Mod­ern vin­tage This home makes the most of its nat­u­ral ap­peal

THIS STRIK­INGLY RE­PUR­POSED MOD­ERNIST HOME IN MEL­BOURNE IS A CEL­E­BRA­TION OF ALL THINGS NAT­U­RAL

Home Beautiful - - {EDITOR’S LETTER} - STORY JACKIE BRYGEL STYLING BECK SI­MON PHO­TOG­RA­PHY RHIANNON SLATER

Some­thing spe­cial is tak­ing shape in the gar­den of Me­gan and Sam’s home in Mel­bourne’s east­ern sub­urbs. Un­der the shade of a tow­er­ing Ja­panese maple tree, a new project is un­der­way – and it has noth­ing to do with the re­cently com­pleted ren­o­va­tion of the fam­ily’s mid-cen­tury home. Sam and the cou­ple’s eight-year-old daugh­ter, Han­nah, are busy build­ing a house for the fairies, com­plete with pixie-sized fur­ni­ture. “Han­nah just loves be­ing in the gar­den and she re­ally en­joys work­ing on this with her dad,” says Me­gan. “When her house is fin­ished, the fairies will be very wel­come here!” In fact, the duo’s home ex­tends a warm greet­ing to all those who visit. Built in the mid-60s and set on a hill­top with lush green­ery all around, the thought­fully ex­tended home is a les­son in the power of nat­u­ral light and tex­ture. It also pays homage to its mod­ernist ori­gins, with a strik­ing wood-pan­elled ceil­ing, sunken liv­ing room, stone fea­ture walls and bold colour through­out. Most of all, this is a lu­mi­nous house that in­vites in the sun­shine, and its own­ers, along with Han­nah and her 10-year-old brother, Thomas (both pic­tured op­po­site), are happy to call it home. “We’re very much an out­doorsy fam­ily, so we wanted a place that was geared to­wards the gar­den and fo­liage,” says Me­gan. “We also like raw and nat­u­ral el­e­ments such as tim­ber and stone, which bring in warmth.”

“BE­FORE THE REN­O­VA­TION THE HOUSE live­able WAS BUT WE WANTED MORE open it up SPACE, TO UP­DATE IT AND MORE TO THE OUT­SIDE” ~ ME­GAN

They saw the abode’s po­ten­tial in its pre­vi­ous life. “We loved it when we first looked at it many years ago,” says Me­gan, “but the home it­self had only had an ex­ten­sion done in the ’70s and a kitchen makeover at some stage, although it had been very well main­tained.” En­list­ing the help of St­ef­fen Welsch Ar­chi­tects, Me­gan and Sam com­piled their wish­list, which in­cluded a fam­ily-friendly floor plan, stylish kitchen, new bath­rooms and a paved al­fresco area. “We wanted to bring the house into the 21st cen­tury and rec­on­cile a late mod­ernist de­sign with con­tem­po­rary ex­pec­ta­tions to pro­vide a more func­tional space, and to be re­spect­ful to the old,” says ar­chi­tect St­ef­fen. A cen­tral liv­ing zone now links the chil­dren’s wing at one end of the house to a tran­quil par­ents’ re­treat at the other. “The kids can be as noisy as they like in their space, and we have our peace and quiet when we want it,” says Me­gan. Sus­tain­abil­ity also mat­ters, with the home fea­tur­ing new dou­ble-glaz­ing and a so­lar hot wa­ter sys­tem. “The house used to be very hot in sum­mer, but the new win­dows have made a huge dif­fer­ence, as have ex­ter­nal blinds,” she says. “It now keeps cool in sum­mer and stays warm in win­ter.” There’s much for the fam­ily to love, not least the fact that their home has been de­signed just for them. “We haven’t ren­o­vated it to sell,” says Me­gan. “We’ve done it to make it our house and look for­ward to en­joy­ing it for a very long time.”

KITCHEN

Grounded by large-for­mat honed basalt tiles from Lapege, the gor­geous new kitchen is as stylish as it is user-friendly (op­po­site & this page). It fea­tures an eye-catch­ing con­trast of tim­ber ve­neer and 2-pac join­ery and is a treat for Me­gan and Sam (pic­tured top right) to spend time in. The high­light is the is­land bench (op­po­site & top), topped in what Me­gan calls “very tough and durable” re­cy­cled hard­wood with plenty of stor­age (top left). “The is­land’s heater is part of our hy­dronic heat­ing sys­tem,” says Me­gan. “It heats part of the kitchen but mostly who­ever is sit­ting at the bench – great for win­ter break­fasts.” A ‘Talo’ sus­pen­sion light by Artemide de­liv­ers a con­tem­po­rary sleek­ness to the ca­sual eat­ing space, while ‘B2’ bar stools from Ar­ran­more Fur­ni­ture are al­ways in use. Me­gan also loves the join­ery unit be­tween the kitchen and liv­ing room (top left & right), say­ing, “It is such a lovely way to di­vide the two rooms”.

re­laxed ““IT’S A VERY TYPE OF HOME AND ONE WE JUST LOVE re­turn­ing TO EV­ERY DAY” ~ ME­GAN

MAIN BED­ROOM

What was once an ad­di­tional liv­ing room has now been trans­formed into a spa­cious par­ents’ re­treat (top left). Con­trast­ing against a white wall, ‘Tolomeo Parete’ ad­justable bed­side lamps from Artemide en­joy star billing. The cou­ple found the vin­tage teak bed­side ta­bles at Grand­fa­ther’s Axe in Mel­bourne’s North­cote, and the Bem­boka bed­li­nen and throw are from South­wood. The car­pet is Pres­tige Car­pets’ ‘Nat­u­ral Twist’ in Ap­paloosa from Don Cur­rie Car­pets, while the cur­tains in ‘Za­rina’ fab­ric in Coal came from In­te­ri­ors by Riveresque.

LAUN­DRY

Laminex cup­boards in Juicy form a zesty fo­cal point in the laun­dry (left). “I thought I’d go a bit more ‘out there’, hence the lime green cab­i­netry,” says Me­gan. “It’s so lovely hav­ing a nice, fresh colour.” The room’s Laminex bench­top in Po­lar White is as durable as it is clean and crisp-look­ing.

BATH­ROOM

An­other fear­less decor de­ci­sion suc­ceeds in the fam­ily bath­room (top right), where yel­low 2-pac join­ery in Du­lux Har­vest Gold is a joy­ful touch. “It’s such a sunny colour,” says Me­gan.

She and Sam sheathed the floor and walls in Leonardo Ceram­ica ‘Stone Project’ lime­stone-look porce­lain tiles in Br­era from Lapege, while a re­cy­cled hard­wood van­ity top lends an earthy vibe.

STUDY NOOK Al­most ev­ery cen­time­tre of this care­fully con­sid­ered home has been put to good use. In the cen­tral hall­way, an al­cove has been clev­erly con­verted into a func­tional study nook (above left), with a built-in desk and draw­ers. “It’s also a great spot to dump ev­ery­thing from school­bags to bills,” says Me­gan. Bring­ing colour and beauty to the work area is a land­scape paint­ing by English artist An­gela New­berry ti­tled ‘Sun­set At Mary River’.

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