Many of us live in streets filled with similar looking homes. Open the front doors and you’ll mostly see similar interiors too. That’s not the case with this three bedroom home in Bensville. Step over the threshold and what greets you is pure, unadulterated … personality.
Surprisingly few homes reflect their owner’s personality. We tend to place importance on eventual resale and so go for a safe, homogenised interior when building or renovating. So it’s refreshing to find a family who know how they want to live in their home and have changed it accordingly.
Brad and Bianca Cardis staged an escape from Sydney ten years ago, trading corporate jobs and inner-city Glebe for this large, leafy block close to beaches. The seachange also included a new events business, Fixx Events, based around Brad’s previous career in corporate events and Bianca’s creative skills.
The house they settled on started out as a basic, three bedroom, 80s-era, brick dwelling but the removal of a few walls and Bianca’s love of colour and cultural detail have transformed it into a spacious home that is characterful yet relaxed.
Bianca loves upcycling and sourcing unlikely treasures and has a great eye for detail. There is definitely a feeling of Mexican fiesta about the décor but with large windows, spotless white paint, abundant greenery and a seamless flow to outdoor living spaces there is nothing cloying or cluttered about this interior. It manages to feel cool, serene and welcoming.
Combining the living areas has made a huge difference. Walls have been removed from the hall, kitchen, dining and living rooms to create an open plan living space opening onto a large, all-weather deck. With sons aged eight and five, this living area has to be practical so despite its delightfully wimsical styling it’s a hardwearing area with lots of space to run about.
The deck was reconstructed and extended, with large sliding doors added to create a combined indoor/outdoor space. It features a colourful dining area with a large table, vintage metal chairs, and colourful textiles, perfect for entertaining.
Next to this is a new addition – an inviting daybed created by Bianca’s brother and backed by a colourful mural. With it’s piled cushions and clear perspex roof it’s the perfect spot for relaxing.
The outdoor living room has a practical and comfortable L-shaped lounge, echoing the one inside. The colours are more muted than in the dining area but a punch of acid yellow ensures it’s anything but dull. The front of the home features the bedrooms and bathroom. This part hasn’t been touched structurally but features Bianca’s signature eclectic yet cohesive style.
The main bedroom is a cool and stylish space in black and white with pops of colour. The bedhead is a striking feature, constructed from old pallets and rusted corrugated iron. Bedside tables and lamps are simple and contemporary allowing the bedhead to take centre stage, along with a few props such as the sombrero.
The boy’s rooms are cute and colouful, with touches of 50s pop culture. The old lockers were an exciting Ebay find, with a long drive for pickup well worth the effort. The framed comic covers are a quirky touch and an easy way to add colour to the walls.
The home features a lovely big backyard with mature trees and a cubbyhouse for the boys. The large garage has been converted into a work and storage space for the couple. A colourful and creative space, it’s crammed with finds and materials. But like their home, it’s all orderly and well thought out.
Brad and Bianca have managed to take a rather uninspirig home and put their stamp on it. They’ve not only created something unique but it’s spacious and extremely practical too. Bianca’s love of colour and quirky cultural touches has created a warm and inviting home as appealing to children as it is to adults.