An Interior Designer’s Own Home Designed as a Contemporary Family Home (House Tour)

So I’m Cushla McFadden, I’m one of the directors of Tom Mark Henry. We’re an interior design studio based in Darlinghurst in Sydney. We love residential projects for being able to really affect how people live and how they spend their day-to-day moments from you know making breakfast in the morning to how they, you know, put their kids to bed at night – it’s quite amazing being a part of that process and making those quite special. So this is our house on Young Street in Annandale,

I live here with my husband Brendan, our son August and our cattle dog Maxie. Being my own client was a first and I found it more challenging than I thought I would, it was quite hard to make a decision because obviously I know how many different possibilities there are and when it comes to design you never really finish, you know, you can always be developed further,

you can always be refined, so the way we ended up working is I would narrow it down to three options and and I would ask my husband to make the final decision. So when we bought the house it was a one-bedroom one-bathroom single-story terrace in original condition. The bones of the house were great I saw a lot of potential in it, straight away knew what we wanted to do with it; we widened the boundary to make a wider open living space, we converted the front living room into a spare bedroom, we put a second story on top where we added an additional two bedrooms and a bathroom. So the brief for us was to create a home that we could grow into.

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We really wanted to add lots of natural light so we’ve got skylights over the kitchen area skylights over the stairs and in the second bedroom upstairs. The house itself isn’t huge so we wanted to be really clever in terms of using every possible space for stories so we’ve got cupboards under the stairs, under the roof eaves, built-in storage and all the bedrooms, and as I mentioned earlier skylights throughout wherever possible to kind of maximise that feeling of light and space.

One of my favourite elements of the house is the staircase actually, that was a really key design feature that I worked quite hard to develop. I wanted something special for the focal point of the house which connects the two levels so we worked with a steel manufacturer local to Sydney, they worked with us to to design this powder coated steel balustrade that weighs about a ton! So it was yeah quite hard to get in, it got craned over the carport and installed but all concealed fixings I think the result is quite special. I think my inspiration for the home developed quite naturally kind of over the years, I started to pay attention to what I was drawn to and we wanted it to be quite a calming space to come home to; we’re quite minimalistic at heart we don’t have a lot of stuff so the finishes themselves were quite paired back and neutral where we kind of add our layers to it over the years as we kind of grew and developed as a family.

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What I’m most proud of in the home I think is the feeling that you get in the house it’s it’s very calming it’s a really nice space to spend time in and we actually moved in three weeks before our son was born so we really got to enjoy it over the first six weeks, we got visitors coming in appreciating the home and we were not really going anywhere so it was it was lovely to kind of have that brand new home and a brand new baby all at the same time. Yeah so we love the house we’ve um really settled into it over the last year and looking forward to growing as a family over the years to come.

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