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  • Sydney
  • Home Tours
  • Home Tour: Jillian Dinkel Transforms a Classic Federation Property into a Welcoming Family Home

Home Tour: Jillian Dinkel Transforms a Classic Federation Property into a Welcoming Family Home

Jillian Dinkel showcases her signature design flair in this transformation of a classic Federation property, honouring its heritage features while creating a light, bright and welcoming family home.

Any owner of a Federation home will understand the risk that comes with renovating it —the tension between wanting to honour the heritage heart and soul of the house while making modern updates that don’t jeopardise its character. 

But for Jillian Dinkel, Creative Director and Principal of Jillian Dinkel Designs, this kind of challenging assignment is her passion, and it's something she expertly navigated when working on Wiltshire House in Sydney’s Inner West suburb of Stanmore

Love at First Sight (Inspection)

“I love working with old homes! This Federation beauty was especially wonderful as so many of the charming architectural details were intact,” Jillian beams of the project, while revealing there were certain aspects that immediately jumped out at her. 

“It was love at first sight when I saw the patterned plaster ceilings and timber fretwork in the entry hall. The detailing is just exquisite,” she adds. 

The client’s brief was to update the interior of their much-loved Federation home and introduce more light, storage, and space for their family to enjoy.

Where Old Meets New

Jillian’s process is to embrace and celebrate original details while welcoming fresh furniture, lighting, and textiles which will elevate the bones of the property.

“In this home, we literally separated old from new by designing a sliding steel frame door, with the division marked by a marble threshold,” she explains.

Jillian and her team turned to natural materials to use throughout the home, with a blue and grey colour scheme to give it a chic, punchy impact. 

“The marble we used in the kitchen was central to the design, along with the slightly greyed-out American oak we used across the joinery and new flooring in the extension. Complementing these features were the use of aged brass and blackened steel swathed in shades of blue and grey,” the designer says. 

A Show-Stopping Kitchen

Another key focus was the home's kitchen, which underwent a major upgrade. 

“The kitchen is truly show-stopping. The three-metre-long island is topped by a single Calacatta marble slab and looks through new steel frame doors to the courtyard beyond,” says Jillian.

“The cabinetry was hand painted in two calming and complementary shades and topped with matching powder-coated metal handles. Pendants from Melbourne-based Articolo Lighting drop from the pitched ceiling adjacent to new large skylights that flood the room with sunshine,” she adds. 

Outside, the team opened up the courtyard and turned it into a peaceful oasis, tucked away from the buzz of the suburb. 

Warmth and Cosiness 

Narrowing down a favourite space, Jillian admits she loves the warmth and cosiness of the sitting room.

“It’s such a moody encapsulating retreat — you can’t help but feel enveloped in its calming arms.”

Walking through Wiltshire House, Jillian says the overall feeling is “calm, considered and timeless.” It's the perfect coming together of old and new.


Interior Design: Jillian Dinkel Designs @jilliandinkeldesigns

Photographer: Pablo Veiga @_pabloveiga

Interior Styling: Madeline McFarlane @madelinemcfarlanestylist

Build: Green Anvil Co. @greenanvilco

Architect: Maryanne Taskovski @maryannetaskovski_architect

Concept & DA: Papesch Architecture @papescharchitecture

Words: Bella Brennan @bellarosebrennan

Loved our tour of Wiltshire House and want to keep perving some of the most stylish places going around? Take a look inside the stunning Highgate Hill complex in Brisbane. Then, check out Three Birds’ epic renovation of this Sydney home, turning it into a modern Mallorcan escape.

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