Situated just a stone’s throw from Sydney’s idyllic Balmoral Beach, Raglan Street is everything a home should be – tranquil, comfortable and, perhaps most importantly, well resolved. 

Our clients approached us with a brief to create a mid-century inspired, Palm Springs-influenced home that paid homage to their love (aka obsession!) of all things bamboo. With only a section of the lower ground floor of the original house to remain, it was a unique opportunity to build their dream home, quite literally from the ground up.


Tasked with creating a beachside abode befitting a young family, each space required finding the perfect balance between style and practicality in pursuit of achieving the harmonious holy grail between ‘the luxe’ and ‘the everyday.’


Nowhere is this more apparent than in the heart of the home, where the open-plan kitchen, dining and living area needed to be at once an entertaining space as well as the helm for juggling family life. To achieve these opposing requirements, we created a careful dialogue between the grandeur of the space and the practical needs of our clients.


Take the kitchen breakfast nook for instance – the curved form of the custom banquette seat is irrefutably stylish, whilst it’s shape seamlessly embraces the family way of living and works harder still by hiding convenient storage underneath. The finished space is an area that frames meal times, all the while keeping the cook company; it nurtures afternoon naps as well as aperitivo; and it provides focus for homework sessions and formal dinner parties alike.


‘I start my day having a cup of tea at the nook before anyone else is up. It has the most gorgeous aspect first thing in the morning. [In the afternoon] my youngest child does her homework at the table, and then books and pencils are cleared away for dinner. It's such a comfortable and inviting spot it’s not uncommon for someone to get horizontal and have a little kip in the sun on this lovely banquette.’

To counteract the sprawling ground floor, which might easily have felt cold and cavernous, we introduced moments of bold colour to create a sense of intimacy and play with scale. Despite this occasional vibrancy, the home maintains a sense of calm and elegance owing largely to its cohesive, monochromatic palette that ties seamlessly into the architecture of the home, making for an easy-on-the-eye backdrop to everyday life.


Calm within the home is the ultimate destination for a young family, and the custom-made screen – designed to evoke the rhythm of lush bamboo forests – fosters the journey to getting there. Defining the different zones in the open-plan space, the screen creates the feeling of privacy, whilst ensuring adults in the kitchen are always within earshot of young ones playing in the adjacent informal living room.


For added dimension, the home has plentiful opportunities for moments of escape, solace and privacy. Drapes can be drawn in the dining room to accommodate late-night soirées; doors close on pantries to hide dirty dishes from sight; French windows pull open to chase the last of the sun into the outdoor kitchen.

Upstairs, the master suite was designed to provide a luxurious retreat from the commotion of family life playing out below. Plush carpet, rich velvet fabrics and brass finishes set a nurturing mood for the adults to unwind and recharge.


The result is a beautiful, bespoke residence that is both playful and contemplative; a home that feels luxurious whilst at its core, will forever be adept at accommodating its family’s ever-changing needs and lifestyle.

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design
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Late last year I received an out-of-the-blue email from the award-winning educator and bestselling author Dannielle Miller. It proposed a project that the likes of our studio (and, to be honest, probably no other interior design studio) has ever seen. But more than that, it discussed a topic that doesn’t come up too often at all. Anywhere. Ever.

School toilets.

And more specifically, girls’ high school toilets.                                


‘It’s one of those ideas that NO ONE has ever discussed. Yet when you hear it, it makes absolute sense!’ Dannielle wrote.

She was right. As I read through her email, I was instantly transported back to my schoolgirl days, back to navigating my way through puberty, friendships, a broken family, acceptance, romance (or the lack of), fashion on my ever-changing body, self-respect and struggling grades.


I remembered moments in school bathrooms – spending time with girlfriends away from authoritative eyes, confiding, grieving, expressing frustration or simply having a much-needed moment of solace.

Picturing that time brought back memories of the unloved, unrecognized and underfunded environment that held us during our schooling highs but mostly lows. I wondered, what could that austere, and often dirty, space have done to make us feel better during those moments of vulnerability?

The answer is Dannielle’s brainchild; the inspired idea that considering the design of a school toilet might have a positive influence on teenage girls.


Encouraged by my own ethos that good design truly can change lives, I was excited to take on the challenge as Dannielle invited me to mentor a group of girls at Sydney’s Cheltenham Girls High School through the re-designing of their school bathroom.

Over the course of a day I talked them through the design process, beginning with my ‘life changing’ design philosophy, colour psychology, the design brief, the floorplan, and then to balance, focus, rhythm and repetition, scale and proportion, colour and light, harmony and unity, onto brainstorming, developing, presenting ideas, improving ideas and finally, the execution. Needless to say, it was a full day of learning, for all of us!

The actual concept design of the bathroom was entirely in the girls’ willing hands. I was there to mentor, guide, and (hopefully!) inspire them, but it was the girls who spoke beautifully and expressively about what their space could do to serve them.


The overarching idea was to empower the girls to do the work themselves, so they would respect and embrace the space as their own. We discussed what colours might inspire them during moments of deflation, what shapes might soothe them through the exam period, what words might uplift them on those down days. Each girl had their own ideas of the potential of the space, but we weaved together a common thread (just as we would in all of our AKD design projects), assigning different roles to small groups for the final stage of execution.

Aside from being a priceless lesson in project management, team work and brainstorming, the result is what every child deserves to have – a place to escape to, be inspired in, to feel comforted and nurtured.

Last month, I proudly cut the ribbon on Cheltenham Girls High School’s new bathroom, their inner sanctum, ready to support the students through all the trials and tribulations inherent to a day in the life of a schoolgirl.

It’s a space that was much needed during my own teenage years, and one I hope can inspire more student-designed bathrooms to support my daughters through theirs.


The renovation of the Cheltenham Girls High School bathroom was generously funded by the Department of Education.


Pride Month takes place every year in June in celebration of the LGBT+ community. With this year’s global festivities in full swing, we’re spotlighting our loudest and proudest projects in support of the most colourful movement in the calendar.


Our Seaview Crescent project is an ode to colour. Beyond its iconic P&O style exterior, you’ll find every hue imaginable, from powder blues to sunshine yellows to vibrant reds.

Our client's lifetime desire to travel to Morocco set up the framework for the colour and fabric selections, and his impressive and much-adored art collection also inspired the interior palette. Perched right on top of the cliffs above the sea, with a view to rival all others, the changing light transforms each colour choice and the effect is nothing short of magical.

Seaview Crescent_Kitchen_Alexandra Kidd Design.jpg


Our Wharf Crescent client approached us dreaming of a convenient city pad to impress. We began with a largely black and white shell, introducing copper drapery to soften the space and capture the mood of the dazzling, panoramic city views whilst also reflecting the daily sunsets.

In the breakfast nook, we selected vibrant orange shades to imbue the space with a sense of informality, and contrast with the deeper, burnt shades of the more formal living areas. The effect is playful, invigorating and welcoming – the ideal backdrop for the first meal of the day.



The brief for Onslow Avenue was to design a suitable Sydney pied-à-terre that incorporated our clients’ classic aesthetic, had bold colour and whimsy but was intrinsically 'Sydney', as well as being suitable for their visiting young grandchildren.

Our clients were very involved in the project and enthused over every step to go brighter and bolder. This sunshine-hued bedroom is a studio colour favourite and a true reflection of our clients’ bright personality.



In the otherwise soft and neutral palette of Duntroon Avenue’s master bathroom, this green feature shower wall in fish scale tiles produce an unexpectedly playful feature in the adjoining ensuite, whilst also providing a pillar of privacy for the master bath inhabitant. The colour of renewal, nature and energy, green was a considered choice to use in a place where our clients begin their day.



To counteract Raglan Street’s sprawling, open-plan ground floor, which might easily have felt cold, we introduced moments of bold colour to create an intimate sense of scale, such as the deep royal blue of the kitchen’s dining nook.

Despite this occasional vibrancy, the home maintains a sense of calm and elegance owing to its largely monochrome palette that ties seamlessly into the architecture of the rest of the home, making for an easy backdrop to everyday life.



Wentworth Street was all about creating a home fit for a modern, growing family. We introduced touches of colour and luxury that are undoubtedly impressive but given this is a home for a young family, we incorporated nothing too serious or precious.

Every design element is practical and has a purpose, like the hard-wearing indigo rug we installed in the living room which provides a point of playful interest while remaining practical to little hands and feet.



Birchgrove House begun its life as a new-build – we effectively started with a blank canvas that consisted of stark white walls and miles of grey marble flooring. We set out to soften the cold, cavernous spaces by adding vibrant accents in jewel tones. We injected colour sparingly but with great intensity for impact, creating a true sense of home.

A vibrant art piece by Antonia Mrljak in rich plums and violets provides much-needed warmth to the living space.


All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design