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Does your home need a little love?

Sarah-Jane Pyke (left) and Juliette Arent Sarah-Jane Pyke (left) and Juliette Arent


Award-winning interior designers Arent&Pyke reveal their latest project − a sophisticated yet playful family home.

This year marks a decade since Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke launched their eponymous interior design business. Ever since, they have been creating contemporary, welcoming spaces that have won numerous awards. Here, they show us through one of their latest projects, a 1930s Sydney bungalow revamped for modern-day family living, and provide helpful tips for achieving this look in your home.


  • Create balance
Open plan lounge and kitchen “It’s incredible how bringing green into your decor scheme can be successful,” Arent says of the choice of sofa colour. “It’s greening the interior.”


White was used in the south-facing kitchen to help reflect as much light as possible. “The black is a lovely foil and helps anchor the space,” says Pyke. “And we needed the warmth of the timber floor and marble to break down the monochrome palette.” They also incorporated tactile elements, including Tasmanian oak custom-made handles, painted to match the cabinetry, in the kitchen.

  • Add a dash of colour
Photo of chair with a rug underneath it and a painting on the wall behind. “We are always talking to people about the power of art in their spaces,” says Pyke. In this section of the living room, the client opted for colour.


Four years ago, when Arent&Pyke first met this client, her family home was very neutral. “We were trying to encourage her to have some colour on the walls,” says Arent. “It can be very inspiring and liberating for a family to break out of their neutral mode.” As a result the client chose this artwork by Dana Dion.


  • Go off the straight and narrow
Photographs of crisp white bathroom spaces “We wanted to introduce stone in a solid and grounding way,” says Pyke. The result was creating a deep apron from a mitred marble slab on the top of the vanity.

“I like asymmetrical geometry all the time,” says Pyke. Here, it helps the eye move towards the stained-glass window. “That’s the direction you want to look,” she adds. The placement of the pendant so it can be seen from the hallway is both a practical and aesthetic consideration.


  • Embrace earthy tones
Photo of casual dining room This space was opened up and the window was enlarged to let in more light.


To complement the green of the living room sofa, colour was also used in the dining space. This time the designers used earthy tones of camel and forest green. “We do a lot of bench seats,” Arent says, “to introduce fabric into a space where you wouldn’t always find fabric. It’s not always practical to upholster timber dining chairs for families with young children, but bench seats provide this opportunity.”


  • Think about rhythm 
Photograph of kitchen nook Arent&Pyke wanted to create “a small dining moment” at the end of the kitchen.

It has become commonplace to hang two or three pendants above a kitchen benchtop, but that shouldn’t be an automatic choice. Arent&Pyke instead chose this single but substantial pendant and the bar stools that wrap around the island to create “a full stop at the end of the kitchen,” says Pyke.


  • Conceal spaces
“Black joinery into a white space is a nice playful touch,” says Pyke of the home office. “Black joinery into a white space is a nice playful touch,” says Pyke of the home office.


This is especially true for busy work zones. The client was running a business from home so installing a screen sliding door allowed light to filter into the space while keeping it separate from the rest of the living room. “Using the black joinery and the screen element, you get a strong directionality − your eye keeps moving into the kitchen and out into the garden,” Pyke says.



Words by Natalie Walton 

Photography by Tom Ferguson


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