A SECOND LIFE FOR A BUSY LIVING SPACE
14 years ago Emma Duckworth fell in love with the northern beaches of Sydney while backpacking with her best friend. ‘I knew the minute I landed here I wanted to call this place home,’ she says. And as if spoken into existence, today the interior decorator and stylist lives in the very suburb with her husband and two daughters.
Duckworth didn’t need to look far when it came to making her dream a reality. The couple’s 4-bedroom original 60s brick home was owned by her husband’s parents’ for 40 years, and they purchased the property from them when they downsized four years ago. Over time they’ve slowly renovated the inside and clad the exterior with weatherboard giving it a more contemporary feel Duckworth describes as: a mix of clean country with a hint of industrial.
One of the big changes made was turning the two separate living and dining rooms into one open space. ‘I love that the girls can be reading on the sofas or doing their homework at the breakfast bar while I’m in the kitchen pottering around,’ she says. The plan was to create something light and airy, with a timeless palette: charcoal, indigo, white and chocolate. ‘I love the contrast of dark tones with crisp white that’s off-set with wood.’
In keeping with the bright and spacious feel, the original taupe sofas were reinvented with white slip covers, a herringbone rug laid for an inviting contrast and warmth, and a relaxed approach to decorating taken. ‘I don’t believe in hiding things away, but instead use them and enjoy them,’ she says, noting special mementoes such as: precious boxes, coral, and shells all picked up over the last 10 years of marriage. ‘We’ve decorated it to be a relaxed environment that is very much lived in.’
There are more plans on the drawing board to nurture this relaxed vibe. The cream kitchen doors and dark benchtop will get a fresh spray of white over the next few months, and the living room will evolve into a simpler, cleaner Scandi look. It will no doubt add a fresh new feel to the busy hub, while still celebrating its honest bones.
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© 2016 The Home
Photography: Emma Duckworth