In Sydney’s inner east, this transformed commercial space channels a renewed appreciation for its Art Deco origins.
AP Design House director Alexandra Ponting called on a casual and timeless elegance to convert the former gallery space of a high-end auction house. Located in a classic 1930s red brick building in Sydney’s Woollahra, the designer drew inspiration from its artistic roots to create a characterful place to call home. Where enduring materials meet tactile surfaces and Italian antiques, Alexandra has created a sense of lightness and the unexpected around every corner.
The stainless steel’s strong lines are softened by micro-cement joinery, as well as a Tadelakt rangehood, splashback and floating shelf.
Fortunately, a lot of the home’s Art Deco features were still intact, including the original mouldings and cornices, together with the arched windows and herringbone red brick and black steel exterior details. The material palette reflects the Art Deco foundations through the olive and charcoal terrazzo tiling, softened by Tadelakt and micro cement finishes. “The creamy speciality finishes add a sense of calm and tactility,” Alexandra adds.
Paying homage to the building’s former life, the kitchen features custom stainless steel joinery, reflecting light, which makes the space feel larger. “The space we had to play with was narrow with little natural light,” Alexandra says. “I love the reflective nature of stainless steel and the light and movement it creates.” The stainless steel neatly envelopes the Lacanche freestanding cooker in a way that demonstrates the craftsmanship behind the integrated joinery. The dining area is located at the centre of the kitchen space, featuring an 18th-century Spanish chestnut and wrought iron refectory dining table and vintage Louis XIII Os de Mouton dining chairs, custom upholstered in a mix of French & Italian linens.
“The space we had to play with was narrow with little natural light. I love the reflective nature of stainless steel and the light and movement it creates.”
– Alexandra Ponting
A custom made sofa by AP Design House sits beside a 1960s nibbed glass table.
Antiques and collectables sourced from Alexandra’s travels in Europe shape the Woollahra house interiors. As a result, almost every piece within the home carries its precious history, with artwork and accessories sourced from Parisian flea markets and custom tiles from Lucca, Italy.
The use of glass is a recurring theme throughout the interior. The home features Fontana Arte pieces, including a chiselled glass and chrome-plated brass pendant light over the dining table, the designer’s favourite piece. An intriguing 1960s nibbed glass occasional table supports a Pietro Chiesa lamp. The private spaces feature quaint custom details such as the bed and joinery that build on bespoke pieces such as the sofa in the living area.
Woollahra House articulates Alexandra’s passion for unique pieces and bespoke details in a way that cleverly nods to the home’s past life.