The for­ward-think­ing McLeans have turned a tired ’60s Mount Martha beach cot­tage into a mod­ern abode – and they’re not done yet.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

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

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