Real reinvention: Victorian vision


In its recent reinvention, this Victorian terrace delicately fuses its long history with its owners’ time in Asia

AndrewWallerDesign.StanmoreResidence_141 Victorian style

victorian style terrace victorian_style_dining_room

victorian_design_lounge inviting_lounge_space_with_fireplace

AndrewWallerDesign.StanmoreResidence_287 authentic_victorian_style_bathroom

master_suite_classic_style hand_made_furniture_asian_innfluence

AndrewWallerDesign.StanmoreResidence_057 AndrewWallerDesign.StanmoreResidence_157


The idea behind the interior design of this Victorian terrace in Sydney’s inner west was to enhance and highlight the existing period features. The clients, a doctor and a writer, are well travelled and have spent considerable time working in China, and wanted to express this life experience subtly throughout their home without creating an overly styled interior.

“Our client and their travels was the inspiration,” says Andrew Waller, interior designer of Andrew Waller Design, who undertook the project’s interior decoration, bespoke joinery, furniture specification and design, soft furnishings, finishes and lighting. “The doctor and family had lived in China for business and already had a few interesting Chinese pieces which we added to in the refurbishment. They didn’t want a new pristine home but a lived-in, family feel which had a layer of history to reflect their lives.

“The brief was to update the interior space and provide much-needed storage…our clients had been living in quite an unorganised space for a while and generally needed a new eye to organise their home life.

“We took the project as an opportunity to organise the existing pieces, while adding new in a way that had a historic evolved theme rather than a ‘brand new’ appearance, which would date quickly and may not have suited the period property. As part of the project, many personal artefacts were also incorporated into artworks throughout the spaces.”

Two areas became the main focus – the master suite (which was to be the wife’s main retreat), and the lounge with the large full-wall bookcases (the husband had a large collection of books to be housed).

The master suite, which had consisted of numerous amassed loose cabinets, required a complete overhaul. A large amount of storage was required to replace these cabinets, but a cleaner plan was required to ‘tidy’ up the visuals and create some much-needed floor space, despite the room’s large dimensions.

In this master suite, one of Andrew’s favourite parts of the home, a combination of the new wraparound timber joinery and wing armchair by the fireplace redefined the space as a private sanctuary/reading spot away from the main living area. The joinery has now created a panelled-room feeling.

The master bedroom exhibits a masculine overtone, with the extensive bespoke joinery referencing a gentleman’s tailor shop. The bedroom furniture includes a custom-designed dressing table with intricate bone inlay, handmade in India.

Andrew also loves the lounge room with new twin bookcases adjacent to the fireplace, framing the space with a textural backdrop to the semi to create an inviting lounge space – the first port of call for guests.

Meanwhile, the main entertaining area was designed with the female client in mind, introducing a layer of colour on top of the neutral palette.

“The project evolved over a period of time,” says Andrew of the finished work. “We employed an ‘evolved historic’ approach to the design including the new furniture and bespoke joinery details. We retained and brought focus to some of the beautiful existing elements in the home and reinvented spaces and details which needed a little more attention.”


The project was designed by:


First floor, 722 Bourke Street,

Redfern NSW 2016

Mobile: 0422 992 676




The project was built by:

Tallal Mostafa

BFS Pty Limited

Mobile: 0411 831 832

1B Torwood Street,

Sans Souci NSW 2219





Living areas/kitchen: Timber, varnished finish

Entrance: Retained original marble tile

Bathroom: Tiled by Academy Tiles

Bedrooms: Timber stained floor – Feast Watson



Living areas: Dulux Rice Cake Wash & Wear; skirting boards Dulux Rice Cake semi gloss

Kitchen: Dulux Hog Bristle Wash & Wear; skirting boards Dulux Hog Bristle semi gloss


Master bedroom: Dulux Pale Parchment Wash & Wear; skirting boards Dulux Pale Parchment semi gloss

Childrens’ bedrooms: Dulux Finishing Touch Wash & Wear; skirting boards Finishing Touch semi gloss



Living areas: Silk embroidered lampshades – from Mao and More

Entrance: Custom made in Parchment to Waller Design specifications, from Circle of Light

Kitchen: Pendant light from Chippendale restoration, Rozelle

Bedrooms: Medusa chandelier from Orson & Blake



Cabinet doors and panels: Existing timber sand and new varnish finish

Benchtop: New laminate inserted benchtop with original timber moulding lip-edge detail



Wall: Dulux Finishing Touch Wash & Wear; skirting boards Finishing Touch semi gloss

Tiles: From Academy Tiles

Bath/shower/vanity: Chippendale restoration, Rozelle

Additional features: Towel rail from Chippendale restoration Rozelle, bent wood chair from auction



Original timber windows sand, recondition and new paint finish, sash windows mechanism were repaired


DOORS (external or internal)

Original timber doors and, recondition and new paint finish



Landscaping by Votre Jardan – Stuart 0410 691 521



Hallway: Hat chair – Chinese from Orient House

Living room:Rosewood Mahjong table – original from client

Bentwood chairs – auction find

Silk-embroidered pendant lamp – Mao & More

Rug – Doncaster Furnishers

Soft furnishings custom designed by Andrew Waller Design

Feature chair – Arana Chair upholstered in Liberty fabric from Jardan

Lounge – Genevieve sofa from Jardan, fabric by Mokum

Dining room:

Existing client table and chairs

Soft furnishings custom made by Andrew Waller Design

Fireplace – upholstered chimney breast in Assam colour Plum – Mokum

Armoire – A-frame Jiansu cabinet – Orient House

Family room (off kitchen):

Sisal floor rug – Equator Homewares

Kitchen table and chairs – auction find

Wicker chest/coffee table – Mandalay Design

Cabinet – Gansu painted front cabinet in poplar – Orient House

Love chair – Equator Homewares

Master bedroom:

Custom design soft furnishings by Andrew Waller Design

Floor rug designed by Andrew Waller Design, made by The Rug Collection

Varenne desk chair from La Maison

Joinery (wardrobe) – American oak with bronze finish hardware, designed by Andrew Waller Design

Armchair – Augustine wingback chair in chocolate linen from Orson & Blake

Dressing table and mirrorBone inlay kneehole dressing table – custom designed by Andrew Waller Design, made in India


Written by Danielle Townsend

Photography by Georgia Moxham

Originally from Australian Period Style Volume 8