It was love at first sight for a family of four when they encountered this sun-drenched, garden-cocooned two-storey home, nestled within the lush hills of Sydney.

The five-bedroom property with harbour views captivated the homeowners from the get-go

“The privacy and serenity of the property captivated the clients,” says interior and furniture designer Dylan Farrell of Dylan Farrell Design, who helmed the project in collaboration with Thomas Hamel & Associates. “They immediately knew it was special and that they could turn it into their dream home.”

Contemporary artworks by Chris Levine hang on de Gournay wallpaper from Milgate in a dining area
The home is decorated in chandeliers and ornate accents

Indeed, with manicured lawns framing the structure on all sides and panoramic views of Sydney Harbour on display from the infinity pool and the entire upper floor, this 19,830sqft, five-bedroom lair looked move-in ready. But Dylan, known for creating phrasal touchstones to inspire his visual narratives, noted the homeowners’ rich collection of art, antiquities and influences from their worldly excursions. “European eclecticism” and “ornamental modern” thus became phrases that anchored Dylan’s vision. “Our job was to take their penchant for English, French and Italian classical design and blend it into a more new-world Australian sensibility,” he recounts.

Dining chairs from Parc Monceau, dining table from Parterre, coffee table from Newel, Dylan Farrell-designed sofa and ottoman made by Atelier Furniture

To achieve this, Dylan reimagined the structure, starting by rendering the exterior crisp white before knocking down architectural elements such as staircases, windows and walls. The result is a bright, airy flow throughout, where unadulterated views and northern light stream freely into every room. A shifted kitchen also made way for a grand open-plan, mural-decorated family and dining area that creates a sense of warmth upon arrival.

A rich tapestry of colours, textures and materials imbue the home

The interior design was given an even greater overhaul that resulted in a truly tailored representation of the homeowner’s aesthetic. Tiles sourced from French châteaux and Italianate gilded doors interplay with Venetian plaster-polished ceilings and Belgium-imported marquetry flooring. “The clients really love crystals, especially in the form of chandeliers,” adds Dylan. “We made great effort to place at least one special piece of lighting in each room; many are period Baguès.”

Antique French and Austrian chandeliers decorate the kitchen; custom joinery by Borello Joinery with hardware from Restoration Hardware; stools from Thomas Hayes Gallery
The home’s infinity pool enjoys panoramic ocean views

A sense of whimsicality extends to the upper floor, most notably in the exquisitely appointed master en suite that has been reconfigured to offer dramatic visual vignettes into the linen-draped wardrobe and bathroom, where a mosaic of 20,000 hand-cut stone leaves decorates the floor.

The master bedroom is furnished in a gilt armchair from Conley and Co, ceiling lamps from Woka Vienna, custom vanity from Adam Hart, mirror from Dering Hall and sconces from Newel
The master en suite boasts a mosaic of 20,000 hand cut stone leaves that decorate the floor

To give the space a younger new-world influence, Dylan juxtaposed European accents with nuanced colours and textures that evoke the sun-beaten terrains and shorelines of Sydney, such as uber-saturated green and terracotta tones, opal and mother-of-pearl, and bleached organic materials. In the dining room, the plum chair upholstery’s hue repeats itself in the Serip chandelier crystal and the weathered texture of the parchment credenza blends into the repurposed industrial table. “We wanted the home to feel Australian, even though the majority of the elements were European by nature,” says Dylan.

A delicate aesthetic is employed in the bedrooms and closets, featuring a duchess brisée from C Mariani Antiques, ostrich floor lamp from Aynhoe Park, custom ottoman by Atelier Furniture, canopy bed crown from RH Baby & Child and four-tier chandelier from Les Coccinelles

This rich tapestry of storied details, married with a masterful interplay and unity of sensibilities, gave way to this characterful haven, which is adored by the family who call this home. “It’s impossible to pick,” says the female homeowner, when asked about her favourite feature. “It is the house itself, in its entirety, that we will love forever.”

Morocco-inspired tadelakt was installed in bathrooms by artisans brought in from overseas

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