Inner-city warehouse garden


When Sandra Delaney and Scott Wilson returned to Sydney after spending 12 years in America, they were looking for a home with the vibe and aesthetic of New York

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After a proposed two-year stint living in America turned into 12 years for Sandra Delaney and Scott Wilson, they finally returned to Sydney and their former neighbourhood in the trendy Inner West. Having spent the past two years in the States living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, they were keen to find a character-filled warehouse property which they could turn into their Sydney home.

On one of Sandra’s regular visits back to Australia, she found the ideal property. It was a large, spacious former industrial building which had been converted into a home some years previously. There was a spacious — by inner-city standards — courtyard that had been planted out with lots of trees and greenery by the former owners to make it an oasis of green in an otherwise built-up residential area, and the property had loads of potential.

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No strangers to renovating, Sandra and Scott knew exactly what they wanted to do to create their Sydney home and enlisted the help of a builder friend they had worked with before to bring their ideas to fruition. With a strong sense of personal style, the couple created a sophisticated home for themselves, which would also cater to their large family and circle of friends.

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Sandra and Scott love outdoor entertaining, so they equipped their outdoor space with a generous barbecue and a paella cooker. The home’s kitchen is also close to the outdoor area, and during the renovation, it was decided to create a servery from kitchen to garden. This was achieved by installing a large window which, with the benefit of a hydraulic arm, opens up and out, allowing easy access.

The courtyard is paved in Sydney sandstone, a nod to the construction of much of the building that dates back more than 100 years. Two areas were created to enjoy the ambience — one features a small, round bistro table and chairs where Sandra and Scott enjoy an early breakfast or quiet drink in the afternoon. The second area is where the large dining table and 10 chairs welcome guests for lively lunches or evening feasts.

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With a love of French, Mediterranean and Mexican styles, Sandra and Scott chose furnishings that reflect these influences. The forged- iron dining table and chairs have a distinctly French bistro air and tableware purchased in Mexico adds a colourful vibe.

The garden is planted with masses of flora, including ferns, palms, evergreens and a spectacular Jacaranda tree, ensuring that no matter the season, it is always lush and green outside.

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Project details

Dining table and chairs Le Forge
Bistro table and chairs Le Forge
Serving table Stone Pony
Gilt mirror Yankee Trader
Dinnerware purchased by Sandra in Mexico
Table mats and runner Freedom
Seat cushions Freedom


Written by Kate St James, FDIA
Styling by Melanie Tomlinson
Photography by Marian Riabic

Originally from Outdoor Rooms magazine, Volume 28