Mosman House 2 - Stage 2

Date Posted:6 February 2024 

This house has a sweet story and you may recognise it as Mosman House 2 with our client the McKews. Our resident writer Tina met up with Penne to take us through the next stage of their renovation.

Waiting by the red front door, I’m curious to see what lies beyond the threshold of this home, recently renovated to include a parent’s retreat upstairs, and decorated by No Chintz. The McKews have kindly shown No Chintz readers through their downstairs renovations. Now let’s see what else they’ve done to their heritage listed federation style home.

Mosman House 2 Renovation - No Chintz Interior Decorators Sydney

Penne meets me at the door and is as warm and enthusiastic as ever. She is so pleased with the outcome of the make-over, she’s positively beaming. This house has a sweet story: Penne used to be taken to No Chintz as a child, her mother keen to imbue an appreciation for beautiful things.

Penne and husband Marty bought the heritage listed home while living in Hong Kong. When it was time to return, they moved into the Mosman house with their two young daughters. She says: ‘It was like a dump inside’, mangy carpets and a leaky roof. But because it was so rough, I didn’t have to worry about small children, and dogs trailing through. It suited the moment.’ The family moved out during Covid, for work to commence on the house.

The plan had originally been workshopped with architectural firms, but nothing gelled and Penne thought she and Marty weren’t really being heard. ‘We pulled out at the last minute, and called my parent’s builder in.’ Between the creative forces of builder Gary Dibley of Creative Renovations and No Chintz’s Chrissie and Lisa, the project was on again, in earnest.

Mosman House Formal Dining Room Renovation - No Chintz Interior Decorating Sydney

So excited and impressed by what they were achieving with the renovations, the owners decided half way through that they should ‘pop the top’ and create a parents’ retreat on another level.

Penne speaks with warmth and respect for the process with which the No Chintz team undertook the project to realise this family’s dream. Chrissie was more than happy to weave into the design scheme various aspects of the family’s special possessions: for instance, two posters bought from an art museum shop and beautifully framed at a time Penne and Marty were poor university students and could ill afford such an extravagance, are hung in pride of place in the dining room. Such thoughtful inclusions throughout the house touched Penne and endeared the No Chintz team to the family.

After the initial moving in, the downstairs rooms have a more lived-in feel.

No Chintz Interior Decorating Mosman Living Room

Penne is now keen to show me the parents retreat. A generous staircase leads from the front hall, and turns a corner, efficiently affording privacy from the downstairs hallway and living rooms as one climbs upstairs. A jewel-toned carpet lays upon the stairs, brass hardware stays adding to the gleam of richness leading upwards.

Mosman House 2 Renovation - No Chintz Interior Decorators Sydney

The walls of the stairway are painted a moody dusk blue. Along one wall are gilt framed images painted in crimson, a daughter’s high school art project, and overhead hangs a brass framed glass star shaped pendant light.

At the top of the stairs, one arrives at a landing which leads into a walk-in dressing room/wardrobe, with rattan doors and ending in a full-length mirror. The dressing room’s end wall and ceiling are covered in Schumacher wallpaper; creamy oversized pink peonies with pretty parrots trail across the walls and ceiling, and down the corridor into the master suite.

Mosman House Upstairs Renovation - No Chintz Interior Decorating Sydney

A lofty bed with an extravagant, shaped bedhead faces out through a dormer window over a cosy upholstered seat. Everywhere there are soft, overblown flowers crowding the room; from the coverlet on the bed to the wall paper wrapping this room in a cocoon-like fashion. From here, one can gaze out to distant treetops and the harbour beyond. This is indeed a parents’ retreat secluded in the trees. The colours in the bedhead riff on the peachiness of the wallpaper peonies, and are reflected back onto the velvety rug on the floor. More clever layering and harmonising. Heavy linen drapes with block-out lining ensure a restful sleep, but the choice of fabric ensures the look is light and fresh even while providing heavy duty sun blocking. The linen curtains are embellished with a smart pink-red trim to add interest.

Mosman House Bedroom Renovation - No Chintz Interior Decorating Sydney

On the opposite end of the corridor from the bedroom, overlooking the back garden is a spacious lounge, complete with comfy sofa and lots of cushions, a Penne passion. The side wall here has elegant built in cabinetry, and slimline doors hide a desk where Penne works from. The matching cupboard doors on the other end of the wall of cabinets reveal a sink and a bar fridge. Cocktails anyone? The walls are awash in the palest green seagrass wallpaper which is restful and gentle on the eye.

Mosman House Renovation - No Chintz Interior Decorating Sydney

This family home is the stuff of dreams- literally. It’s not a home that was conceived of quickly and left in the hands of others. Very much a passion project, Penne and Marty delight in conveying how perfectly No Chintz understood their brief, and worked to fulfil their ideas without squeezing the family into any sort of prescribed design mould. The family describe their beloved home as a ‘big old hug’ and ‘a lot’ but its theirs in just the ways they wanted it, for every stage of life.

Mosman House Bedroom Renovation - No Chintz Interior Decorating Sydney

Penne says the experience and expertise of the No Chintz team has steered her from design pitfalls while encouraging and celebrating her desire to showcase all the family’s beloved treasures.

The upstairs retreat is a nod to the McKew girls reaching adulthood and their parents making space for them. Penne declares: ‘This is a house for every stage of our lives. Chrissie immediately understood what we wanted, we feel very lucky to have made that connection with No Chintz.‘


If you would like further information on any of the fabrics, colours or finishes used in this project please contact your nearest No Chintz store.

For home makeovers, or to transform your favourite room, look no further than our Interior Decorating Services. From wall colours to curtains and floor coverings, Chrissie and the team of No Chintz decorators are available for onsite consultations to make your home dreams a reality. 

For more inspiration check out our completed projects or hear what our happy clients have to say.

Tina Gomes Brand - Freelance Writer

Tina Gomes Brand is a freelance writer who searches out all things creative from food and architecture to travel, fashion and interiors. Brand writes from a broad experience of interacting with various cultures and collaborating with creative people everywhere.

Comments (1)

Stunning pinks in the master bedroom…

By: on 13 February 2024
I really love the pale pink linen fabric Grandma’s Quilt in the master bedroom bedhead… it looks stunning with the Schumacher wallpaper of pink peonies with parrots… could you kindly share the name of this Schumacher wallpaper & if it is still available please! Thankyou…

No Chintz Response
Hi Robyn, thank you so much, we absolutely love how this room came together and the fabric and wallpaper complement each other beautifully. For details on the Schumacher wallpaper please call or email your nearest No Chintz store and our team will be able to provide further details

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up