A zen family home full of blush-toned marble | Shona McElroy

Thanks to clever storage solutions spaces remain uncluttered and peaceful. Sydney / Australia / 2021

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First Blush is home to a busy family with three young daughters and a dog, yet due to clever storage solutions the space remains uncluttered and zen. Design choices are bold and eclectic, creating harmonious layers of colour and texture to make the space feel very personal. Outstanding features include a blush powder room with a curved ceiling and Monet marble vanity, Palladian marble accenting the kitchen and main bathroom, as well as a walk-in wardrobe designed to mimic a high-end fashion boutique.


“The brief was for all the colours to be neutral, but at one point Shona [McElroy, Principal of Smac Studio] said to me, ‘Nude is not a colour, let’s do blush.’ Now the spaces with blush are my favourites,” says the homeowner. The blush powder room is the standout. With an undulating ceiling masking that it's under the stairs and an ambient pendant light, it also features a slab of Monet marble on the vanity that's more artwork than stonework.


Putting her Masters of Architecture degree to use, McElroy reconfigured the main bathroom to bring in more natural light and fit a larger bath. “Originally the windows were high and small – we made them floor-to-ceiling fluted glass covered with sheer curtains.” This preserved privacy while bringing soft sunshine inside. McElroy says the main bathroom in this house is the best one she’s ever designed. “It feels luxurious, calming and upmarket,” she says. “The kind of place where you’d light some candles and lie in the bath for hours.” A wall of panelled mirrors creates a sensation of space, while old-world elegance comes courtesy of antique Murano glass sconces. As well as the main bathroom, architectural adjustments were made to the staircase at the entrance and powder room to fit everything in.


Emotional touch points abound in this house, this most important being the dressing table in the main bedroom. “I have memories of my gran’s dresser with her beautiful bottles of perfume and silver brushes,” says the owner. “It was a special, magical place where I’d sit each night while she did my hair. We lived with her and she was a big influence on me. Maybe one day my girls will feel the same way about this dressing table?” It’s details like these that transform a house into a home. The client is planning to purchase a larger home and employ Smac Studio to create new interiors on a larger, grander scale.

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    First Blush is home to a busy family with three young daughters and a dog, yet due to clever storage solutions the space remains uncluttered and zen. Design choices are bold and eclectic, creating harmonious layers of colour and texture to make the space feel very personal. Outstanding features include a blush powder room with a curved ceiling and Monet marble vanity, Palladian marble accenting the kitchen and main bathroom, as well as a walk-in wardrobe designed to mimic a high-end fashion...

    Project details
    • Year 2021
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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