Collect pieces from your travels to give your home a worldly feel - Juice Daily

Collect pieces from your travels to give your home a worldly feel

Time spent working in Beijing allowed this couple to build a collection of Asian art and artefacts that gives their sleek, modern renovation an exotic edge.

The home

A Federation bungalow in Randwick in Sydney’s east.


“When we were renovating I started a Pinterest board of things I liked. There was always a lot of black and white and Jon, our architect, picked up on that.” Photo: Jennifer Soo

Who lives here

Journalist Stephen Hutcheon, his wife Kate Wakeman, sons Lewis, 17, Angus, 12, and dog Archie.

What we did

“When we bought the house 18 years ago, we did a small renovation, but as the kids grew up the space wasn’t what we needed,” says Kate. “We were pretty much living in our bedroom, which had the nicest light. We brought in Jon and Katie King of Design King Company architects.” Now, curved walls sweep from the hallway up to the new open plan living room/dining room/ kitchen, where the couple’s bedroom once was. And from there a staircase leads up to a new and spacious master suite. “People say they wouldn’t know it was the same house,” says Kate.


“I never really enjoyed cooking,” says Kate. “But in this new kitchen, I love it. It’s so easy and Stephen says my food tastes better!” Photo: Jennifer Soo

Favourite room

“The living room – it’s the space where everyone hangs out.”


“The figurines above the doors to our study depict characters from Chinese operas popular during the Cultural Revolution.” Photo: Jennifer Soo

The ‘hood’

“It’s a nice street with nice people. It’s close to city and the beach – each morning I take Archie for a walk and I can see the water.”


Dramatic curved walls lead to the living/dining room. The antique Chinese console and framed artworks were bought in Beijing. Photo: Jennifer Soo

Future home plans

“More de-cluttering!” says Kate, laughing.


Above the bed sit a collection of Chinese shadow puppets, a gift from friends with whom Stephen and Kate worked in Beijing. Photo: Jennifer Soo

Best advice

“Use an architect and designer who think the way you do. There are so many choices when you’re renovating, so they can help you narrow them down.”

This article originally appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald

About the person who wrote this

Andrea Jones

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