Entertainer’s Delight 

” When you walk into a room and smile each time you know the journey has been worth it. Watching the creative process that is SJW was magical. Their talent, passion and vision has given us a home that has harnessed and reflects who we are. Thank you for giving us a home way beyond what we could have imagined.” Tania Gardner (Client) 

Our clients purchased their house due its great footprint and location right next to Sydney’s iconic bay walk. However they never felt it was their own. They certainly never ever fell in love with the white gloss v-vinyl wrap doors with bright blue trim, pokey storage, white ceramic tiles or U shape design, let alone lack of personality factor!  

The design brief was to create an open plan kitchen and dining that was contemporary yet warm with lots of storage and natural stone. Tania had a love for natural stone and was inspired by our previous project the Breakfast Point Residence. After an initial site meeting, mud map spatial plan and needs and wants analysis the hunt was on for the perfect slab of stone. Initially we were looking at New York Marble but the lines were too scratchy and graphic. Following a six week hunt across several suppliers in Sydney we sourced a slab of Calacatta Venato marble, honed from Marable Slab House.

This slab of stone became the feature signature of the entire project. In order to curate the placement of stone artistically within the interior we took our client to Marable Slab House and marked out on the slab exactly where each splash back, and vanity bench was to be cut.

Material Specification Tip: When sourcing natural stone select a slab that is not the last in the block, in case any handling errors occur – such as the human factor of a supplier accidentally snapping the feature kitchen splashback slab as it goes onto the delivery truck! Then you do not have to hunt down a pin in a haystack, find the last remaining piece from a cancelled job – transport it across Sydney and have it painstakingly laser cut to the right size within 2mm without damage! – Or use an interior designer who has all the contacts to make this kind of magic happen in a 12 hour turn around when human factors come into play in the construction industry! Stay calm and trust your interior designer! 

The joinery was planned spatially following our initial mud map concept drawings to accommodate for the dining room wall that protruded out to the upper kitchen cupboards. Taking inspiration from the functionality of Parker Furniture and the traditional dining room we created a tiered wall of joinery that lined up through a connecting slab of Silestone from the sink area, to house the special entertaining crockery that our clients kept for entertaining and a cocktail bar for serving drinks. Quality natural timber veneer from George Fethers & Co a pre-finished natural timber veneer – with a chain-of-custody certification for both FSC® or PEFC™ was used on the doors and display areas to add warmth to the cool classicism of the monochrome palette. The top of the joinery was illuminated with LED down lights to highlight the quality Villeroy & Boch home-wares collection that was curated to coordinate with the monochrome colour palette of the joinery.

Styling Tip: always style in threes and place items in a nestling position asymmetrically in order to create interest and a focal point on a shelf. 


 BEFORE                                  AFTER



We wanted the internal joinery to provide smart storage solutions for a busy family. This included a hidden microwave oven with slide out small appliances shelf, pull out pantry doors, wrap around under sink drawers for cleaning products and built in rubbish and recycling.

Storage Tip: Measure your appliances and large items of storage prior to designing your joinery to get the best customised storage solutions for your needs. Place power points inside joinery to allow for multi functional storage. 


Visualisation of interior design space planning and material specification is essential in ensuring that client, contractor and designers are all on the same page. Here we have superimposed the actual cut of stone into the splash back into the design documentation to ensure that placement is accurate on site. 

Design Tip: Design on paper before translating in a digital environment – mud map out your circulation, and sketch the interior to scale, prior to translating this into a digital model. Once the space planning is solved, ensure material specification embraces the design concept, client brief and is sustainable, durable and fit for purpose  . 




The main concern with the home was the shiny rosewood coloured Australian red cedar floors. We had to match the timber colour and width of plank to achieve a homogeneous floor 

Staining Tip: Test TWO coats of stain on the floor before selecting the appropriate finish. Stains need to penetrate deep into the pores of the timber.

Stone Tip: When working with natural or engineered stone allow at least a week for your stone mason to measure on site and cut your stone bench top after the carcass is professionally installed. Make sure that you follow all of the appropriate care and maintenance advice from your supplier. 

Materials Tip: ALWAYS get samples from your supplier and take these with you when choosing complementary materials, furniture, products or finishes. Natural and artificial light greatly alters the appearance of a material and needs to be selected according to site specific conditions. We give our clients a materiality card post our renovations to help curate future purchases for their home. 



                  BEFORE                                  AFTER



The sitting room is the sanctuary of the home, no TV, no distraction, sublime chairs that recline with footstools on a circular hide rug with ambient lighting. 

Furniture Sourcing Tip: Visit the showrooms and sit in the furniture before you buy it. If you are selecting fabric, take swatches home first and test in the light – showroom lighting is often quite different to residential lighting. Measure all your items and ensure that you have plenty of circulation space around your furniture. 



                 BEFORE                                  AFTER

The former outdoor pergola was demolished, and a new outdoor room featured Out Deco decorative screens and Glosswood pre finished timber lining boards, was constructed to provide space for relaxing, cooking and dining. The outdoor room was transformed into the entertaining hub of the home, with a casual lounge, outdoor dining, fully equipped outdoor kitchen with bar fridge, DC motor fans, pendant lighting, fire pit and built in garden lounge. The garden was re-landscaped to include an L-shaped built in seating arrangement with a paved area and fire pit – the perfect addition for larger social gatherings. The former clothes line was removed and relocated to maximise the space and a new lawn was laid to add softness and comfort to the outdoors.  A large, existing tree was retained to provide shade to the garden and new perimeter planting softens the surrounding fence line and adds more greenery to the space with the tranquil sounds of the water feature and up lighting to create ambiance during the evening.

Outdoor Room Tip: Ensure that your design allows for both shelter and natural light. Use external materials that can withstand all weather conditions and divide your space into zones eg cooking zone, dining zone, conversation zone. 





BATHROOMS before and after

               BEFORE                                   AFTER

The bathrooms in the Rodd point home embrace open plan and functionality. With a pivot swing shower blade, the main bathroom can function as both a wet room and an enclosed shower.  

Bath Room Tip: Ensure that your design caters for you in generations to come. Embrace inclusive design principles in your design to future proof your interior. 


Interior design: St James Whitting
Documentation: SUCH Developments and St James Whitting
Builder: NJO Built
Joinery: Zarrella Kitchens
Plumbing: Sydney Metro Plumbing
Bathroom construction: Five Dock Tiling and Bathroom Renovations
Electrical: Inner west electrical
Floor Sanding: James Cha
Landscaping: Paul Pannuti Landscaping: Paul Pannuti

Furniture: Satara Australia, One World Collection, Icon By Design and Bo Concept                                                                                                                      Outdoor Screens: OutDeco                                                                                  Timber linings: Glosswood                                                                                    Marble: Marable                                                                                        Engineered Stone: Silestone                                                                              Veneer: George Fethers
Tiles: My Tiles Haberfield

SJW Artworks: The Curious Art Bar
SJW Homewares: VIDA

Photography: Marian Riabic

For more information, high res images and interviews with the designers contact: media@stjameswhitting.com


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