Published on November 22, 2019

Hand-painted mural in midcentury homePin It
Photography by Prue Ruscoe, House of Glam, gestalten 2019

Many people’s first instinct when updating a 1960s house covered in dark brick and even darker wood (inside and out) would be to brighten everything up with a thick coat of white paint. But the team behind Amber Road Design decided to go in the opposite direction in this beachside Sydney home. While you wouldn’t typically associate the result with glamour, a new book called The House of Glam, out this month, is looking to reinvent the word for the 21st century with spaces like this one: equally bold but less glitzy.

Instead of filling the space with polished brass and crystal chandeliers, the design firm left the original brick intact (save for one showstopping mural), recovered the floors with zany jet-black pavers resembling giant terrazzo, and covered all the other surfaces in bold primary colors. To guide their paint choices, they called on the help of artist Sonia van de Haar, who specializes in color within architecture. Here’s how they made every nook and cranny feel vibrant:

They Worked Around the Brick

Red and yellow kitchen with dark terrazzo floorsPin It
Photography by Prue Ruscoe, House of Glam, gestalten 2019

Given that many of the walls were already occupied by the original brick (and a layered art collection), the team focused on the joinery and woodwork as vehicles to infuse color into the room. They covered floor-to-ceiling shelves (with a narrow column to the right of the door for wine storage) in a marigold hue, while the inset of a half wall got a deep indigo treatment. 

They Gave Primary Colors the Grown-Up Treatment

Build-in indigo shekve and black terrazzo floorsPin It
Photography by Prue Ruscoe, House of Glam, gestalten 2019
Dark terrazzo floors with red dining chairsPin It
Photography by Prue Ruscoe, House of Glam, gestalten 2019

The kitchen was relocated from the upstairs to the newly expanded lower level, so van der Haar developed an earthy primary palette that would jibe with those brick walls. “The reds veer toward terracotta; the greens toward sage; and the yellows are mustardy,” according to the book. The shades could have easily slipped into childish territory, but in these richer tones they feel anything but.

They Brought It All Together With a Mural

Hand-painted mural in midcentury homePin It
Photography by Prue Ruscoe, House of Glam, gestalten 2019
Yellow wall art in entrywayPin It
Photography by Prue Ruscoe, House of Glam, gestalten 2019

On the single empty wall behind the mid-century wood-burning stove, van der Haar painted a freeform mural that brings together all the vibrant hues in one place. For the shapes, she was inspired by an aerial view of the lush landscape outside. The abstract motif subtly mirrors the floors and ties in with the bright red and purple furniture, creating surprising cohesion. Now that’s glamour we can get behind.

See more in The House of Glam:

Tour more homes we love:
Sarah Sherman Samuel’s Epic Fixer-Upper Is the Stuff of Reno Dreams
Surprisingly, Brown Floral Velvet Is What Made This 1920s Home Fresh Again
Vivid Green Walls Gave This Builder-Grade Apartment a Jolt of Life

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