Skip to content

House Tour: Explore a Transformed 1960’s Home in Australia Where Colour and Modern Design Play

See this bold renovation where bright and bold colours pack some serious punch

Bookmark article to read later

By House & Garden South Africa | June 25, 2024 | Interiors

Like so many houses built in the 1960s, this Australian family home needed the type of renovation that would keep all of its old-world charms, while bringing it firmly into a modern era as a functional and comfortable living space.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe.

Cue very clever, and very playful, design. With Sydney-based designers (and sisters) Katy Svalbe and Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem (who would go on to launch YSG Studio) at the helm, the renovation saw large parts of the house reconfigured and redesigned to be more practical in its everyday use.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe.

Among these, the entire rear facade was removed and realigned with the second storey; while the kitchen was moved to the ground floor, where previously it had occupied a part of the second storey. In place of the old kitchen, a third guest bedroom was built, along with a loft, study and an en suite.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe.

Reminiscent of the 1960s, new outdoor slate paving was laid down around the house, and was then extended inside, as far back as the kitchen, quite literally doing away with the idea of space separation so that with the large glass doors open, the living, dining and outdoor areas become one cohesive space.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe

Architectural changes aside, colour is the real star of this home and what makes it interesting and playful. The original exposed red brickwork both inside and outside the house served as the base on which complementary and contrasting colours were then introduced.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe.

Entire walls and joinery were used to accomplish this colour juxtaposition, with tones of terracotta, yellow-gold and red taking centre stage. The team then introduced the decor, which was carefully chosen to highlight the major colour themes. Saturated and burned-out reds and blues were matched with muted pinks and greens.

While it may seem chaotic in theory, the result is surprisingly and exceptionally well-orchestrated interior design.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe.

All of these elements combined, Katie and Yasmine’s final surprise comes in the form of a collaboration with Lymesmith, an Australian design practice that specialises in colour concepts and artworks, to produce two large murals (there is one on the living room wall, wrapped around the fireplace). Like every element in the home, it is fearless and audaciously playful but helps lend itself to the bigger picture: the perfect colour code.

Photography by Prue Ruscoe.