Interior Design by St James Whitting

Joinery construction by  Zarrella Kitchens

Bathroom construction by Five Dock Tiling & Bathroom Renovations  

Tiles  My Tiles Haberfield 

Photography by VixPix Photography

Not every renovation needs to break the bank as you can see in the upgrade of this modest post-war house in Sydneys beachside suburb of Caringbah 

The brief from our clients was for an economical solution to the upgrade of a post-war house in Sydney’s southern beaches; the childhood home of the owner.  A strict budget for each area was provided, as well as the request to retain some of the original features, including the owner’s Father’s blue cast iron bath, bathroom joinery and architraves.  The owners also asked to keep the carpet, however with a bit of gentle persuasion we were able to convince them to replace the existing with a pure new wool design.

Our design solution was to pay homage to the style of the existing house and respect the sentimental value it held for the owner while ensuring a fresh new look.  We used lower-cost materials, such as Laminex laminates for kitchen cabinetry and bench tops and wardrobe  and designed these areas to reflect the style of the era.  We selected finishes that worked with the 50’s style of the house and some of the client’s retained furniture. All joinery was custom built by Zarrella Kitchens ensuring quality of production and longevity. Economical Johnson Tiles were custom curated and designed in a random grid formation  by Catherine and Kate to reflect a Bauhaus aesthetic and were  paired with more expensive tiles from My Tiles Haberfield and installed professionally by Five Dock Tiling and Bathroom Renovations for feature areas in the shower and kitchen splash back. The existing timber kitchen flooring was sanded and re-stained, window architraves were left unpainted and existing 50’s light fittings were retained in the living areas.

We encouraged the clients to reconsider their initial budget to provide new custom made sheer and block out curtains and carpet. Fabrics were supplied by our curtain manufacturer Design Curtains, using excess stock from commercial projects, providing the clients luxury fabrics at budget prices.  Walls and ceilings were painted in St James Whitting Elementals Collection coloured by Resene zero-VOC paints. Economical options were selected for appliances, fixtures and fittings while not compromising on quality and style.

At St James Whitting we undertake projects to suit all budgets as we know that there are many ways to save on products without sacrificing quality and style. Our ethos is to create the most environmentally sustainable interiors for our clients and re-using, re-cycling and choosing more economical materials is a great way to achieve a quality transformation



Cabinets feature laminex polar white doors. White with soft-close drawers and doors. Hardware inside cabinets provides functional storage for recycling bins, cutlery and utensils, herbs and spices, chopping boards and baking dishes. The custom made  wine rack provides ample storage space for the home owners treasured wine collection.. Timber highlights in the joinery create visual interest and break up the block of pure white. LED downlights provide ample illumination to workbenches and for ambiance. Benchtops and splashbacks feature hard-wearing Laminex complemented with stainless steel handles. The owners requested to keep the existing refrigerator and hence allocation has been made spatially for future upgrades. 





A family home steeped in memory and history that needed a gentle makeover .

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