Home Tours

Home tour: Modern French country style

Worldliness meets family-friendly in this stunning Melbourne cottage
Annette O'Brien

Open the deliciously tangy yellow front door of this charming weatherboard cottage, and a home unfolds that captures both elegance from abroad and the ultimate Australian lifestyle. A timber entryway console holds a quirky, unfinished Chinese vase which was found at a factory in Beijing, while an antique map of the Mediterranean also hints at the globetrotting past of these welcoming homeowners. The couple travelled extensively before they had children and wanted to weave the memories of these travels into their home. 


French country lounge room
(Credit: Annette O’Brien)

Through a modern extension that perfectly complements the original heritage home, are glimpses of the pool, at the back, that hint at those changing priorities. Today, the pool is a favourite of the homeowners’ children.

Elegance and a chic European flavour inhabit this four-bedroom, two-storey abode in Melbourne’s south-east, a result of two distinct phases of renovation. The couple renovated the period weatherboard section first with key updates, including dispensing with the back-of-house bathroom and altering the room configuration to enhance the flow.



Seating nook with storage
(Credit: Annette O’Brien)

The homeowner says that many elements of the original home are unrecognisable now, especially the original ‘old-school’ colour schemes. Next came the modern, light-filled addition with soaring ceilings and sky-high glazing. This space encompasses a beautiful refined lounge room  – a finalist in Home Beautiful’s Beautiful Rooms competition in 2016 – which is in easy conversation with the kitchen, a heated alfresco area, and a home theatre. 


Chic dining room with chandelier
(Credit: Annette O’Brien)

Melding the home’s period beginnings with its contemporary add-on, while honouring both eras, was key to the homeowner’s brief to interior designer Terri Shannon of Bloom Interior Design, and Sceam Construction builders Matthew and Benny. The homeowner, who had been planning the renovation for five years and used images from Home Beautiful as a main source of inspiration, says she wanted to retain that “cottagey feel, from the American oak floorboards to smaller details.” 


Guest bedroom chalet style
(Credit: Annette O’Brien)

The result is a relaxed, elegant vibe that makes a night on the town seem decidedly second-rate. “We are all about home entertaining, as many of our friends have young families,” says the homeowner. “There’s nothing better than putting the kids to bed and sitting in the lounge to enjoy the fire. We wanted a haven – and I think we nailed it!”

We do too! For a full home tour of this beautiful abode, pick up a copy of the September issue of Home Beautiful. To see a selection of Beautiful Room finalists from this year’s Home Beautiful with Temple & Webster competition, visit here.   

Outdoor dining room
(Credit: Annette O’Brien)

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