Sometimes, life has a way of coming full circle, with the past weaving a path back to the present. Certainly, there has always been a special place in homeowner Annette’s heart for the bayside region of Melbourne, where she enjoyed a happy childhood. “I have very fond memories of growing up in that area,” says the mother to now-adult children. “When I had my own family, we settled in another part of Melbourne and lived in a Victorian house for 20 years. But when my mother passed away in 2014, I just had this desire to move back to where I grew up.”
After searching the city’s coastal suburbs for two years with her husband, Ian, Annette chanced upon a property that caught her eye immediately. The relatively new, two-level abode was not exactly to the couple’s more traditional tastes. Nevertheless, there was much for them to love – particularly the home’s soaring ceilings, airy layout and exquisite arched windows flooding the living zones with daylight.
“It had a perfect floor plan for us, but the home – which was about 10 years old – had been built in a Spanish Costa Del Sol style with lots of dark wood, creamy yellow, ornate ironwork and columns,” recalls Annette. “The house ended up being passed in at auction, but I kept coming back to it and started thinking there was a lot that we could do to make it more ‘us’. We made an offer, which was accepted, and it was time to realise our vision for the house.”
And so the makeover process began, with Annette and Ian engaging renowned interior design practice Austin Design Associates. For both parties, it proved to be a happy meeting of minds. “Our first impression of the house was that it had great flow and good ‘bones’, however it felt tired and dated,” says interior designer Sylvanna Mitri. “Our brief was to create a minimal interior with an equal level of sophistication and luxury.”
Over seven months, the transformation of the home, which incorporated lashings of white and misty grey, a gleaming new Carrara marble kitchen, solid pale oak parquetry flooring and dramatic steel-framed windows and French doors, was completed.
With its interiors filled with the couple’s long-treasured collectibles and a curated array of beautiful new pieces, the home is infused with a timeless sense of tranquillity, warmth and style; essentially an elegant yet unpretentious abode for the owners and their family to enjoy.
“The home seems to have taken on a new character,” reflects Annette. “It’s not particularly ‘of the moment’ but, to us, it has a lovely feel and I just love coming home.”
When it comes to writing about all things homes-related, Jackie – a magazine features writer for over 25 years – is simply in her element. Few things bring her more joy than sitting down for a chat with homeowners to uncover their secrets to decorating magic. Other than spending time with her family and beloved golden retriever Bosley, of course!