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How Sarah Richardson revived a 1960s home for modern living

Smart choices can uplift decor and save money

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My clients bought this groovy 60s side-split to get the room they wanted to spread out and start a family. My task was to whip their dated and drab living/dining room into a sleek space for entertaining – in a hurry and on a budget.

Stacey Brandford

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If you’re starting off with an open concept plan, like this L shaped room, you’re saving dollars right out of the gate and won’t need to expend precious resources to knock down walls and make structural changes.

Stacey Brandford

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If dated brick or Flintstone-esque stone is currently cladding your fireplace, refacing it with a sleek new material is relatively easy. By knocking off the existing fireplace surround, I was able to redefine the proportions, centre the opening of the firebox on the surround, and extend the hearth. To work within the confines of our budget, I sourced large-format marble tiles with minimal veining to create the effect of a slab marble install without the heavyweight price-tag.

Stacey Brandford

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In the pursuit of contemporary style, the man of the house put an all-out ban on chandeliers. So, instead of the standard single light in the ceiling, we took a more playful approach and hung a collection of pendants as a group.

Stacey Brandford

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By flipping the sideboard onto the wall under the window, I was able to continue down the contemporary road for my clients with a striking chrome and glass dining table for eight. Scoring inexpensive citrus-fresh chairs with sleek chrome legs to round out the dining room arrangement was an added bonus.

Photos by Stacey Brandford

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Before committing to any new furniture pieces, it’s worth investing some time to plot their dimensions onto a scale floor plan. You can whip it up on the computer with the help of Google SketchUp, or go the old-fashioned route and map it out on graph paper with simple cutouts to represent the sizes of the furnishings you are considering.

Stacey Brandford

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Some ideas are good enough that they bear repeating. In 1951, Ikea featured its MK wing chair on their first catalogue cover, and 62 years on they reintroduced it – renamed Strandmon – with a deal that’s comparable to the value price point of their iconic meatballs. At $299 per chair, you can kick up your feet and relax fireside in this sleek and stylish nod to yesteryear.

Stacey Brandford

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Stacey Brandford

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Stacey Brandford

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Stacey Brandford

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Stacey Brandford

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