Fifty shades of grey (white and blue)
A local Californian bungalow takes on a US east coast look with Hamptons style, writes Catherine Nikas-Boulos
In most cases, a home is defined by its architecture, with classic designs from bygone eras furnished with interiors that match the character of the exterior.
Federation homes are rarely stripped of their decorative cornices and ceilings these days and modern monoliths don’t often have timber kitchens and shag-pile rugs.
That said, Vera Keshishian of La Belle Abode wasn’t going to play by the rules when she purchased a Californian bungalow with her carpenter/builder husband, Meran. The building did look the worse for wear, but the couple was intent on turning it into a Hamptons haven in Roseville Chase.
“It was a deceased estate in original condition,” Vera says. “The floorplan was terrible and to get to the backyard you had to go through an exit on the side of the house and walk around to it, but once you got to the back, it had the most beautiful view.”
Vera, an interior designer and project manager, says she could see the potential to have a living room looking out to the bush, but they would have to make significant changes to the floorplan.
The couple, living at Middle Cove, were drawn to the property on a tree-lined street and became intent on transforming the tired home, despite the misgivings of others.
“It had beautiful high ceilings and traditional cornices, and although it was in original condition, I could see it in a different light,” Vera says. “Even our friends were like, ‘you can’t be serious?’, but I saw the potential.
“Everyone thought it would be a huge project to undertake, but when you break it down to little bits, it’s not that difficult.”
A building inspection confirmed there was no major structural damage to the property. The double-brick home was in good condition, and although Vera would like to change the roof at some point for aesthetic reasons, there was no structural need.
Given the green light to tackle the interiors, Vera headed straight for the kitchen, with plans for a Shaker-style conversion.
This look is characterised by timber cupboards with panelling painted in shades of soft greens, off whites, greys or even pale pinks. Handles are small and traditional, often