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Creating a multi-purpose room out of this....

Our Balmain client called on our interior design magic to transform this space from an open, under-utilised area into a room that could work as an office, a guest room and a quiet place to go to read a book. So, just a simple design brief ;-)

It had a gorgeous old fireplace and plenty of potential, and I just had a feeling we were going to absolutely nail this brief, so we dove right in!


The clients both worked full time, had two kids (with another on the way) and a grandma who liked to come and stay.

The room had a large opening to the kitchen (no doors) and a second doorway to the hall at the front-door end. It had become a dumping ground for toys, books, the pram and all sorts of things.

They had bought bookshelves for either side of the fireplace, but these were too small and already packed...I felt that they were a lost opportunity. I knew we could do wonders with custom joinery.

The room was quite dark, cluttered and totally under utilised for the original purpose, which was as a space to sit and read. It was quite a tight space, so fitting in a guest's bed was always going to be a challenge.

The brief for the room:

  • maximise storage (including shelves for books)

  • provide a space for guests to sleep

  • fit a desk for any work-from-home days

  • create a happy but chilled vibe - somewhere for parents to retreat at the end of the day


By moving the door to the hallway towards the kitchen end, we could create the width for a queen murphy bed. It also meant we had plenty of space for a (small) desk and office chair under the window. So that was a big tick.

We also punched another hole in the hall wall, right next to the front door to become a cupboard to store school bags, dog leads, sunscreen and hats and somewhere to dump the keys. The beauty about this was that it didn't take up any space from the already narrow hallway. However, this cupboard did protrude into the room, but we were able to conceal it by continuing the joinery from the murphy bed to cover it (so it became a faux cupboard from inside the room we were working on). This idea was thanks to my amazing colleague Linda (and I am so proud of my team which also includes a joiner, a builder as well - they always bring their A game and work towards the best outcome for our clients).

We did custom floating shelves on either side of the fireplace as well as cupboard space below for games and toys etc. It doesn't look like a hug amount of storage, but it comfortably holds the contents of the previous three bookshelves they had un the room! We moved the wine fridge to the basement which was a gazillion times better in both looks and practicality!

We closed off the open door way to the kitchen for a number of reasons, but the benefits for this room in particular was that it meant the room was much more private and quiet (perfect for guests and working from home).

In terms of style, the house was previously grey throughout, and while it was nice, it was a bit uninteresting and certainly didn't reflect the lovely young, fun personalities of the owners. And lucky for me, the clients were happy to go bold! We went with Dulux's Iridescent Peacock because the colour was divine but also the name really clicked with us (client and me!!). We used this colour on the front door too.

The ceilings and joinery are in Dulux Vivid White which is the most pure white (no tint). We needed a really clean white to absolutely pop against that strong teal (it also had to work with the other colours we had going on throughout the house, but more of that later!).

We restained the pine floors which had gone that yucky orange over time. I really love a warm cigar colour for floors, and Shawn (our awesome floor dude) made them sing (again....amazing member of the team!!!).

We changed the light fitting to something more modern and elegant; a new rug and artwork; and a neat sized mid century inspired desk and office chair.

And this is what we achieved!!

The client was thrilled the the outcome and loves having this 'grown up' space to chill in at the end of long days. In winter, it will be even better when the fireplace is on, making this the coziest, snuggliest room in the house! Almost makes you want winter to get here faster (only 'almost' though LOL)!

If you would like us to work our design magic for your home, you can start the journey here by giving us some details about your project!


Sartorial Interiors provides interior design and styling services for Balmain and the inner west. We love doing kitchen and bathroom design, custom joinery and adding lots of personality! Colour, wallpaper, curtains, luxury furniture, rugs and other decorative elements are our jam!

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