Courtyard renovation in time for spring!

Courtyard before paddington homeCourtyard renovationpaddington courtyard renovationInstall decking to courtyardStyling courtyardCourtyard Renovation Inspiration

Sydney Interior Designer Melinda Clarke renovated her Paddington Terrace courtyard for her young growing family.

The existing Paddington terrace courtyard was leafy and paved but was dark and complimented a classic period for more formal entertaining. The courtyard didn’t match the family’s lifestyle and they found that the space was rarely used at all. So Melinda decided to renovate it in time for spring and to create a new space that would be more contemporary and useable for the whole family.

The design brief was to create a minimalist outdoor space that was contemporary, relaxed, light and family friendly that was low maintenance and could be completed on a reasonable budget. The courtyard needed to be a space that the whole family could enjoy during spring and summer evenings as a family or as a functional entertainment space with friends.

The courtyard renovation saw the removal of all existing planting, extension of pavers to create more space, the addition of decking created ample casual seating for family and friends and the steps to decking area created a more playful environment for the children. Installation of a new cladded fence with contemporary lighting provided clean lines to the courtyard. The opposite fence was painted black and Jasmine planting was used to create a green wall that would just pop against the black. A deciduous tree, an ornamental pear, was planted to create shade, height and privacy from neighbouring windows. Low maintenance and robust plants and herbs were planted in pots like succulents and rosemary. Layering of different greens and textures filled the new minimalist garden with plants that would flower white all together in spring. These small changes were enough to make a huge impact to the overall courtyard and all within a reasonable budget.

Demolition, construction and planting of the courtyard renovation only took 3 weeks. The minimalist casual courtyard was created by pairing back, opening up the space and creating clean lines using the fence, walls and decking.

When it came to styling of the courtyard, Melinda Clarke chose contemporary low line wire lounge furniture, by Tio Collection, that was simple and keeping with the minimalist design of the courtyard. Outdoor cushions were custom made by Ici et la to add colour and provide comfort to bench seating. Outdoor bean bags by Marine Bean also provided play and seating for children.

The courtyard is now dramatically transformed and is being used by the whole family and is filled with memories of sunset plays, children’s laughter, music and food and the occasional mosquito. Overall a major success!

Get the look

Lights by Lumascape, Pots by Motyaj, Chairs and table Tio Collection by Mass Production, Custom made Cushions by Ici et la, Marine Bean Bags by Coast New Zealand at Cosh Living

We’re on Pinterest!

Melinda Clarke now on Pinterest
Melinda Clarke Interiors is now on Pinterest, at pinterest.com/melinda_clarke. We’ve posted our first few interior design boards of current projects, inspirations and moodboards. We’ll add new pins of what inspires us, what we love and our new projects. We hope that our pins inspire you and we look forward to your re-pins and likes.

Paddington Terrace

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Renovations to the Victorian terrace in Paddington, Sydney was to create family-friendly space without compromising on style. Using a balance of material and textures both masculine and feminine throughout created a beautifully well designed space that was cohesive and harmonious, creating a sense of relaxed sophistication. Interior Designer Melinda Clarke Photography Francoise Baudet

Vaucluse home gets a contemporary Hamptons inspired renovation

Vaucluse Contemporary Hamptons InteriorsMelinda Clarke Interiors Vaucluse HallwayMelinda Clarke Interiors Vaucluse Kitchen
Some conceptual ideas for our new design project in Vaucluse, contemporary Hamptons inspired. The brief for this Vaucluse family home renovation is to create a home that is more open, contemporary and functional for the family. The home will see an update to the kitchen, living and dining areas, study, laundry, master bedroom, en-suite, terrace and balcony and a relocation of the powder room and formal dining area. We have played on balancing both masculine and feminine materials and textures to create a harmonious space that everyone is happier to come home to.

Megan Morton 4 Poster collaboration with Incy Interiors

I recently had the pleasure working with Megan Morton for her recent collaboration with Incy Interiors in creating her signature 4 poster beds. It was such a fun shoot and such an honour to share & celebrate a significant milestone in Megan’s design career. The four poster beds come in single, queen & king and come in a range of custom colours. To view and purchase online visit Incy Interiors.

Designer crush Kit Kemp


I’d like to honor my second blog post to my design hero.

In 2008 by chance I had an opportunity to stay at Haymarket Hotel London, and it was there, my love and appreciation for design was ignited! I will never forget how I felt waking in that room, even with the worst jet lag, and at that moment everything changed.

I immediately jumped to my feet feeling happy and extremely inspired by the space. I was so excited saying to my husband wow, love, love love! I loved everything about it, what I saw, what I touched and how I felt. I wanted to stay in that room forever, to touch, feel and understand every surface. Who was this person who created such a room to have this impact on me? I had never felt this before in any space.

I immediately had to explore the other spaces the hotel had to offer. The Library room was so amazing, it made me want to get chatty with my husband over tea and share about my new discovery and love for all things now in the wonderful world of the Kit Kemp.

The grand event spaces & hotel lobby delivered too. The hotel that just kept on giving and is still giving.

Kit Kemp wasn’t afraid to mix colours, patterns & textures and she does it so well. Too damn well!

And the power from a well designed space was so thrilling.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing or staying in one of the  Firmdale Hotels, designed by Kit Kemp you can lose yourself in the Kit Kemp book, A Living Space. In the book, Kit shares her inspiration, dares you to challenge yourself, to have no boundaries, to be bold and suggests how to create a space using objects and textiles that will make anyone want to just reach out and touch.

MC x