the works by John Prince Siddon, a contemporary artist from Fitzroy Crossing, who Poppy has recently collaborated with (stay tuned!).
Poppy has long aspired to renovate a home, and to create such a special space alongside Harrison’s mum has been an absolute joy. The results speak for themselves!