The biggest challenge when completely redoing the interior of any family home is trying to ensure that even after the renovation, the home still feels lived in. A place where joy and memories have been made. A happy house.
This is the kind of project interior designer, Lena Bruno, jumps on with glee.
‘After discussing the project renovation with the clients at length, I immediately had a vision of injecting a sense of happiness and fun into the design, with lots of considered details in unexpected places,’ said Lena, the Director of interior design studio, By Bruno.
The original Edwardian weatherboard was transformed on the inside, flipping the central living room into a master suite, and restoring the bones of the hallway and children’s bedrooms to their original period charm. Lena’s mission was to create a ‘quirky but fun home with distinctive patterns, contrasting pastels and muted tones and textures throughout’.
Her modus operandi is selecting uncommon finishes and materials – and using them in nontraditional places. Dusty pink grout clouds the white bathroom tiles, demonstrating the economical ways you can experiment with creative tiling, and custom glass shelves were used to bring light into the kitchen without compromising on privacy. A carefully curated paint palette, marble slabs for wow factor, ‘a kaleidoscope of different coloured grouts’ and sot timber textures were Lena’s weapons of choice.
But it’s still the bold materials that leave the brightest impressions. ‘The pink reconstituted terrazzo-like stone from Italy that was used as end panels in the kitchen (which we made into a gorgeous coffee table with the leftovers)’ is the statement piece that Lena can’t quite get over. ‘Anyone who sees it just drools over it!’