Glen Iris

As a family grows, its living needs change. This Glen Iris family needed somewhere robust and fun to suit discerning parents and intrepid teenage sons. Strike that balance and you’ve designed the ideal place for memory-making.

This family home was built on a design scheme of stark, featureless builders’ white and lacked any kind of personality. The client wanted to see it transformed into a contemporary home with masculine overtones – a place able to resonate with their growing teenage sons – and so commissioned me to redesign the living room, dining room, kitchen, outdoor courtyard area, master bedroom and both sons’ bedrooms.

For the combined living room and dining room space I began by designing a dining table and sideboard finished in 2 Pack blue, paired with dining chairs finished in locally-made dark fabric. Next, to give the space depth and detract from the builders’ white, I added a dark horizontal grass paper. This immediately gave the room its own character. I designed a rug for the adjacent sitting area and selected locally-made fabric-covered swivel chairs for the end of the room. A crystal ring chandelier, hung above the dining table, would become the room’s defining feature. To support and reflect its verve I added an imported decorative mirror on the wall opposite the dining setting. To bolster the design’s energy further, I integrated a selection of brass-themed furnishings: two easy-movable brass T-tables; a brass & glass lamp installed on the sideboard; a pair of decorative brass obelisks perched at the sideboard’s end; and a brass-framed Mark Tipple artwork placed above the sideboard. I also fitted custom bronze sheer curtains to the large windows facing the terrace, minimising the severe exposure of open glass and creating a sense of cosiness for the room.

A great deal of work was needed to increase the courtyard’s liveability and comfort. I added an imported umbrella to provide shade from the blistering sun and sourced a white round outdoor table from Spain – complete with six woven chairs – to make the space an inviting option for al fresco dining during warmer months. Next I planted an imported pot with an eye-catching cycad as the area feature. The pot, decorated with melded faces, will certainly offer guests an extraordinary talking point.

The master bedroom also needed an overhaul in personality. To give it a sense of luxury, I added bronze sheers to the windows, fitted bronze glass paper to the walls and placed an imported Spanish chair & ottoman. For the boys’ bedrooms, all that was needed was a pair of custom-made desks.

Location: Glen Iris, Melbourne
Photographer: Martina Gemmola