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July 14, 2009, 3:52 pm Angela Furlong, John Paul Urizar & Craig Wall, homebeautiful
Stepping across the threshold of Bree Oliver's recently renovated home in the inner-Sydney suburb of Paddington is akin to stumbling upon an immaculate corner of paradise, where Parisian chic melds seamlessly with New York sophistication.
It is a style combination that evokes both drama and glamour, giving the century-old terrace an air of modern grandeur that belies its actual size. With her trained eye - Bree is a stylist and interior designer - she has turned the three-bedroom-plus-attic property into an impressive light-filled home, packed with clever details that make the most of the available space. Throughout the renovation, Bree was particularly conscious of retaining as many original features as possible to preserve the heritage home's character. "If we had stripped out all the features, it would have just been any modern terrace in any suburb," she says.
Bree Oliver, an interior designer and stylist (inset), and her husband Leigh, who works in private equity.Describe your design style. Bree: "Classic elegance with a contemporary twist."Biggest investment?
"The fully integrated kitchen and the Calcutta marble. It was money well spent as the marble is repeated in the main rooms and creates a feeling of continuity and quality."Most precious possession?
"I spent weeks sourcing the chandelier for the master bedroom. The one I settled on has the perfect scale for the room and is made of Vienna crystal which casts intricate patterns on the wall."Favourite interiors shops?
"I adore Town & Country Style in Melbourne and ABC Carpet and Home near Union Square in New York - I spent days rummaging around this huge interiors mecca; their selection of silks is second to none. I also love Contents International Design in Sydney."Favourite room?
"I really like lying on the bench seat in the kitchen and looking up at the frangipani tree in the courtyard. It's very peaceful."Anything you'd do differently?
"Next time I would submit my plans to council sooner; the heritage concerns about a 120-year-old home can slow the approval process."
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