Con­tem­po­rary style turns an old Cal­i­for­nian bun­ga­low into a mod­ern Aus­tralian fam­ily home.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Sarah Knight’s Cal­i­for­nian bun­ga­low is bright, airy and spa­cious, per­fect for fam­ily time and en­ter­tain­ing friends.

“NINE YEARS AGO, my hus­band Paul and I took on a ‘ren­o­va­tor’s delight’. We fell in love with the her­itage feel of the 100-year-old Cal­i­for­nian bun­ga­low, de­spite its run­down state, in Mel­bourne’s bay­side sub­urb of Hamp­ton. It was in need of some TLC, but we could see our vi­sion for the fu­ture. After liv­ing in the home for five years, our con­cept came to life in just 10 short months. We knocked down most of it and started again. The orig­i­nal floor­plan was a lit­tle re­stricted so we opened it up to cre­ate a more en­ter­tain­ing-friendly home.


As well as the ex­tra space, the new lay­out and de­sign come with other ben­e­fits. A huge span of win­dows al­lows in plenty of light; in the liv­ing-din­ing-kitchen area, high­light win­dows were put in above a five-glass -panel sys­tem, com­pris­ing three doors and two fixed win­dows. The two doors can be com­pletely re­tracted to cre­ate a huge in­door-out­door liv­ing zone, which is ideal for en­ter­tain­ing large groups. Our home was de­signed to make the most of time with fam­ily and friends. We en­joy en­ter­tain­ing, hav­ing bar­be­cues and spend­ing the whole day in the pool!


I con­stantly change the decor, buy new art­work and new plants, or change the furniture. At the mo­ment I’m lov­ing the Scan­di­na­vian vibe: lots of white and light bleached-out fea­tures. I have Dan­ish-style furniture and ac­ces­sories al­most ev­ery­where in the house.

I par­tic­u­larly love the style of Aus­tralian furniture com­pany Jar­dan

and one of my favourite buys is the Jar­dan mod­u­lar sofa. It’s where the kids jump around ev­ery day, play­ing su­per­heroes. And it’s where Paul and I have a glass of wine in front of the fire on a chilly Sun­day. It also hap­pens to be the most com­fort­able sofa in the world! The din­ing chairs are from an­other of my favourite lo­cal shops, which has now closed. They’re a per­fect com­ple­ment to the din­ing table – one of the most in­ter­est­ing pieces in the home; it’s ac­tu­ally an old sal­vaged door from the Mel­bourne Cricket Ground. Paul re­pur­posed it by adding legs, sand­ing, stain­ing and lac­quer­ing it – we love hav­ing a piece of furniture from such a his­tor­i­cal place.

Plan­ta­tion shut­ters fea­ture through the house, ex­cept for in the open-plan liv­ing-din­ing-kitchen area, where there are block out blinds. The walls have been painted with Du­lux ‘Nat­u­ral White’ through­out, with Lex­i­con in the bath­rooms. The whites high­light tim­ber fea­tures and art­works. I love buy­ing new art­work, when you find that rare piece you didn’t know you needed un­til you see it!


Our home is def­i­nitely tai­lor-made for to­geth­er­ness, start­ing with my favourite room, the liv­ing-din­ing-kitchen space. Our kitchen is al­ways the cra­zi­est, busiest part of the house – lucky it’s so big! Our kids love to help us make din­ner and it’s great that

I can watch them in the back­yard or the liv­ing room if I’m do­ing things in the kitchen. Ev­ery­one is al­ways to­gether, which is pretty cool.

The kids read and play in their shared bed­room. This room is filled with

“In sum­mer, the kids spend en­tire days in the pool. It’s the best in­vest­ment we’ve ever made.”

chaos, fun and lots of bed bounc­ing. I can of­ten hear the boys gig­gling and whis­per­ing long after they should have been asleep. Fam­ily time is also spent in our mas­ter bed­room. The kids love pil­ing into our bed to watch car­toons in the morn­ings. I love the af­ter­noon sun that comes through the plan­ta­tion shut­ters in this room, too.

An­other of my favourite spa­ces is the kids’ bath­room, where we in­stalled a sky­light above the bath. It’s amaz­ing to be able to look out while hav­ing a soak. The kids watch the stars when they have their evening baths.


Out­side, we have cre­ated a ver­sa­tile fam­ily space for re­lax­ation and, more im­por­tantly, fun! We in­stalled a pool, and the al­fresco area has been trans­formed into an out­door room with a built-in tim­ber daybed and pizza oven. We’ve had many pizza nights and even cooked our Christ­mas roast in it. The am­bi­ence and heat it gen­er­ates is bril­liant.

There are still a few things left to do and we’re get­ting the ren­o­va­tion bug again, so per­haps we will add a se­cond storey in the next cou­ple of years.”

Sofa he­roes The kids love jump­ing around on the char­coal sofa, play­ing su­per­heroes.

Vin­tage vibe

A Fa­vor Cy­cles & Mo­tos vin­tage poster makes an im­pact in the neu­tral liv­ing area.

Dog’s life Os­car the Welsh ter­rier has a nap on the floor in the liv­ing room.

Let there be light Sun­light streams in through the wall of doors and win­dows, which lead to the out­door area.

Tim­ber touches

Wooden din­ing furniture is func­tional and feels con­tem­po­rary against the white kitchen.

Close to the ac­tion Sarah loves be­ing able to keep an eye on her boys thanks to the open-plan lay­out.

Floor it The floor­ing is Amer­i­can oak solid tim­ber with a lime wash coat­ing, from Floors Of Distinc­tion.

COOL PEN­DANT Tarakan medium rat­tan light pen­dant, $199.95, from Dis­count Light­ing.

Mar­ble-ous idea Amer­i­can oak tim­ber floor­ing works well with the Stat­u­a­r­i­etto mar­ble kitchen.

Mod­ern feel

The geo­met­ric bed­li­nen from De­sign­ers Choice will last for years with­out dat­ing.

TAKE A SEAT Hög­sten out­door chair in White, $129, from Ikea.

BLUE MOOD Gurli cush­ion cover in Blue, $5, from Ikea.

Great out­doors A Free­dom table and bench seats make the per­fect spot for brekkie on sunny morn­ings.

All white The bath­room walls are cov­ered with hand­made subway tiles in a brick pat­tern.

Room for a lit­tle one? The kids of­ten jump into the mas­ter dou­ble shower unan­nounced, Sarah says.

Stylish stone Large blue­stone pavers line the pool and al­fresco ar­eas.

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