A Sydney Family’s Mid-Century Rented Home With Colourful Danish Influences
Madeleine and Jake Bulgin are ‘mid-century rental property moguls.’
Forced to move out of their previous mid-century home in Avalon Beach due to water damage, the family spent six months (while living with Jake’s mum) searching for a suitable upgrade for their family.
‘Shout out to my mother-in-law Deb for putting up with us for that long! It was quite the comedy show at times,’ says Madeleine, who is the creative director and founder/editor of The Authentik.
Madeleine has lived her whole life on Sydney’s Northern Beaches (‘The insular peninsula, as it’s often referred to’), but expanded her property search slightly inland to discover this home.
‘I must admit, I didn’t really even know where St Ives was or what it was like. I think I went to the dentist a couple of times here, that was my knowledge of it!’ she says.
‘Sounds corny, but for me, home is my family. I’m not really confined to a certain postcode or place. As long as I am with my family and in a space I feel a connection to, that’s what matters.’
Madeleine developed an immediate emotional connection to the home based on the listing alone. It was perfect — a near original mid-century house (built in 1956, according to an engraved brick at the front gate), with a pool, yard for the kids to run around in, and location on the edge of a national park.
‘It has such amazing character and charm, and huge windows with loads of sunlight filtering into different parts of the house throughout the entire day,’ says Madeleine.
‘It was a roller coaster six months but I am so happy we held out and found something that was perfect for our growing family.’
The house is in great condition for its age, and is still robust enough to work well as a family home. A focal point is the kitchen, with its black and white checked flooring and bold lime green cabinetry that reminds Madeleine of her childhood bedroom.
Jake and Madeleine have introduced more colour into the interiors influenced by Danish design, and reminiscent of the nearby 1950 Rose Seidler House where they got married last year.
Their blue sofa perfectly contrasts with the warm toned timber floors and white walls, and the Arne Jacobsen dining chairs (purchased from Facebook Marketplace) coincidentally match the home’s existing red feature wall.
Almost all the couple’s furniture has been bought secondhand, and is a careful curation of everything Madeleine loves. ‘It’s colourful, eclectic, warm, and although somewhat refined, doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s an extension of me and what brings me joy.’
The house will continue to evolve as the family grows, with another baby currently on the way to join daughter/stepdaughter Olive (7), and Dot (3).
Madeleine says, ‘We love it and hope to stay here for many years to come!’