Though built in the 1950s, the Brown family home in Sydney’s Castlecrag is an unlikely combination of original art deco curves and sandstone features, described by its owners as ‘a Palm Springs meets European vibe’.

After moving in two years ago, stylist Justine Brown set about refreshing the house with a few key cosmetic alterations. The original green and cream (!) exterior palette has been freshened up with a timeless black and white treatment. The striped awnings complete the look, adding an LA-inspired mid century feel. Inside, walls have been painted, and dated carpet has been enthusiastically removed, exposing raw timber boards beneath.

Charmed by its quirky art-deco-meets-mid-century bones, Justine has carefully selected key furniture and lighting to enhance the space. A Sigurd Ressell Falcon chair is a treasured new acquisition, enhancing the modernist features of the home, whilst the more contemporary Italian linen sofa is a streamlined, functional piece that the whole family pile onto every evening. Wall mounted lighting is particularly effective, creating distinct zones for reading, eating and working.

Though there is still much she would love to update, For Justine, making this house feel like home has been all about the details. For instance, though she’s still waiting on renovating the bathrooms and kitchen, every light fitting and door handle here has been replaced. Because sometimes, whilst you’re saving for the ‘big ticket’ stuff – the perfect door hardware can bring so much joy!

The Sydney home of Justine and Anthony Brown, and their three children.Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The dining nook. Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Original sandstone details in the family room.Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Classic bentwood chairs in the bright, light drenched dining room.Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Justine Brown of chocolateBrown interior styling at home in Castlecrag. Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Justine’s home office. ‘I really wanted the aesthetic to pay homage to the 1950s/1960s era in which it was built, but also there was a very strong European feel and a sense of grandeur that I didn’t want to lose,’ says Justine. Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Justine’s home office. Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

‘We ripped up the Baroque carpet and replaced nearly every light fitting,’ says Justine. Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A display of handcrafted ceramics and wall sculptures.Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A serene corner in the main living room. Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The exterior of the home was updated soon after moving in – Justine chose a timeless black-and-white scheme. Photo – Nikki To, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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