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Inside Creative + Interior Designer Sibella Court’s Eclectic Family Pad

Interiors

Interior designer, author and historian, Sibella Court is the brains behind design studio and retail store, The Society inc. She’s renowned for her signature bohemian style, and knack for sourcing vintage homewares and hardware imbued with history. So it’s no surprise her home embodies the same eclectic vibe!

The multi-dimensional creative and her family moved into the property on the coastal outskirts of southern Sydney about four years ago. It was all white when they purchased it, but since then, Sibella has renovated and re-styled ‘every surface of the house’ with the help of her husband Ben Harper. And they’ve truly made the home their own – inside and out.

7th April, 2022

Franklin Striped Wallpaper from The Society incRusses Wall Light from The Society inc. Vintage Twig Table. Curtain in heavy linen from Raffles Textiles. Earnest Curtain Rod from The Society inc. Dampier Lantern from The Society inc. Photo – Chris Court

 

19th Century taxidermy sea birds Sibella bought at auction. Pinned butterflies from Deyrolle collection. Lighthouse lamp from Your Display Gallery. Franklin Wallpaper from The Society inc. Photo – Chris Court

Franklin Wallpaper from The Society inc. Russes Wall Light from The Society inc. Vintage Twig table from Heath’s Hardware. Daybeds built by Ben. Photo – Chris Court

Sibella had the vintage Knole sofa re-upholstered in Graffito fabric from Kelly Wearstler. Table made from a vintage ship propeller from The Society inc. Handprinted arch mirror sourced in India. Rug bought in Morocco from Soufiane Zarib. Vintage Japanese drawers from Edo Arts. Photo – Chris Court

Lamp by Sarah Nedovic Gaunt. Photo – Chris Court

Baxter Wallpaper in Boro from The Society inc. Wingback Chair upholstered in Warwick Fabric. Photo – Chris Court

Baxter Wallpaper in Boro from The Society inc. Japanese pilgrim jacket inherited from Sibella’s mother. Photo – Chris Court

Russes Wall Light and Lineage Candlestick Set from The Society inc. Beeswax candles from Queen B Candle. Biarritz Cane Wall Lights from Gypset Cargo. Photo – Chris Court

‘Instead of a wedding dress, I bought this vintage French 19th century marble sink and designed the bathroom around it,’ Sibella says. Perrin & Rowe tap-ware from English Tapware Company. Antique still life. Selenite Crystal Wall Lights from Country Trader. Photo – Chris Court

Travellers Amarillo Triana Subway tile from Sibella’s range with Teranova Tiles. Flotilla floor tiles from Teranova Tiles. Cast iron claw foot bath by Antique Baths Sydney. Photo – Chris Court

The couple’s amazing walk-in wardrobe! The cabinetry was all done by Ben, featuring fabric inlay drawers and the Yar Drawer Pull from The Society inc. Photo – Chris Court

A cosy corner. Photo – Chris Court

A peek into the library from to the guest room! ‘At the entry of my home, the floor is painted with a compass pointing true north and the year 1856 – my favourite year,’ Sibella explains. Photo – Chris Court

Howard print in Cherry Nose from Sibella’s wallpaper collection. Banks 70 Lantern from The Society inc. Bedding by Society of Wanderers. Ceiling panels by The Classic Family Photo – Chris Court

Inside Silver’s pretty in pink room! Photo – Chris Court

Vintage French cabinets. Central island crafted by Ben Harper from salvaged Baltic pine and Blackbutt. Vintage Beldi rug from Empire Homewares. Il fanale lights from Light Co. Liebherr fridge from Andi-Co. All hardware and knife rack from The Society inc. New Orleans Barstool custom coloured by Lincoln Brooks. Moustached portrait bought in Aleppo in 2010. Photo – Chris Court

‘When we purchased the house it was all white,’ Sibella says. Photo – Chris Court

Owl by Joshua Yeldham. Bench is by Sawkille Co. Photo – Chris Court

Christina Karras
Thursday 7th April 2022

Sibella Court, founder of The Society inc, and her family left their home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs after falling in love with the coastal ‘oasis’ of Bundeena about four years ago. 

Ahead of the move, they discovered the perfect passion project – a timber house filled with quirks and character. Drawing on Sibella’s interior design skills, and her husband, Ben Harper’s interest in building and joinery, the pair stripped the house of its previous finishes, and customised each room in their own distinctive style.

Sibella describes the home now as ‘layered, textured; a 3D timeline of storied objects of my life and my family’.

‘There are plenty of nooks to hide away in and then lovely open communal spaces to socialise in’ she elaborates. ‘It’s also the place that all my hardware, home goods, textiles, paint, wallpaper, and furniture prototypes get tested!’

The heritage home is also filled with a patchwork of colours, patterns and Sibella’s own printed wallpapers from The Society inc. that serve as a backdrop for her expansive collection of furniture and art. While most rooms feature a ‘dirty soft green’ wall colour and a nautical aesthetic, Sibella let her eight-year-old daughter, Silver, personalise her own room, with a pink and rose theme.

They’ve already tackled the facade, re-painted, removed all the downlights, rewired the whole house and installed solar panels, but next, Sibella has her sights set on the kitchen!

‘I inherited the white kitchen and whilst it waits it turn to be renovated, I removed various parts of it and replaced with an island bench crafted by my husband from Vintage Baltic cheese boards, and oversized antique cupboards pilfered from my own shop, The Society inc,’ Sibella says.

‘I’m having a lot of fun with this house and the idea is that it can change quite regularly. It’s handy that Ben has perfected the art of wallpapering.’

Learn more about Sibella and The Society inc here

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net