• Design Process
  • Design Concept

Sydney Home Show - Design Process

Kate St James and Catherine Whitting featured their signature interior design rooms at the 2016 HIA Home Show at Sydney Olympic Park, The Dome.

Kate brought the crowds in at the Sydney Home Show at Olympic Park with her Eco Urban Retreat. More people are thinking of creating their own sustainable oasis evident from the number of people asking how they can make their homes sustainable.

As well as having a bedroom setting filled with products and materials that are environmentally safe for your home, Kate was on stage with Catherine and several other speakers providing information to help the homeowner decide what products they can buy that not only create a stunning interior but one that is safe from all toxic chemicals.

Her inspiration for the room was an Eco Urban Retreat. She wanted to show that even in the big cities, we can have a bedroom as a sanctuary, using beautiful, calming and comfortable, eco-friendly materials

“I envisaged the bedroom in a city warehouse and the brick mural set the tone. I chose the design from Vision Wallcoverings, to replicate a brick wall. The wallpaper is printed on environmentally sustainable paper, using the highest grade of eco ink” explains Kate.  The flooring is 100% natural Sisal. Sisal comes from the agave sisalana plant, which is a renewable material and a native of Mexico. It is a course, strong fibre that over its lifecycle absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces. Sisal plants reduce soil erosion and contribute positively to watershed management. It’s resilient to disease and requires little in the way of husbandry, can be harvested after two years and has a life expectancy of 12 years before it requires replacing. It’s antimicrobial making it perfect for those with asthma and allergies.

The paint selected is from eColour and contains NO VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can be harmful to our health. It’s healthy for the person applying the paint and for those subsequently inhabiting the space painted. The colour is called Tampico, a light taupe, which creates a lovely, warm neutral background. The sheets, pillow cases, doona cover and throw are all 100% organic linen from The House of Baltic Linen. A company run by a Lithuanian family who “have linen in their blood”! There were several different weights used, from light sheets, heavy for doona and the woven throw. Linen is the world’s oldest and healthiest textile and is the best choice for you and your entire family. It is anti-microbial, resistant to fungi, helps to calm skin break outs, perfect for people with asthma, suffering from allergic skin disorders like rash or eczema. In cool weather linen sheets will retain body heat keeping you warm and cosy, while during hot summer nights it will absorb excess heat, feels dry, fresh and cool against your skin. What’s not to love!

The Home Work Hub by Catherine Whitting is a dark, moody, residential multi- functional work space, that adds elegance to an industrial aesthetic and is designed to flexibly adapt to the fast needs of family life where our work life boundaries blur.

When working with digital technology and blue light screens the Home Work Hub provides an earthy grounding space where we feel connected and nurtured . OneWorld Collection furniture is featured throughout the interior .

Two giant arched iron wall mirrors, are fixed to the rear wall, that has been transformed into an industrial urban interior, reflecting the charm of old industrial buildings, through the application of Vision Wall coverings raw untreated concrete digital graphic mural from the Factory I I collection.

Life is allowed to leave it’s mark and this large scale digital graphic wall mural provides a cool homliness in a digital work environment.

This concrete wallpaper imbues weathered traces of wear and a tactile contrast that frames the large reflective iron arched mirrors, creating a portal like space on the rear wall. It is also published in the Resene Total Colour Awards for 2016


Combined with the warmth of two trestle A frame fir wood desks, it creates the link between the traces of the past and a cosy yet contemporary here and now

The trestles , nestled together at right angles, enable two people to work independently, or sync up to the large 40 inch Samsung smart TV and work collaboratively online. Custom made cantilevered book shelves crafted by the family team at Zarella kitchens organise a myriad of books and artifacts on a Fuscous Grey palette from the Karen Walker Paints Collection. There is an undercoat of Resene Magnetic paint and a top coat of Resene Whiteboard paint that transforms the wall into a functional work board.

Home Work Hub celebrates traces of wear, reuses elements from the past and grounds and nurtures us physically and emotionally in sustainable and recycled materials as we work towards our future


Sydney Home Show - Design Concept

Interior Design by St James Whitting
Photography by Marian Riabic


Sydney Home Show - Testimonial