When Vicki and her husband Xavier returned to their home town of Melbourne after living interstate and overseas for 15 years, their first priority was to put down roots. Xavier’s job as an executive in the gaming industry had meant four-year stints in both Sydney and Brisbane, and six years in Las Vegas.
“Each move would follow the same pattern,” says Vicki. “We’d rent for a few months, buy something, renovate and, just as we were feeling settled, we’d have to move again. When we decided to return to Melbourne, I just knew I wanted to create something more permanent.”
And, just three months after coming home, Vicki and Xavier set eyes on their forever home, a sprawling bungalow within a bayside suburb south-east of Melbourne. With only two of their three daughters still living at home (the eldest stayed in the US), the couple initially wanted something a bit smaller with a low-maintenance garden.
“Famous last words!” says Vicki, laughing. “This home has everything we decided we didn’t need, but we immediately fell in love with the bright facade, the period features and the high ceilings.”
While the home had great charm, the interior was dark and tired, with a bathroom and kitchen that were stuck in the ’90s. Vicki sought the help of designer Jenefer Gordon of Eat Bathe Live, who suggested a complete overhaul of the kitchen and bathroom, new flooring throughout and a cohesive colour scheme. The result is a space that says: “We’re here to stay.”
“At the very beginning of the project, our builder said, ‘This is a great house and you need to do it justice,'” remembers Vicki. “My initial approach was to change a few things and keep the expenses low, but he convinced me that any money we spent would be worth it. I’m glad I didn’t compromise on anything and did exactly what I wanted to do.”
“Modular sofas have a more relaxed feel than traditional suites, which tend to look structured and formal.” ~Jenefer, Interior Designer
“We knew this was our forever home, so we were less bothered by budgets as it felt like the house deserved the best.” ~ Vicki
“The period features mean the house will never date. There’s so much potential as our lifestyle changes over the next decade.” ~ Vicki
“The existing claw foot bath was stunning, so we kept it.” ~ Vicki
“My favourite thing about this house is the connection with the outdoors. You can see vivid greenery from every room.” ~ Vicki