VISION OF BEAUTY
WORLDLINESS MEETS CHILD-FRIENDLY SMARTS IN THIS CHIC BAYSIDE HOME IN MELBOURNE
Open the deliciously tangy yellow front door of this charming weatherboard cottage, and a home unfolds that captures both elegance from abroad and the ultimate Australian lifestyle. A timber entryway console holds a quirky, unfinished Chinese vase which was found at a factory in Beijing, while an antique map of the Mediterranean also hints at the globetrotting past of these welcoming homeowners – pharmacist Rebecca, and her husband, Robert, a consultant to retail pharmacies. “We travelled a lot before we had kids, and now that our priorities have changed we felt it would be lovely to weave those memories into the fabric of our home,” says Rebecca. Through a modern extension that perfectly complements the original heritage home, are glimpses of the pool, at the back, that hint at those changing priorities. Today, the pool is a favourite of daughters Alex, three, and Evie, one, under the watchful eyes of their parents. Elegance and a chic European flavour inhabit this four-bedroom, two-storey abode in Melbourne’s south-east, a result of two distinct phases of renovation. “We did the period weatherboard section first with key updates, including dispensing with the back-of-house bathroom and altering the room configuration to enhance the flow,” says Rebecca. “Many elements of the original home are unrecognisable now, especially some very ‘old-school’ colour schemes!” Next came the modern, light-filled addition with soaring ceilings and sky-high glazing. This space encompasses a beautiful refined lounge room – a finalist in Home Beautiful’s Beautiful Rooms competition last year – which is in easy conversation with the kitchen, a heated alfresco area, and a home theatre, more accurately described as a man cave. “That’s what I call the boys’ room,” says Rebecca. “We have daughters, so you’ll know who I mean by ‘boys’!” Melding the home’s period beginnings with its contemporary add-on, while honouring both eras, was key to the pair’s brief to interior designer Terri Shannon of Bloom Interior Design, and Sceam Construction builders Matthew and Benny. “We really wanted to retain that cottagey feel, from the American oak floorboards to smaller details, which our builders helped with,” says the mother-of-two. As Rebecca and Robert both run their own businesses, practicality was also a priority. “I’d been planning and thinking about it for about five years, collecting imagery from Pinterest, and also from Home Beautiful,” says Rebecca. “I’ve been a fan for a long time!” The result is a relaxed, elegant vibe that makes a night on the town seem decidedly second-rate. “We are all about home entertaining, as many of our friends have young families,” she says. “There’s nothing better than putting the kids to bed and sitting in the lounge to enjoy the fire. We wanted a haven – and I think we nailed it!”
DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM An elegant bathroom (above), decorated with long floor tiles from Tile Lab, works well for both guests and the kids’ bath time. “We created the step up to allow for the luxury of a bath without taking up too much space,” explains Rebecca, who credits Melbourne bathroom specialists Eat Bathe Live for this room’s success. “We love the huge window, and to ensure privacy we opted for frosted glass instead of curtains or blinds.”
EVIE’S ROOM Nothing says ‘cosy’ like a ‘Kaylula Sova’ classic cot from Kiddie Country draped with a yummy Keeks And Chuck merino wool throw (top right). “The chest of drawers was a find at an antiques store long before kids came along,” says Rebecca. “I think it’s found its home here.” A Mister Fly swan play mat allows her little ones to take to the floor in style, while, their favourite dolls sit on a large hanging rack and swing shelf from Kimberley Jake Designs (right).
GUEST BEDROOM Natural lighting, white walls, exposed beams, and a splash of subtle colour from the enchanting Bedouin Societe bedlinen in Kohl Black and Wysteria from Bloom & Co, all make for a calm refuge. “With the adults’ bedrooms, we aimed for softness without being too feminine,” says Rebecca.
“I DO THE visual, style STUFF, AND ROBERT IS THE go-to guy FOR SPACE AND LAYOUT” ~ REBECCA
WINNING BEAUTY This brilliant exercise in grace and light was a finalist in Home Beautiful’s Beautiful Rooms competition last year. Homeowners Rebecca and Robert’s real achievement here are the jaw-dropping bi-fold doors that beautifully connect the space to the outdoors (above). “I’m in love with the S-fold recessed curtains,” says Rebecca of the ‘Linosa’ fabric in Vanilla, supplied by Bloom Interior Design. “And hidden retractable mosquito nets have proven to be the true luxury.” The bespoke custom-made couch is covered in an array of Sage And Clare cushions, while a ‘Dalton Highline’ ottoman performs double duty as a coffee table and a ‘Wilfred’ armchair by Jardan creates fireside comfort in winter.