This Sydney home to a family of five is filled with interior inspiration, from crisp white walls to cool exterior wall murals
A home where hope reigns and love rules – this was the vision of Jaynie and Nathan Johnson when they bought their 1950s brick bungalow six years ago in the beachside suburb of Cronulla in Sydney’s south. “We both grew up in the area and decided to settle here with our kids as it’s close to the city yet far enough away to feel like we are on holiday,” Jaynie says.
But it would be a while before the family could relax. “The house was a total dump,” Jaynie declares frankly. “We got it for a bargain because no one could see past the rotting cork floors, rooms painted different colours and internal windows. But we just saw the walk to the beach and figured the rest would be okay, and it is – it’s better than okay.”
Admittedly, it took the creative couple – who run art and design business Blacklist – two rounds of renovations to get there. “Before we moved in, we gutted the entire house, changed the layout, combined two rooms to make one master suite, and installed bifolds and the outside deck and bridge,” Jaynie says. More recently, they added two new bathrooms, a new kitchen and a playroom.
“Our home is very open and reflects our lifestyle,” Jaynie says of the laidback, light-filled space. Art obviously plays a big part, with a constantly changing selection of Nathan’s Blacklist prints and canvases on display in every room, while the children’s rooms are playful and set up to inspire creativity.
With an affinity for the outdoors, the family can often be found on the deck or in the yard, enjoying picnics, outdoor movie sessions, water play and impromptu concerts. “Our daughter, Willow, was in a speech competition and the topic was ‘your favourite place on Earth’. Willow’s was ‘my backyard’,” Jaynie laughs. “So we’ve decided to cancel all future holidays and just set up camp in the backyard while we can get away with it.”
Words and styling by: Sarah Ellison. Photography by: Maree Homer/bauersyndication.com.au.