Flirting With The Past by The Stylesmiths

Flirting With The Past is a project designed by The Stylesmiths. Beyond the heritage red brick façade of this Federation home, is an interior extension that flirts with moments of the past and brings them into the present to create a timeless, uncomplicated design. The project brief called for liveability, and so The Stylesmiths lead designer Priscilla Elasi delivered a home that responds to the everyday life and entertaining needs of the family of five, matching the lively rhythm of multicultural Burwood, Western Sydney. Photography by Fiona Susanto.


The considered renovation paid mindful attention to the charming heritage characteristics that the homeowners fell in love with, and in turn, so did Priscilla. Telling a gradual story of change that moves with the home and the family, Priscilla says “these features remain the quiet heroes that inspired every decision. Our clients are what made this experience special, and I wanted to do them justice. Even Uncle Amil who lives next door was included in the conversation.”

The welcome mat sits upon up-cycled copper stone, used to retile the front doorstep in a way that enhances the original materials. The same respect is shown for the architectural moulding and beautiful archways that remain in the entrance hall, accented by simplistic artwork, a custom floor runner and accompanying dark timber console that counters the light coloured, newly re-stained hardwood floors. Our clients craved a space to unwind, prompting the use of neutral colours, plush furnishings and warm accents to realise their vision. Walking through, every element is of generous proportions, including the emotive art that feels immersive and soothing with shades of blue, orange and green.

The front reading room has been lavishly coated in layers of deep navy to further reflect the era of the home, using rich colours to create a moody yet cosy space by the fire. An eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings throughout the project has been impressively curated to create the desired sense of homeliness and belonging.

The stain-glass windows are framed by midnight velvet Mokum curtains and complimented by the Healey soft chair by Walter Knoll in tan leather. The room is made complete by the authentic vintage crystal chandelier that forges a connection to the rest of the home, inspiring the use of handblown glass for all new contemporary lighting fixtures.

A new bathroom with integrated laundry replaces what was formerly the undersized kitchen. Fresh and neutral, the understated joinery allows the aged brass tapware to shine, while calacatta stone tiling in a classic hexagon mosaic pattern takes the attention away from what is hidden behind the shaker style joinery doors. A delicate blown glass feature wall light from Articolo is a thoughtful addition, blending in with the neutrality of the calming space.

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