My name’s Kirsten Stanisich, I’m a director of Richard Stanisich, and this is Redfern Terrace which is my home. I’m an architect specialising really in interior design, so I’ve worked a lot on the house in terms of the design and the refurbishment of the house. Redfern’s a really interesting suburb, it’s probably one of the oldest suburbs in Sydney. It’s located really close to the city but it’s also got a really beautiful leafy outlook. We’ve got a lot of people walking around the street so there is a sense of community and I think that that’s got a really great energy about it and I think it’s really important that you feel just as great inside your house as you do outside your house.
I think the house does feel really calm – home really needs to be somewhere that you can recharge and it does have a tranquil kind of relaxed quality to it. I think the light within the house is quite unusual for a terrace it feels fresh and it feels open. The front of the house faces east so in the morning when I’m having breakfast there’s light coming through the stained glass windows into the hallway so the hallway kind of lights up as a little bit of sort of soft and muted colour. Later in the afternoon there’s a lot of sun that comes through back into my dining space.
The layout of the house actually stayed exactly the same, I’ve just taken out the island bench and created a wall-to-wall kitchen so that you’ve got the view from the living space that runs back to the garden. There is a sense of being inside the house and a sense of being outside the house and although I haven’t sort of finished working on the garden spaces, I think for a tight urban location there’s something quite beautiful about that really small scale experience of your outdoor space and how important that is for the light inside the house.
There’s a three-dimensional quality to the joinery externally, it’s got the ribbed timber so again even when you’re touching it you can feel that three-dimensional quality to it but also has a little bit of a nod to that kind of Victorian-era rather than having a really slick kind of built-in quality to it. I think one of the the challenges is between how much do you repair; there’s already a patina to some of the finishes there’s funny skirting boards that don’t line up, I think it’s lovely just to say “new is new and old is old” but have a conversation between the two elements together, I think that’s its beauty as well. All the feature colours in the house are actually inspired by the heritage stained glass that was in the house when I came here, so if you look at all the colours they all draw back into the original stained glass in the doors.
There’s clear glass there’s lilacy blues and soft pinks running through the house. I’ve got a light fitting from E15 which matches the actual colours of the original stained glass and there’s something very beautiful about having the contemporary and the old pieces talking to each other. I think it’s great to find something that works for you and look after it rather than necessarily feeling like you have to come into a space and always completely reinvent it. Great paint work and joinery and stone work is what is important to me and I guess that’s where I see beauty and that’s what excites me. The great thing about being your house is you really don’t have to justify a lot of it more than this is what I’m responding to and collecting those elements together and how your house kind of becomes this this almost like this shell or this enclosure that you can bring those things together and keep building on them.