Home Tours

Modern makeover of a Spanish-style home in bayside Melbourne

Designed for relaxing and entertaining, this meticulously remodelled Melbourne home is a lesson in quiet luxury.
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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.”

“Most of the pieces in the home have a story or meaning behind them,” says Anette. “That was important to us.”

The Zuster ‘April’ dining table in oak, with Living Edge black leather ‘Saddle’ chairs, establishes a smart but relaxed vibe in this dining space.

In the light-filled hallway, all eyes are drawn to the evocative artwork, ‘Skate’ by Michael Rich, above a Grazia & Co ‘New York’ marble-topped console table.

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.

The cooking zone has undergone a total transformation with luxe Carrara marble from Gladstones Granite defining the room. A plethora of storage behind the 2-pac cabinetry in Dulux Natural White is a highlight as are Grazia & Co ‘Dita’ stools that offer a spot to perch at the breakfast bar.

There’s nothing like steel-framed doors (by Steel Window Design) to open up a home to the outdoors in style. “To me, these doors have a character that is timeless,” says Anette. Sylvanna Mitri of Austin Design Associates adds: “The thin profile of the steel also allows more light inside.”

“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.”

Austin Design Associates layered the core living space with textural pieces, including the expansive ‘Bristol’ sofa and ‘Tribeca’ coffee table by Poliform, and a Fritz Hansen ‘PK20’ wicker armchair accessorised with a black and white ‘Zulta’ cushion found at Fenton & Fenton.

A shapely Marmoset Found vase atop a marble coffee table by Poliform.

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.”

LIVING ROOM A Mark Douglass ‘Orb’ pendant light claims centrestage. A pair of indigo ‘Como’ sofas from Furniture Inspirations is matched with the ‘Zorro’ smoked glass and marble coffee table from Living Edge, while a Zuster ‘Halo’ buffet unit keeps clutter in check.

The Grazia & Co ‘New York’ bedside table, adorned with a Marmoset Found vessel, pairs well with a ‘Frenchie’ bedhead, also from Grazia & Co. The bed is dressed in linen by Sage And Clare, and the ‘Muffins’ oak table light by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova for Brokis, sits elegantly alongside an antique gold mirror.

Dancing In A Dream’ artwork by Louis Kahan and ‘Redondo’ chair by Moroso from Hub.

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.

There’s nothing utilitarian about this heavenly pamper zone, starring a huge, sculptural freestanding tub for pure bathing bliss.

Herringbone ‘Bianco Carrara’ marble mosaic tiles from Bespoke Tile & Stone by Earp Bros pack a tactile punch in the powder room.

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.

With its alluring outlook to the freshly landscaped garden and newly tiled pool, the entertaining zone – illuminated by a Dome Outdoor Ceiling Light by Royal Botania – is undoubtedly the place to be. Just ask Evie!

Outside, a bluestone-paved loggia hosts year-round entertaining at the Manutti ‘Siena’ table and ‘Mood’ chairs by Tribu from Cosh Living. “I do love my garden,” says Annette.

“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.”

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