A terracotta-drenched room and a curvaceous kitchen bring a joyful glamour to this Sydney bungalow

Vivid hues, curvilinear forms and graphic applications of black and white showcase this Australian bungalow's 1960s modernism at its best

a terracotta living room
(Image credit: Fiona Susanto. Design: Nicholas Kaiko)

Each room in Ara and Janine Campell’s home has amazing visual impact, but it’s been a creative design journey to get this standout aesthetic and one that began when the couple decided they needed more space as their family grew. 

‘Our house was getting small and we always had our hearts set on finding a bigger block with a swimming pool,’ says Ara. After looking for a while, the couple came across this place, which convinced them to move forward. ‘We loved the fact it was single storey and relatively open plan, but the biggest selling point was the potential. We knew that with the right designer we could take it to the next level,’ explains Janine.

Nic Kaiko, founder and principal at Kaiko Design, was the perfect creative mind to tackle the challenge of reorganising the spaces of the single skin, one-level bungalow - a typical construction for this area of Sydney in the 1980s and 1990s - to turn it into a modern home fit for the family. 

‘The original layout of the home featured two under-utilised living rooms,’ says Nic. ‘Through careful replanning, we have added a bedroom toward the front of the house for the clients’ daughter as well as a guest powder room.’

Take a tour of the highlights of this creative home below. 

nicholas kaiko
Nicholas Kaiko

Sydney-based interior designer Nicholas Kaiko has a bold eclecticism and the power to make every home he designs reflect the personality of his clients, as well as its environment. We take a tour of his renovation of a bungalow in Sydney. 

Living room

a modern terracotta living room

(Image credit: Fiona Susanto. Design: Nicholas Kaiko)

The jumping off point for the materials grew from Ara and Janine’s love of red travertine. ‘Upon that we built a story of color and texture that referenced the bold character of that stone,’ adds Nic.

In the colorful living room, the walls and ceiling are painted in a vibrant terracotta, grounded by subtler monochrome accents. The mix of vivid hues, graphic applications of white and black and curvilinear forms reflects a contemporary nod to 1960s modernism as well as influences from American abstract artist Frank Stella, who Nic is endlessly inspired by. ‘It was pleasing to be able to reference this language in these spaces,’ the interior designer says. 

‘We like how it’s elegant but also not stuffy and overly formal,’ Ara and Janine say of the space.