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  • Sydney
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  • Home Tour: Laidback Luxury Defines this Curl Curl Living Room

Home Tour: Laidback Luxury Defines this Curl Curl Living Room

A living room in Curl Curl undergoes an impressive transformation, making it more streamlined, functional, and of course, stylish.

In every home, there is a sacred space where you can retreat for hours to relax and recharge.

And for a professional couple residing in Curl Curl on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with their two teenagers, they knew this place existed in their home. They just needed some help bringing it to the fore.

Turning to Alexandra Gourlay-Craig, head designer and founder of Vellum Interiors, the brief was to transform their downstairs living area, which had become somewhat of an everything-and-nothing space during the pandemic, and make it more streamlined, functional and stylish.

Laidback Luxury

“It was part work from home, part study area, part gym and gaming area for the couple’s teenage son, but it also wasn’t really being used to its full capacity,” Alexandra explains of the clunky original set-up.

Alex was tasked with breaking up the area and making it more of an intentional space where adults could easily entertain before seamlessly transforming into a chill-out zone for the teenagers.

“The overall goal was to create a sense of laid-back luxury for the whole family to enjoy, all the while feeling purposeful, liveable and beautiful. In terms of the look and feel, the client wanted it to be comfortable, a little bit luxurious and inviting,” Alex reveals.

Intentional Zones

When Alex first explored the living area, it became clear that while the space was large, a lot of it was taken up by thoroughfares and was going to waste. So, her first call to action was to separate the living room into distinct areas that could function independently from each other.

“We created two distinct ‘zones’ in the living space — a loungey, cosy seating area, and a bar area. We used window treatments to hide the doors to the outside which are hardly used.

“The outdoor deck became more intentional as well, with new furniture, fresh decking and a sandstone wall to enhance the experience of sitting outside and create another zone,” the interior designer notes of the key changes.

The team also built a fireplace, added in shelving and mounted a flatscreen Samsung Frame TV above the fireplace, which acts as a piece of artwork when it’s not in use.

Rock Star Aesthetic

The client had another important style note for Alex to incorporate into the refresh, referencing design icons Kelly Wearstler and Athena Calderone of lifestyle brand EyeSwoon as a key source of inspiration.

“What the client and I both like about Athena Calderone is her effortless sense of style and the way she uses colour intentionally. Channelling this, I used a pared-back, refined colour palette of neutrals and whites, with the feature being the sofa in soft green velvet,” Alex says.

“On the other hand, Kelly Wearstler’s preference for texture on texture and her very cool, little bit rock star aesthetic also appealed to me. We brought this in with the heavy veined marble on the custom-designed bar and all the different textures we used to create something really sensory and experiential. Timber, marble, brass, glass, sisal, wool, stone, velvet, linen and plaster are all used in the living area. The low-seat sofa with its distinct curved back helped to create a bit of a ’70s sunken lounge vibe,” she notes.

Thinking Outside of the Box

While the family home is nestled in the seaside suburb of Curl Curl, Alex and her client wanted to create a unique aesthetic that wasn’t necessarily the coastal-chic vibe that’s so typical of the Northern Beaches.

“We opted for off-beat objects that weren’t too predictable. The result combines the laid-back, neutral-palette aesthetic that ties in with the chilled feel of the Beaches, with a sense of luxury and cool that reflects the home’s inhabitants,” Alex says.

Looking at the beautiful new layout which champions both entertaining and relaxing, Alex reflects: “It’s somewhere you’d feel very comfortable spending an entire evening in, not just physically but also mentally. It feels like a safe place, where the conversation could go deep… and deep into the night with everything there you could need to enjoy yourself.”


Interior Design: Alexandra Gourlay-Craig of Vellum Interiors @vellum_interiors

Photographic Styling: Laura Rees @laurareesstylist

Photographer: Jacqui Turk @jacqui_turk

Build: Jim Wilson Constructions @jimwilsonconstructions

Words: Bella Brennan @bellarosebrennan

Loved our home tour of this Curl Curl living room and want to keep perving some of the most stylish places going around? Take a tour of La Palma in Palm Beach, then check out this impressive renovation on this Hampton East property. 

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