Trad-meets-mad in this Edwardian house in Melbourne

An elegant fusion of old and new gives a timeless feel to this Edwardian house in Melbourne

Edwardian house in Melbourne

The property

An extended Edwardian house in Melbourne, Australia. On the ground floor of this modern home, there’s an open-plan kitchen/dining/living room, as well as a pantry, utility room, master bedroom with en suite and dressing room, a guest bedroom/music room, bathroom and study. The first floor has two bedrooms, a playroom and a bathroom.

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The brilliant blue of the doorway and glorious wood pendant light tell you you’ve arrived!

A little trad, a little mad. That was the thinking when it came to doing up this Edwardian suntrap, tucked into a leafy corner of Melbourne.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

Living room

When they bought the house 12 years ago, neither of the ownershad experience in property development – she was working in PR and he is a lawyer. What they did have was a love of architecture, a serious auction habit anda beady eye for good design.

At the time, the Edwardian part of the single-storey property had been split into two apartments, with two more bedsits tacked on to the rear of the building.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

Over the past ten years, as well as having three boys, the couple have totally re-imagined the house. The family moved from room to room as the ground floor was renovated, culminating in the looks-like-it’s-been-there-forever extension that contains the kitchen and living area.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

A stone fireplace creates a focal point at the centre of the open-plan space and is the ideal chill-out zone, come rain or shine. In a simple decorating scheme, pops of colour provide impact – here, it’s the glow of the teal footstool against the charcoal sofas.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

living room/shelf detail

For tradition with a twist, you can’t go wrong with this Fornasetti wallpaper.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

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Despite its contemporary feel, the kitchen is filled with touchstones that add a note of history and tradition. The white china was a gift from the owner's mother-in-law, who runs a cookery school, while the pendant light was brought back from a trip to France.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

Utility room

Like ghosts of scullery maids past, faces gaze down from the utility room walls

Edwardian house in Melbourne

Guest bedroom

Friends of the family say this Aussie house has an English feel. The embroidered cushion was brought back from London by the owner's sister.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

Guest bedroom/ music room

The furniture and artwork inherited by both owners helps to ground the house, adding depth and narrative.

Edwardian house in Melbourne


This room has a contemporary feel, but careful use of materials links it with the more traditional elements elsewhere – the metro tiles match those in the utility room and the natural wood of the cabinets mirrors the furnishing throughout.

Edwardian house in Melbourne

Photography / Lisa Cohen

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