This Victorian home in Annandale, Sydney by Folk Studio has been renovated to reflect the owner’s vibrant personality.
‘The interiors featured a collection of items our client had been given or handed down — nothing that she felt reflected her style or needs,’ Folk Studio co-founder and director Mariah Burton says.
‘There were a lot of bulky, large furniture pieces that looked out of place, and the kitchen and bathroom spaces were dark and lifeless.’
The client’s brief asked for areas where she could host her friends and family for dinner, and for more colour to be injected into the traditional interiors.
Mariah looked to heritage buildings in Europe for inspiration and decided to lean on the home’s 12-foot-high ceilings and period fireplaces to create a new palette of brass, velvet, and detailed joinery.
In the living areas, marble tiles have been laid in a playful checked pattern on the kitchen splashback, while a modular sofa from Jardan serves as a flexible and functional hero feature of the space.
In place of a freestanding dining table, careful spatial planning made room for a custom table and bench seat where the owner now entertains guests in a nook behind the fireplace.
Soft pink hues bring a more feminine edge, along with a moody burgundy feature wall that frames a calacatta viola marble console in the hallway.
‘I actually had a dream one night about painting the hallway this deep wine colour and I woke up and immediately spoke to our client about it and she loved the idea, so this was a last minute addition to the design,’ Mariah adds.
Navigating the windowless bathroom was another challenge. A bath was one of the owner’s nonnegotiable features, so Mariah designed a custom pink concrete bath to perfectly fit the small space.
What really set the tone for the resulting colour scheme was an eclectic pair of rugs. ‘We had a large pink rug in the living room, and later in the design process, we came across this 50-year-old vintage check rug from Morocco and knew we had to include it in the design,’ Mariah says.
‘We ended up laying the two rugs on top of one another in the living room, hence the name Checkmate House.’