While moving house can be a stressful experience, it was also a cathartic one for Penelope Smith. After selling up their large family home, she, her two daughters and their pair of Burmese cats seized the opportunity to move into a three storey Seddon townhouse as their chance to start afresh.
Armed with almost nothing more than mattresses and personal belongings, this house has transformed from bare rooms and naked walls into a beautiful, comfortable family home. Click below to watch the video, or keep scrolling for the whole interview.
"When we moved, we wanted a fresh start," Penny says. "We had a blank canvas and our previous furniture didn’t suit this new environment, so we left most it behind.
"It was a massive process, cleaning out the old place and thinking about what we wanted to keep of the old life, butit was part of a moving on faze for us."
Penny admits that being faced with the challenge of completely restyling her home was overwhelming.
"Creating a new home and needing to style it from scratch is pretty confronting. I had no idea what I was doing," she says. "The problem was that I had in my mind what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to verbalise what I liked because I had no design skill."
After spending six months trying to style the home herself and "buying all the wrong things", Penny enlisted the help of two stylists, neither of whom she says could help her bring her vision to life.
Then one day, Penny stumbled into Curious Grace's Yarraville showroom, completely unsure of how to progress with her re-design.
"I showed photos of my new house to Paul, the stylist, and that was the beginning of my journey with Curious Grace," she says.
Within a few months, Penny's bare rooms had been transformed into a space that was not only beautiful, but also perfectly tailored to her family's lifestyle.
"This is our grown up house. A place for my girls and I to be comfortable in, to live in and be a family."
Each piece holds a special place in Penny's heart, from the round Ethnicraft dining table where she and the girls eat dinner each night, to the 4-seater Nest sofa where they "sloth around" watching Netflix in the evenings. The two cats, Bert and Betsy, are big fans of the Mariposa armchair where they can often be found sunning themselves.
"Working with Curious Grace was inspirational, fun and once I found a stylist I connected with it was all so uplifting to see it come together," Penny says.
"Our lives have changed dramatically since being here. We have a space that feels fresh and open and comfortable. It really is our home now."
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Wind your way down the tree-lined roads of Mosman and you'll instantly feel as though you've been transported to a tropical hideaway. Positioned on the sun-drenched north shore, this best-kept secret boasts Harbour views and a serenity that's difficult to find elsewhere in bustling Sydney.
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