“I was given a lot of freedom to design and bring them the end result, which is very pleasing to the eye” – Marylou Sobel

Real interior: The Italian job


A classical Italianate home is injected with a fresh attitude

Located in Sydney, grandeur is commonplace in the Eastern Suburbs, with unique architectural and classic properties dotting the streets. But for this Italianate-style home, it was time for a much-needed update that revolved around balancing the European aesthetic of the property with a modern take from interior designer Marylou Sobel.

Although ‘classic’ is often revered as a good thing, there’s a certain excitement that comes with shaking it up and adding a bit of spice to a property that’s traditional in style. For a family of five, paying homage to the original architecture of the home was critical, which is perhaps why Marylou was appointed to the job,

I was given a lot of freedom to design and bring them the end result, which is very pleasing to the eye...
given much of her inspiration is garnered from European influences. “The client wanted soothing tones, a calming atmosphere and natural materials,” says Marylou.

With a body of work revolving around revamping the kitchen, laundry, guest powder room and bedroom ensuite, soft furnishings were also updated along with lighting fixtures and paint. Marylou was given creative licence to run with her design vision and be adventurous.

As the heart of the home, the kitchen was given the most attention during the project. Traditional in style, the space is fitted out with solid oak timber doors that were hand-painted by a specialist artist. The kitchen also features creamy stone benchtops, which add a touch of French flair that happily coexists with the Parisian Brionne hardware. Focusing on making the space more functional for the client, storage issues were addressed by incorporating an array of cabinetry that is now present throughout the generous space, making it easy to hide away appliances that can be jarring to such an impressive room.

Moving on from the cool tones of the kitchen, the living room offers pops of citrus that are accentuated by an equally vibrant pink and black rug. Overlooked by an antique French pendant, the European influence is certainly present in this room.

However, bright accessories and an orange sofa breathe freshness into the space. The master bedroom also evokes the same modern aesthetic, with a statement feature wall decked out in wallpaper that contrasts against the various multicoloured cushions. Subtle carpeting softens the room, marking it as an escape made for relaxation and rest.

Filled with light, there are two designated areas within the home to enjoy the elements from the comfort of a chair. A sitting area is encased by floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the backyard. The ideal place to enjoy breakfast or a long lunch with the family, natural light fills the area that is connected to the living and kitchen spaces. The other sitting area evokes an almost royal and more formal feel, with a decorative ceiling featuring gold accents displayed proudly above, continuing with the European theme.

Through the use of colours that emit kinetic energy, the updated spaces in this home add contrast to a house that was entirely focused on elements of tradition. Now equipped with hints of bright colour, it’s safe to say the balance between old and new has been achieved to the highest standard.

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Written by Annabelle Cloros
Photography by Maree Homer

Originally from Home Design magazine, Volume 18 Issue 5