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Home Tour: Woollahra House & the Lavish Terrace Makeover

An adventurous spirit elevates a 100-year-old terrace in fashionable Woollahra.


Woollahra, Eastern Suburbs of Sydney

Who lives here

A professional couple

Interior style

Luxurious yet liveable.

Favourite room

I love the powder room, a smaller space yet undeniably impactful. The standout here is the combination of the stone cladding and the handmade tiles in a pale blue/grey which instantly provide texture and reflection—a stunning pairing of materials.

Favourite pieces

The freestanding bath in the main bathroom is clad in a rose-coloured Onyx marble. It truly is the hero of space and is perfectly harmonious with the rose-coloured concrete floor and the pale grey walls.

Love the most

The somewhat rebellious spirit throughout, and ultimately, the end result is a true reflection of the client and their lifestyle.

Everything about Woollahra exudes elegance. From the grand homes that sit within the shade of overarching trees to the design-forward shopfronts filled with high-end fashion and contemporary art. It's here, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, that a 100-year-old three-storey terrace gets a lavish and colourful makeover.

Adding to the dreamy aspect of this project is a client who insisted on no two spaces being quite alike. Meaning, interior design studio, Decus Interiors could flex their creative muscles to bring about a transformation that simply wows at every turn.


Decus Interiors couldn't have asked for a more beautiful canvas to work with. Fitting of the surrounding neighbourhood, the pedigree of the home is evident from the moment you arrive. But it was inside that the professional couple wanted Founder and Managing Director of Decus Interiors, Alexandra Donohoe Church, to work her magic. With the brief to redesign and reimagine the wine cellar, four bathrooms and two adjoining bedrooms.

"The owners wanted each space to have a personality and strong identity of its own. It was a really wonderful opportunity to have fun with a very adventurous client and to experiment with texture, colour and layering," explains Alexandra.


Each time Decus Interiors met with their client, they were struck by their bold outfits and energy. Eager to harness this in their design choices, Decus Interiors set about weaving their client's personalities into the fabric of the home. By doing this, they knew they would be able to create something extraordinary.

"Fashion for us plays a dual role. Fashion, like art, is a form of self-expression. As such, fashion serves as a thermostat, allowing us to read our clientele – it speaks louder than a written or verbal brief in terms of what a client likes and dislikes.

Alexandra continues, "We often rely on a client's fashion sense to communicate what people value aesthetically in terms of originality, colour and layering. At the outset, we find what they value in terms of quality and how serious they are about investment in special pieces."

Decus Interior had a lot of fun creating this playful, lavish and dramatic transformation. And it shows.


The main bathroom is defined by the freestanding bath, which is clad in a rose-coloured Onyx marble, the axis for which everything else was selected. A base of matt pink concrete flooring complements the rose onyx bath, pale grey walls temper the blush tones, and rose gold fixtures, and tapware are the jewels.

Each ensuite shares a direct connection to the bedroom that it services. The pink marble guest ensuite pairs with a bedroom in pale pink tones and the master bedroom's rich palette is complemented by the deep merlot featured in its bathroom.

A small but impactful space is the powder room positioned off the study. The combination of the stone cladding and handmade tiles in a pale blue/grey instantly provide texture and reflection. A ceiling-mounted mirror cabinet and floor-stand basin elevate the compact space, while the dark black frames and brass tapware purposefully punctuate the blues/greys of the base palette.

"We love the beauty of layering and the nuances of working with many opposing textures and materiality," explains Alexandra. "Within Woollahra House, we found these elements convey great richness and warmth, which is essential for the opulent outcome our client's desired."


Juxtaposed against the femininity of the pink bathroom, the wine cellar in luxurious shades of inky blue and charcoal is a play on sensuous curves, texture and materiality. Boldly speaking to the personalities of the professional couple.

"Ultimately, a person's home is inherently personal, and we seek to weave threads from a client's sense of fashion into the spaces they inhabit every day," says Alexandra. "We selected bold patterns or stone textures in each space, which in turn were each layered with softer elements."

After reworking select rooms within the terrace, Alexandra has updated this prestigious home to be one that is truly adventurous.

"What I loved about this project was the somewhat rebellious spirit throughout, and ultimately, the end result is a true reflection of the client and their lifestyle," says Alexandra.


With all its style and elegance, Woollahra is home to some of Sydney’s best high-end boutique shopping, on-trend cafes and dining hotspots. Just as fashionable as its neighbour, Paddington, Woollahra steps it up a notch with its stunning display of heritage-listed homes along streets lined with overarching trees. Then there is the sprawling expanse of Centennial Park right on its doorstep.



For breakfast: Set beneath an art gallery, Flat White delivers on coffee and good food. 

For lunch: Bistro Moncur is all about French food in a chic setting.

For dinner: Chiswick is a high-end, farm-to-table restaurant that is a must-book dining destination.

For drinks: The rooftop bar at The Light Brigade has impressive views, woodfired pizza and prosecco.

Go-to local boutique: Parterre is a homewares store that you’ll never want to leave.

Must do in the local area: Shop! Wander along Queen Street for high-end fashion, homewares and providores.


Interior Design: Decus Interiors

Photography: Felix Forest

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