The forward-thinking McLeans have turned a tired ’60s Mount Martha beach cottage into a modern abode – and they’re not done yet.
Edwina McLean took a graphic approach to her Victorian home, making it a strong contender for Reader Home of the Year.
“WHEN LINCOLN AND I MET we were from opposite sides of Port Phillip Bay. We both loved our beach lifestyle and soon enough we had to choose on which side of the bay we were going to set up our life for our eventual family. After much thought we decided on the Mornington Peninsula, where I grew up, and after almost a year of hunting we found our home in Mount Martha.
The house wasn’t pretty when we found it – it was very dated with fibro walls. We immediately ripped up the carpets, polished the floorboards and gave it a fresh lick of paint so it was liveable until we were ready to renovate.
We planned our renovation in two stages and what you see now is the result of stage one. We completely gutted the house, moved walls, added a European laundry and then an extension out the back: the kitchen, the living room and the rear deck. We really wanted to keep the character of the original beach house so we continued the vertical timber exterior and chose similar window treatments. We picked a kitchen from Freedom and included an integrated dishwasher. It’s a bit of a splurge but it is certainly well loved!
On the decor side of things we like to keep it pretty simple. As much as I love to check out the latest homewares and styling ideas, we have our budgets and I only invest in the items we truly love. I think that theory also helps keep the house uncluttered.
When I’m feeling the need for a quick and affordable update, I love to buy a few new-season cushions which won’t break the bank and will give the living room or bedroom an instant refresh. At the moment I’m loving lots of black and any shade of grey around the house, but there’s always a splash of colour involved too; the family are very used to seeing me with another tin of paint and a brush for my latest furniture revamp – it’s such an easy and inexpensive way to change a space.
I loved using more colour in the children’s bedrooms, and this gave me the opportunity to create some affordable artwork for Lucy’s walls. CENTRE STAGE
As a family, we revolve around the kitchen. The bench is a place for just about everything, whether it’s dinner, homework or a glass of wine. I really love that I can see virtually every area of the house and garden from the kitchen bench – as a very keen cook I spend a lot of time there! The deck out the back was also a great addition; it’s big enough to entertain any amount of friends or for lazing about, and plays host to daily sessions of basketball and table tennis. When we have the huge sliding doors open it really feels like part of the house.
At the moment this house is the perfect size for us. The kids have their rooms and their study space for a bit of quiet time and we cope with just one family bathroom, but plans for stage two are well underway!
Overseer An avid cook, Edwina’s extension was designed around a central kitchen where she can see every area of the home.
DINING Reincarnated Inherited from Edwina’s grandparents, the dining table receives regular colourful updates. Loving the legs! SHOP IT You can buy a similar long dining table from Ikea or Freedom.
Garden view Edwina used a photo in a magazine to colour-match a timber floor stain. For a similar colour see Quick-Step’s oak oiled planks in Caramel.
Sitting pretty Bentwood stools contrast well with Edwina’s white Freedom kitchen. GREAT IDEA