Halfway into the pandemic Jinan Budge and her husband were sure they needed to upgrade to a bigger place. “We were both working from home, our kids were doing virtual school, and everybody was under house arrest,” recalls the Sydney-based research technology professional. Still wishing to live in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs without really having the budget for it, the couple and their brood of four—including teenage daughter Mia, 11-year-old son Leo, puppy Muffin, and ginger cat Popcorn—set out to explore the next best alternative: a home on the area’s outskirts. Their house hunt wasn’t immediately successful, but it eventually paid off. “After seeing [what felt like] hundreds of houses, we knew we’d hit gold when we walked into this one,” shares Jinan.
One of the things that needed work, the couple quickly realized, was the kitchen. It was cramped, dysfunctional, and lacked storage. Plus, the monochrome palette made it feel terribly lackluster. In a bid to inject some color and bring the kitchen back to life, Jinan tapped the only person she knew she could trust with her maximalist vision: her sister, interior designer Lara Ette. The brief was simple: design a brave, bold, and functional space that would allow her to indulge in her love of cooking and entertaining, while also serving as a happy haven for the whole family.
The sisters were keen to honor their Syrian heritage, which they did by introducing soft pink walls, brass hardware, curvilinear forms, and citrus tones evocative of the Middle Eastern sun. “The reason I thank the universe for Lara almost daily, and especially during design projects, is because I have zero patience, eye for detail, vision, or time. Throughout this project, we had a perfect harmony in terms of expectations of my involvement. She took it all the way to the finish line!” says Jinan.
Location: Kingsford, Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Australia