No matter how much research you do, in the end, buying a new home usually comes down to intuition. More often than not, it’s about finding a space that simply ‘feels right’.

This was the experience of the Callaghan family, who spent a long time looking for a new home before they finally stumbled upon this grand old house in Sydney’s Vaucluse. At the first inspection, Sascha knew she’d found the one.

‘I don’t know what it is with houses,’ says Sascha. ‘It’s such an emotional decision really. We saw it and even though it wasn’t exactly perfect in a lot of ways, I was in love with the exposed beams and that was that.’

The house was built in 1920, and combines an unexpected mix of styles. There’s a strong ‘arts and crafts’ feel (amazing timber ceilings!) alongside classic art deco features.

After moving in, Sascha and Jono were keen to freshen up the house, and create a neutral base for their collection of art, objects and furniture. This was achieved with a fresh coat of white paint throughout (Dulux Natural White, Half Strength), and staining the various timber floors with a dramatic, nearly-black gloss finish.

The family moved here from a much smaller house, and Sascha recalls their furniture looked ‘like dolls house furniture’ in this new context! She has enthusiastically taken on the task of sourcing second-hand and antique furniture to complement the space – with a few key rules. ‘I try not to spend money on things that I’ll probably need to replace,’ she says. ‘My rule is that whatever I buy, I really have to love it.’

Sascha is a thoughtful and considered decorator, with a ‘slowly, slowly’ approach to furnishing her home. Her artwork and furniture selections are eclectic, and sourced form far and wide – her treasured four-poster bed, sourced and shipped from India at great effort!. Having been here only a year, there are still empty rooms and some structural things should would like to change, but all in good time.

For further reading on Sascha Callaghan, we really love this interview!

The exterior of Sascha and Jono Callaghan’s home in Vaucluse , Sydney. Production – Lucy Feagins. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Sascha Callaghan, pictured with her sons Harry (11) and Sam (9). Production – Lucy Feagins. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Living Room –

Pretzel-style cane side tables from Naturally Cane, Justin Dingwall photographs from .M Contemporary Gallery and Groovy armchair by Pierre Paulin, which is Sascha’s favourite piece! Production – Lucy Feagins. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Living Room –

The living area featuring mid-century sofa, art deco coffee table, antique by Jaques Adnet, and large pendant light by Anna Charlesworth. Production – Lucy Feagins. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

Vintage cane arm chairs, pretzel-style cane side tables from Naturally Cane, and Justin Dingwall photographs from .M Contemporary Gallery. Production – Lucy Feagins. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files.

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