Steal my expert styling ideas for your Sydney terrace home
It’s no secret that Sydney Terrace homes have been growing in value significantly for the past few years. Even those in desperate need of serious renovations are easily fetching over $1 million dollars here.
There’s so much to love about these unique homes, so it’s not hard to see why they’re so highly sought after. But… They do come with a few challenges when it comes to styling them. Think: coordinating with the historical design, making the most of space, and getting enough light (especially for completely undetached homes!).
Luckily for you, I’ve styled so many terrace homes over the years, and in that time I’ve picked up on the best ways to decorate and style these special interiors.
Whether you’re preparing to sell a terrace home, or you’re lucky enough to be moving into one of your own, I have some ideas to help you make the most of these properties.
Complement the building style
One of the biggest selling points of terrace homes is their beautiful sense of character, atmosphere and unique touches. These are something you’ll likely want to showcase – not hide or cover over!
Think about using accessories and furniture placements to complement these features rather than distract from them.
Take my Marrickville Victorian Terrace project, for example. Notice the original doors, light fixtures, stained glass windows and mantelpieces? They just don’t make homes like this anymore. If you’re lucky enough to have features like these in your home, make the most of them! Even if you’re into more modern style, you can still mix old and new. I’m a huge fan of doing this.
Expert tip for sellers
Those lusting after a terrace home will typically be looking for the traditional touches that make them so special. Do your best to maintain or restore these special features before photographing and promoting your property so you can really show them off. It might sound obvious, but make sure these features are actually visible and easy to see in your photos too, even if you have to include a few close-ups!
Open up the space
If you have an outdoor area, this is a huge advantage! Transform it into an extra living space and make use of french doors to connect the outside and inside like one open-plan space.
I loved the clever design of this balcony. It has screening against the railings, so you can keep the space open for a beautiful breeze and spacious feel during warmer weather.
Not only does this help the attached bedroom feel more spacious, but it adds an extra mini living area to hang out in your home (great for parents or roommates who need a retreat). Just add a beautiful comfy chair and a gorgeous floor lamp to turn a wasted space into a cosy reading nook.
Expert tip for sellers
Even if you don’t personally love spending time outside, always dress up outdoor areas with a simple furniture setting and some nice accessories. It will help potential buyers see the full potential of the space!
Lighten it up
Okay, I talk about this one a lot, but working with natural light is especially important in terrace homes. They can easily feel dark, dingey and cramped, especially for those that are fully attached to neighbours on each side.
Now, take a look at the photos below. Can you believe these are pictures of the same room?
We simply added some beautiful furniture, textiles and artwork in neutral colours, and made use of some carefully-placed downlights and pendant lighting. Much better!
These photos are from my Centennial Park Terrace project.
Expert tip for sellers
If a space has great natural light, make sure this always comes across in your photos. It’s a huge selling point, especially for smaller homes. A professional photographer will help you nail this! I have some great go-to photographers on my team if you need a recommendation.
Choose space-saving furniture
When furnishing a terrace home, you really need to choose furniture carefully. Obviously, terrace homes are typically very narrow, so standard-sized or shaped furniture won’t always work in these spaces.
Take this walkway shown below, for example. It’s an awkward width and shape, so most furniture wouldn’t work here, but I knew we had to make it into a functional living space. Good thing I love a challenge! I decided to use a long, narrow bench and bar stools to create a practical (and very stylish) dining area.
Another major furniture choice to think about is your sofa. Chaise lounges are popular, but I generally avoid them in compact or narrow living rooms. If this is what you’re working with, I would suggest going for a classic two or three seater with some arm chairs instead. This allows you to leave some blank space around all sides of the lounge, and get more flexibility over how you’d like to position everything at the same time.
Expert tip for sellers
It’s obviously not practical to go and buy the ideal furniture for a place that you’re selling, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice showing buyers the full potential of your space. By hiring a staging expert like me, I can take care of this for you by bringing in the perfect pieces from my personal collection. All the heavy lifting (literally) is done for you, so the space is picture-perfect and ready for photos or auction day.
Break It Up
Another tip for long and narrow living spaces (hello every terrace home ever) is to break up the room into mini living spaces.
Take this recent Newtown Terrace Home project of mine, for example. The living space was extremely long and narrow, so I broke it up into three spaces; a bar with high stools, a cosy couch and a dining area.
This instantly helps the room feel so much more spacious, and you can actually make use of every inch. Stunning and functional.
So those are my main expert styling ideas for styling a classic Sydney terrace home. I do have a few more where that came from, but you’ll have to work with me to get all my secrets!
Are you currently preparing to decorate a new place for yourself and need some more inspiration? I’ve just released a lookbook sharing 5 looks to inspire your home (along with some more of my expert styling tips). Grab your free copy here.
X-factor & flair in spades which buyers clearly fell in love with!
Also, Daniela's easy-going, friendly manner and flexible, collaborative approach cheerfully adapted to our shifting instructions as well as accommodating the volatile schedules of our suppliers, tradies and sales team.
Ultimately Daniela's lively energy and inspiring creative talent helped us present a truly beautiful home for open inspection that had x-factor and flair in spades...and which buyers clearly fell in love with.
Thank you Daniela - You are awesome!
Andrew and Elisa, Newtown
We received many comments on the quality of the styling & how fantastic the apartment was presented.
Brigitte Blackman & Amber Riethmuller, BresicWhitney Rosebery
Such a beautiful job!
Allana Williams, Manager - Production & Development
Character and luxurious touches!
Susan Winesmith, Marrickville
Responsive, communicative & easy to work with