For Lauren, it was love at first sight. When she first stepped inside 101 Day Street, it was a terrace which over the years had become a space filled with clashing styles and modest finishes.
But Lauren saw the property for what it was; a Victorian terrace with immense beauty.
For the next three years, Lauren and her husband Steven Zahra, set about creating a home full of refined luxury, but with all the conveniences of modern day living.
Sparing no expense, Lauren imported everything from Europe and America.
Joinery, carpentry and the wallpaper were custom-made to fit her requirements, and the results are simply stunning.
With Lauren and Steven ready to move onto their next project, this Leichhardt beauty is now currently on the market.
The look & feel
A self-professed traditionalist, Lauren’s love for Ralph Lauren’s inimitable style – think opulence with a French American twist – became the underlying theme throughout the home.
Bold colours, statement pieces, stunning wallpaper art, bespoke finishes and joinery give the house a sense of grandeur and allure.
Then you step outside onto a decking area that flows into a lush garden – a relaxing oasis that feels completely removed from the Inner West’s buzzing lifestyle.
“Because I am a traditionalist at heart, this was always something I wanted to do,” reflects Lauren. “Although the Victorian era style house isn’t rare in Leichhardt, the style we have done it in is.
Most of the houses in the area have modern renovations, very few have had a traditional renovation, especially to this extent.
"It’s perfect for someone who loves classic design – a professional couple or a personal investment for someone who resides in the country and wants a place in the city.”
Lauren Mahoney, Home owner
Inside the home
When Lauren first bought the house five years ago, she described it as "boring and bland, all white with honey coloured floors, a laminate kitchen, an '80s bathroom and a Balinese-style garden".
Inspired by the original features – fireplaces, architraves, big skirting boards, and high ceilings – Lauren has created an extravagant design theme that would impress Ralph Lauren himself.
A rich tapestry of textures flow effortlessly throughout the home. Downstairs, high ceilings with ornate roses and imported chandeliers hang above moody black Japanese floorboards.
Elegant fireplaces, plush furnishings and custom cabinetry give the home a sophisticated opulence.
The kitchen is daring in its striking blue, Carrara marble and olde English tapware, while the bathroom features a stunning cast iron clawfoot bath, chrome porcelain fittings and Carrara marble subway tiles.
Upstairs, the French doors in the master bedroom open out onto a Victorian lace balcony.
The most striking feature of all is the hand-painted 1800s mural wallpaper art that runs the length of the lounge and dining room.
A spectacular piece of a hunting scene that Lauren had commissioned from France. It became the focal point of the house and set the tone for the home’s interiors.
“It breaks my heart that I can’t take the wallpaper with me, but it is the pinnacle of the house, and it really suits it."
"Artists from France made the mural, and I got to pick the colours of the men’s coats – which I matched to the other wallpaper in the house, the décor and furnishings.”
Lauren Mahoney, Home owner
A Garden oasis
The immaculate detail that went into the house doesn’t end at the door.
The private rear garden has a stunning entertainment deck with an outdoor kitchen and concealed laundry.
A lush space where Lauren and her family spent most of their time, particularly during the warmer summer months.
“The outdoor space is a really special area. The outdoor kitchen is completely kitted out so you can do everything; cook, clean, and entertain.
There is garden lighting throughout and it's very private, you can’t see any other houses around you.”
Steven Zahra, Home owner
The front yard is equally lush, hemmed in by a wrought-iron Paddington-style fence. The garden itself leads to a door that features a cathedral glass window, which creates a light-well within.
European hospitality has long been one of Leichhardt’s most defining features.
On a good day, the city is only a quick 10-minute drive and it’s in arm’s reach of some of the Inner West’s most loved neighbourhoods – Balmain, Glebe and Newtown.
It’s a lifestyle filled with convenience and ease, and one that Lauren and Steven are willing to forego in pursuit of their next home renovation project.