Ahead of the curve In­door-out­door liv­ing made ef­fort­less



With its beau­ti­ful Ed­war­dian fa­cade, stead­fast red bricks and pic­ture-per­fect gar­den, Laura and Joe’s Mel­bourne home con­tains all the hall­marks of its her­itage sub­urb in the city’s in­ner south-east. Yet when vis­i­tors en­ter the re­cently re­mod­elled home, they’re in for quite a delight­ful sur­prise. “We re­ally wanted a con­tem­po­rary ren­o­va­tion that would bring mod­ern de­sign and a beau­ti­ful tra­di­tional home to­gether,” says Joe, a restau­ra­teur. True to brief, high ceil­ings and beau­ti­ful de­tails pre­serve the clas­sic ap­peal of the orig­i­nal home at the front. But down the back? It’s all party, thanks to a grace­ful curved box of an out­door room, along­side a glit­ter­ing pool be­decked in Span­ish blue glass mo­saics, that has ‘con­tem­po­rary’ writ­ten all over it. “The key thing for us has been the ad­di­tion of a pool and the ca­bana,” says Joe. “With the white curved ca­bana, we re­ally wanted some­thing with a bit of a wow fac­tor, and the ar­chi­tects cer­tainly de­liv­ered.” Joe and Laura had lived in the home since 1999. Five years ago, they em­barked on a sub­stan­tial ren­o­va­tion project – with the as­sis­tance of Malvern-based LSA Ar­chi­tects – to make space for their grow­ing fam­ily. While the strik­ing out­door ad­di­tions grab the at­ten­tion of vis­i­tors and the home’s oc­cu­pants, which in­clude their teenage chil­dren Max and Talia – “It’s such a great space for the fam­ily, and in win­ter, Joe al­most lives in the heated spa,” says Laura – the lovely in­te­ri­ors are cer­tainly not left be­hind. In the orig­i­nal part of the home, the charm­ing ex­te­rior is matched by clas­si­cally toned bed­rooms, a sit­ting room and lounge, and the cou­ple’s re­treat, which in­cludes a spa-like en­suite bathed in serene greys.

To the rear, a thor­oughly mod­ern open-plan liv­ing and eat­ing ad­di­tion is ar­ranged in an L-shape around a gleam­ing white kitchen. Ev­ery­thing looks to­wards that gor­geous out­door space; to con­nect the inside of the home with the out­doors, oak ceil­ings line both the ca­bana and ad­join­ing din­ing room. With their easy liv­ing style, it’s ob­vi­ous all the spa­ces echo and em­brace the cou­ple’s pas­sion for en­ter­tain­ing.“We host friends and fam­ily reg­u­larly,” says Laura. The home’s lux­u­ri­ous kitchen is a chef’s par­adise. Un­sur­pris­ingly, given his ex­pe­ri­ence in the food busi­ness, Joe had a large say in the func­tional, all-white de­sign, and high up on the pri­or­ity list was a clev­erly con­cealed but­ler’s pantry. “It’s ba­si­cally in­vis­i­ble and ac­ces­si­ble through a door that blends in with the rest of our stor­age units,” says Joe. “This is fan­tas­tic when we’re en­ter­tain­ing – all the clut­ter and prepa­ra­tion can re­main hid­den.” There are other ben­e­fits as well. “The great plus is that our guests can en­joy them­selves,” says Laura. “They’re not dis­tracted by the prepa­ra­tions or clear­ing up, so don’t con­stantly feel like they should of­fer to help!” In fact, there are plenty of other attractions to di­vert guests lucky enough to spend warm even­ings in this lovely home. “On hot sum­mer nights we open up the bi-fold win­dows com­pletely and let the cock­tails flow,” adds the host­ess. “For us, that’s what sum­mer is all about – wel­com­ing peo­ple into our home.” With the ren­o­va­tion now be­hind them, Laura re­flects on how well it went. “They say noth­ing strains a part­ner­ship like a ren­o­va­tion,” she says. “But the builders and ar­chi­tects were re­ally easy to work with, and as a cou­ple we fo­cused on dif­fer­ent as­pects of the ren­o­va­tion, which also helped.” And to­day, the whole fam­ily are able to en­joy the re­sults. “It has cre­ated a won­der­ful re­sort-style feel­ing that makes be­ing at home seem like a hol­i­day,” says Laura.


A del­i­cate round Vox ‘Am­ber’ pen­dant light from About Space makes for a dash of op­u­lence in a reimag­ined bath­room, pre­vi­ously a study in the orig­i­nal part of the house (above left & op­po­site). The orig­i­nal fire­place has been re­tained for vis­ual im­pact and util­ity – it makes a great dis­play shelf. “We re­ally wanted to keep the fire­place,” ex­plains Laura. “It’s a nice nod to the her­itage of the house.” The chalky eggshell ‘Bologna’ basin by Dado, with tap­ware by Gessi, speaks of clean el­e­gance, while the ‘Goc­cia’ ceil­ing towel rail, also by Gessi, adds wit and flair. A glossy floor in Cala­catta mar­ble and the grey Basaltina Linea wall tiles com­plete the el­e­gant ef­fect.


An un­der­stated aes­thetic im­bues teenager Max’s bed­room (above right), which fea­tures grown-up greys via walls painted in Du­lux’s Silk­wort, Be­douin So­ci­ete bed­li­nen, Jane Lamer­ton cush­ions and a Missoni throw sourced from Sa­fari Liv­ing. “We’ve kept fuss to a min­i­mum – no end­less cush­ions that he has to stack or tidy,” says Laura of the room that Max helped to cre­ate.


“The brief for the laun­dry was for stor­age, stor­age and more stor­age!” says Laura. The out­doors con­tinue to make an im­pact even here (left), while a Cala­catta mar­ble bench and white join­ery con­tinue the hand­some good looks of the kitchen.


DIN­ING ROOM Sit­ting down for a meal is ex­tremely flex­i­ble in the din­ing zone (above right), which works equally as well for a quiet week­day fam­ily din­ner as for when sum­mer fi­es­tas see the doors to the curved ca­bana open up. “The cus­tom-made ta­ble is...

KITCHEN “We were af­ter a clean, el­e­gant look,” says Joe of the fam­ily’s el­e­gant kitchen (op­po­site & above left), which fea­tures swathes of mar­ble and prac­ti­cal 2-pac cab­i­netry. “The is­land bench is a cen­tral el­e­ment of the whole space and a lot of work...

LIV­ING ROOM Vast win­dow ex­panses can be shaded at the touch of a but­ton, thanks to au­to­mated blinds in Mid­night from Lux­aflex, fit­ted with Somfy mo­tori­sa­tion. Equally, the blinds can help cre­ate a re­laxed noc­tur­nal vibe for quiet win­ter evenings by the...

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