My clients are an energetic and outgoing young couple in their 30’s whose lives revolve largely around their friends, family and two beautiful young children. They had an existing well-appointed site in the trendy and vibrant northern Melbourne suburb of Northcote. Close to funky clothing stores and gourmet food establishments, the location of the home is ideal for a young family.
The blending of old & new
The architecture of this custom home in Northcote was really driven by the client’s wishes to remain respectful to the existing surrounding styles of homes. Henceforth the homes front façade pays homage to the Californian Bungalow. After consultation with the client we decided to continue to pay deference to this decorative style in the entry, however in a more contemporary manner. The addition of a gorgeous ceiling rose, plaster archway and architraves and skirting’s with a decorative profile, really was a subtle transition between the exterior and the interior. The plaster arch in the hallway became the intersection between the more traditional aesthetic of the entry, into the more contemporary feel of the rest of this stunning family home.
Child friendly spaces
My clients expressed a need to be able to view their two beautiful young children at all times. As such it was critical that there be a direct relationship between the kitchen, dining, living and children’s play area. The open plan lay out allows for a clean line of vision consistently, and maximum interaction between the spaces.
With the sink on the kitchen island, the design ensures that tasks performed in the kitchen are always undertaken with the ability to have one eye on their children.
The children’s seating area evolved as the project did. The seat was an obvious place to incorporate storage below, and simply an ideal place for children’s toy storage. A desk adjacent to the seating and storage area was born out of the need for an informal “workstation” for both parents, in close proximity to the central hub of this gorgeous family home.
The chalkboard was really a fun way to incorporate excitement into the space. It is also practical, quirky and visually playful all at the same time. The added bonus with using chalkboard paint, is its ability to be re-painted in the future as the children grow up.
Places to retreat
Being hard working professionals, it was also important that the Master Bedroom, Robe and Ensuite be a relaxing and luxurious place to retreat to. A warmer colour palette was decided upon to create a point of difference between this area of the home. Separate his and hers robes accessible from both the ensuite and bedroom will ensure that one partner can quietly wake, shower and dress all while allowing peaceful slumber for the other, when a sleep-in is required! I selected a sumptuous ornamental wallcovering for the wall behind the bed to act as a decorative headboard.
In the centre of the home sits an intelligible and elegant stair, seamlessly linking the two floors of this family home. The simplicity of material use defines new spaces and shapes between the horizontal and the vertical. Exquisite glass pendants hanging over the stair, tease the upward to the top of the stair, where lies an open rumpus area. This space complete with high raked ceilings, is perfect for encouraging relaxation and recreation!
Insert stair image
Between the upstairs children’s and guest bedrooms, sits a large bathroom in exquisite creamy tones with a large double vanity and deep bath. Designed for use primarily by the children, the size and the neutral colour palette of this bathroom will ensure that it remains attractive and usable for the life of the home.
Longevity in interior selections
The colours and materials used throughout the home were selected with comfort, practicality, longevity and of course aesthetics in mind. Solid timber Spotted Gum floorboards and a warm Oatmeal carpet became the pivotal point at which the other colour selections were made. I stuck with a warm neutral palette to really ensure longevity in the aesthetic. It was therefore imperative that I didn’t employ fussy or overly complicated colours and materials. It was really important that this home remains as relevant in twenty years, as it is today. Injections of forest green hues were however used by way of paint and wallcoverings, both of which are quick and easy to replace if by chance trends and tastes change. All finishes selected were based on their ability to withstand the test of time and the transition of the children from toddlers to teenagers and beyond.
This design is a successful marriage of warm understated contemporary design, fused with splashes of heritage elements, and the necessary practicalities of having young children. It is not only visually pleasing but highly functional, a facet often overlooked when trying to achieve spaces of beauty.