They bought a lovely old double-fronted sandstone cottage but engaged Sydney architect Ian Moore to create the optimal mix of old world charm and minimalist contemporary spaces.
‘We really enjoyed living in a beautifully elegant, architect designed space but by the time our third child, Elodie, was born a few years later, we were running out of space again. On top of this, our rambunctious kids were taking their toll on the pristine surfaces. We decided to leave the poor little house before we ruined it completely,’ says Jacqui.
When they first saw the Clontarf house online they thought it was a bit of an ugly duckling, but upon inspecting the garden Jacqui was reminded of her childhood in Murwillumbah, up near Tweed Heads on the New South Wales / Queensland border. ‘We were both bowled over by the views of middle harbour, and because Clontarf is sort of a halfway house between Woollahra and Palm Beach, we felt we could finally get the best of both worlds,’ adds Jacqui.
So far, modernising the house has been confined to a few coats of white paint on the walls and floor to freshen it up, open it up visually, and tone down some of its more ‘interesting’ previous alterations.
Above: Jacqui and Eric Fink met as university students; Above right: The couple bought the rustic bedside table from industrial store Dock One; Right:Jacqui’s label, ‘Little Dandelion’ printed on canvas rolls
To illustrate the unique way in which their eclectic belongings come together, a portrait of a young lady by highly regarded French artist Joseph-Desire Court, (who painted for the court of King Louis Philippe I) graces the entrance vestibule, right next to an old red painted chair of no particular pedigree. While they are not naturally drawn to opulent antiques they have succumbed over the years to some amazing pieces courtesy of Eric’s father – a French antiques dealer. BothJacqui and Eric possess a unique artistic spirit, which is reflected in the range of art they have collected over the years. During their time in Woollahra they bought the work of Cherry Hood, David Bromley, Matthew Rogers and Joshua Yeldham. Each is a wonderful, bold example of the artists’ work and helps give the house its distinct character. The charm is in the contrasts of antique and modern, high-end and low-end, sharp and dishevBlogd.