This week Shaynna tackles some of the biggest rooms of her Country Home – discover her challenges and style selections in her lounge, dining and kitchen!
Materials used in this area of the project:
Feeling the pressure to find a balance between what she has her heart set-on vs. what is achievable for the project (and the budget!), Shaynna was tested on Episode 2 of Country Home Rescue as she begins this mammoth renovation and revealing her very own style.
While the house was first built in 1890, the kitchen I inherited featured some small Art Deco references that dated back to the 1920s, and the house also received a facelift in the 1950s. I love the synergy between the black and white palette and curves of the latter two periods and, from day one, I made those Art Deco features from the original kitchen the inspiration for designing my dream kitchen. Black and white is a classic, sophisticated, kitchen colour scheme and I adore that high-contrast look. While the overall effect in the kitchen is contemporary, elements – including the country profile cabinetry doors, crackle-glazed handmade-look subway tiles, and textured, rendered rangehood column (which also visually links the kitchen to the fireplace in the lounge) – provide an organic earthiness that speaks to Sutherland House’s country heritage. I can hear you asking: “where’s the eye-level storage, Storage Queen?”. This space is all about the soaring ceilings so I made sure I incorporated a tonne of under-bench storage in the kitchen and butler’s pantry to do justice to the space and angles overhead. Functionality-wise, my kitchen incorporates all the classic appliances, plus lots of purposeful little features to amp-up the efficiency of the space.
Central to the dining room is my show-stopping 12-seat-plus custom-made dining table, a breathtaking piece of engineering that never fails to knock people’s socks off. The walnut of the table has a slight black tint which contrasts with the warmth of the smoky golden oak timber of the floorboards, and small brass metallic ‘boots’ on the table legs which tie in with the legs on the island bench and the bespoke wall sconces. I love a banquet for comfort, and also as a nod to Sutherland House’s 1950s’ heritage. My banquet anchors the dining table away from the kitchen island bench so the two don’t feel stacked, and provides a lovely intimate dining zone when the table is hosting a handful of diners rather than seating maximum capacity. Around the table, the black, café-style bentwood chairs, bridge the gap between heritage and contemporary styling. I wanted this dining area to be drenched in natural light and to frame the view of the back yard, and the four-panel stacker door floods this whole area with light. The window configuration allows the north sun to stream in, while the window furnishings – translucent blinds and full-width curtain sheers with remote – are designed with both form and function in mind.
The theme for my open-plan living room is communication and connection, so I wanted to create a show-stopping fireplace at the heart of the room (rather than making a TV the focal point). The fireplace is a true work of art, painstakingly hand-constructed from Victorian fire bricks, and featuring the chevron pattern that is a recurring theme throughout Sutherland House. The layout of the room is designed to create a relaxed vibe that encourages people to engage with each other around the fire. Bench seating to the left and right of the fireplace conceals storage for boardgames, throws, and TV tech. The bay window (featuring a Wynstan Curved Curtain Track and Sheer Curtain in Southport Merino) provides connection with the period detail at the front of the building and also creates space behind the couch to enhance the open feel, but what really makes this living area feel airy is the epic five-meter ceiling, highlighted with uplighting and one dramatic pendant. The neutral, earthy underlying colour palette was very much driven by the teal ottoman and occasional chairs I pulled out of storage to style the room. I placed the artworks (all Australian artists) in a loose, gallery-style, so I can add and remove pieces over time. There is a TV disguised as an artwork, and if you look at the layout of the room when you watch the episode, you’ll see the curved couch is orientated both for fireplace and TV viewing. I’d set my heart on a bespoke stone surround to compliment the fireplace, but a combination of COVID restrictions, supply timelines, and dwindling budget meant I had to let that dream go at the time – a true ‘The Block’ moment! Fortunately, I was able to get the work completed three months after filming wrapped.