Ahead of the curve Indoor-outdoor living made effortless
A DIVINE INDOOR-OUTDOOR SPACE MAKES SUMMER LIVING EASY IN THIS SUNNY MELBOURNE HOME
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.
“I’M VERY much A GREY GIRL – I LOVE GREY’S calming QUALITY, AND IT ALSO PROVIDES A GREAT BACKDROP”~ LAURA
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...