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Before + After: A Dated Sydney Apartment Turned Refined Family Home

Interiors

The clients of this project, a young family, had two options when purchasing their first property. They could spend their entire loan on a house, or buy an apartment with enough capital remaining for a personalised renovation. 

They chose the second option, leading them to a three-bedroom apartment in Wahroonga, NSW, on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

Sequence Studio was engaged to transform the property, turning the 1960s apartment with dated ‘90s interiors into a stylish, warm, and functional family home. 

12th September, 2022

Belle of the Ball by Sequence Studio is a renovation of a 1960s apartment with ’90s interiors. Tiles: Surface Gallery. Tapware: Brodware. Joinery handles: Noble Elements and Lo & Co. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

Tiles: Surface Gallery. Tapware: Brodware. Joinery handles: Noble Elements and Lo & Co. Sculpture: Tree of Life I, Katarina Wells, Curatorial and Co. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

A dining nook with a built-in banquette seat was added to the kitchen, allowing the couple’s child to be with them as they cook. Artwork: Summertime , Maria Kostareva, Curatorial and Co. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

Tiles: Surface Gallery. Tapware: Brodware. Joinery handles: Noble Elements and Lo & Co. Sculpture: Tree of Life I, Katarina Wells, Curatorial and Co. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

Sequence Studio reconfigured the main bedroom, inserting a feature bedhead before a new walk-in wardrobe. V-groove panelling painted Dulux Gentle Calm. Artwork: Theresa Hunt, Curatorial and Co. Bedside table: Sarah Ellison. Wall sconces: Kelly Wearstler. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

A portion of the overly large living and dining area was sacrificed for a new study and vestibule on entry. Artwork on shelf: Liminal Space (pink ochre), Melissa Boughey, Curatorial and Co. Black twist sculpture: Entwined Form #21.126, Kerryn Levy, Curatorial and Co. White pot: by Katarina O’Brien, Curatorial and Co. Chair: Fred International. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

V-groove panelling painted Dulux Gentle Calm. Artwork: Theresa Hunt, Curatorial and Co. Bedside table: Sarah Ellison. Wall sconce: Kelly Wearstler. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

From the initial client meeting to the clients moving in, the entire apartment transformation took about 10 months. V-groove panelling painted Dulux Gentle Calm. Wall sconce: Kelly Wearstler. Bedside table: Sarah Ellison.  Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

The completed project is a stylish three-bathroom, two-bathroom, one study home. Photo – Pablo Veiga. Styling – Kerrie Ann Jones

The before photos!

Amelia Barnes
Monday 12th September 2022

This 1960s apartment on Sydney’s Upper North Shore ticked all the boxes on paper (north-facing, leafy outlook, and a generous floor plan), but its interiors were uninspiring. While sizeable for an apartment (176 square metres), the layout was disjoined, resulting in underutilised spaces. 

‘With the majority of the apartment visible as you walked through the front door, there was no visual privacy in the space,’ explains Loretta Lovecek, director of Sequence Studio who renovated the home. ‘Furthermore, excessive large open spaces hindered practical furniture layouts within the rooms, as circulation paths meander throughout.’

The brief to the designers was to consolidate the floor plan and create a more stylish home for a young family of three.

Sequence Studio’s first order of business was breaking up the existing floor plan to create the illusion of more space. To do so, they sacrificed a portion of the overly large living and dining area to form a new study and vestibule on entry. 

‘This vestibule space upon entering the home has created a moment of arrival and acts as a space the clients can shed the emotions of the day as they enter their family home,’ says Loretta.

The services layout and project budget didn’t allow the separate kitchen and dining rooms to be connected as the clients’ originally desired. Instead, a dining nook with a built-in banquette seat was added to the kitchen, allowing the couple’s child to be with them as they cook. 

The existing main bedroom was an awkward, long shape that had beautiful natural light, but did not feel necessarily special within the home. Sequence Studio reconfigured the space, inserting a feature bedhead wall made from V-groove panelling painted in Dulux Gentle Calm before a new walk-in wardrobe. 

‘90s materials (beige carpet, all-white walls, and bulky kitchen cabinetry) were also replaced throughout with a refined palette of shaker profile cupboards, stone benchtops, brass fixtures and glossy sky blue handmade tiles. 

From the initial client meeting to the clients moving in, the entire apartment transformation constructed by Waller Corp took about 10 months. The home’s dining and living area is now suitably scaled, with circulation paths relocated for optimum functionality. 

Loretta says, ‘The renovations to the apartment have meant that a warm and inviting home has been created for this young family — a place they can proudly share with their loved ones and thrive in as a growing family.’

‘The family could have purchased a property that was ready to move into, but by purchasing an apartment that required a bit of love, Sequence Studio has been able to work with the family to create a home especially for them!’

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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