We love the mix of cultural influences and colour in this family home that’s now bursting with personality.



Who lives here: Azra Popo, a banker; her husband Weyinmi, a lawyer; and their children Samuel, 9; and Gabriel, 5.

Style of home: This house on Sydney’s north shore was a ’60s faux Cape Cod-style house with an awkward floorplan – it lacked defined spaces.After the family opened up a few walls and changed the layout, they enlisted the help of interior designer Brett Mickan to warm the home up. He added personality via Danish and Asian styles.

Timeline: The extensive style and design update to this family home was completed in six months.

Cost: The cost of the renovation was around $100k.


1. The dining room sits at the heart of the home and is the only spot without a window, so interior designer Brett Mickan added vibrant wallpaper. The room spills out into three other spaces, so the furniture had to allow visual clarity and access.


2. Vintage and exotic looks combine at the entrance with a rug from Armadillo&Co and an antique mirror. The home’s walls are grounded in grey, Brett taking his cues from the steely accents in the Calacatta marble splashback in the kitchen. “While Brett had an overall idea of the rooms and how to construct them, each space grew as we went,” says owner Azra.


3. Simple lines and classic colours define the kitchen, while the geometric pattern of the blind and organic shapes of Erik Buch stools catch the eye. “I used pendants to tunnel the light onto the island. This made the bench functional without distracting from the drama of the Murano chandelier in the neighbouring dining area,” says Brett.


4. The study showcases a sense of fun thanks to a mix of motifs – the zebra-patterned blind and graphic cushions contrast with a tartan lounger. “I love how plaid emphasises the beautiful lines of the chair’s timber frame,” says Brett.


5. “The idea behind the family room was to create a sort of ‘gentlemen’s club’, with a relaxed yet elegant finish,” says Azra. Previously, this room was an unusable space above the garage with an awkward layout and low ceiling. “We added wall mouldings, and painted the room white, blurring the line between the walls and ceiling. This created a sense of height, which was enhanced by hanging the curtains on ceiling tracks,” says Brett. The crisp walls are brightened by a wall mural by Kate Banazi, and sporadic metallic touches.


6. A buttoned velvet headboard and a pair of brass vintage table lamps create a Hollywood-regency vibe. A lacquered side table draws in a subtle blue that is well matched by the graphic floor rug. “The ebony floors throughout the home give continuity to the scheme and allow coloured rugs to pop out and define spaces,” says Brett. The Cosmoo print by Laura Carey adds to the home’s playful feel.


7. The formal living room is all about soft colours and textures, with the stone curtains and Jardan ‘Nook’ sofa setting the calm tone. “It’s the room to relax in, with the papers on the weekend or cocktails with guests at night,” says Brett. An original ’60s Sciolari wall light sits above a portrait of Azra as a girl by Mevludin Ekmecic.


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