industrial vibe #24

It may be small, but thanks to its ingenious design, this multifunctional home makes family living a breeze

The properTy

A three-bedroom single-storey Edwardian house in Melbourne, Australia, extended and renovated to give the family two living rooms, an open-plan kitchen-diner, a walk-in pantry, utility room and two bathrooms, one of which is en suite. The garden has a separate two-storey extension with a garage, bathroom and a flexible studio space, currently used as a spare bedroom.

main Living room

Thanks to a clever use of space, with a nip here and a tuck there, the owners of this place have managed to extend a traditional Edwardian home on a narrow plot in order to pack an awful lot of function into its now 200 sq m footprint.

The project, undertaken by architect Clare Cousins, and her builder husband, Ben, included reworking and extending the living space to replace a previous extension, which had a veranda and French doors cluttering the connection with the garden.

They spent ten months building the extension and used durable, family-friendly materials throughout, such as concrete flooring, bricks and timber on the ceiling, to prevent it looking stark.

Get the look The rug is custom-made by Loom in Melbourne. Etsy does similar rugs. The leather sofa is a custom design by Temperature Design in Melbourne. Head to Cassina for a wraparound sofa like this. This is the Glo-Ball T table lamp by Jasper Morrison for Flos.

A built-in bench stretches the length of the living room, doubling as a display surface and seating space, with room beneath to stow objects. There are no fancy wallpapers or fussy finishes here – just simple bricks on the walls and sturdy concrete on the floor.

Get the look The white glazed bricks are by Euroa Clay Products in Melbourne. Head to for tiles like these. The chopping board and ceramic vase are vintage – try Twentytwentyone for an oversized chopping board and The White Company for a similar vase.

Dining room

Curved glazing makes it easier to move around this corner of the house, which is one of the main junctions, sitting between the kitchen, the two living spaces and the garden. By rounding it off, it takes up less space and feels more human and usable.

Get the look The table is from Mark Tuckey in Melbourne. Find a similar table at Benchmark. These are the 209 bentwood chairs by Thonet, available at Nest.

The couple shunted the kitchen back a little to create space for a walk-in pantry and a utility room that opens on to an outdoor airing room.

They also fitted a built-in desk and bar into a wall next to the dining space, which can be concealed or revealed with a perforated screen.

Get the look For similar tiles, try Walls and Floors. The ceiling light is from Masson For Light in Melbourne. Try for similar. Giles Miller Studio could custom-make a perforated metal screen like this.

Simple yet ingenious changes that make family living a comparative breeze and mean the couple can catch up on emails, but still be with the children.

Get the look The desk and cabinets were custom-made from bleached American oak. The shelves were custom-made from painted folded steel. Find similar at Aram Store. This is the About A Chair by Hee Welling for Hay.


Rounded corners make the kitchen more child- friendly, while charcoal-coloured bricks and cabinets along the spine wall streamline the look and define this space as a work zone.

Get the look The charcoal glazed bricks are from Euroa Clay Products in Melbourne. Try for similar. The island was custom-made from bleached American oak and Calacatta marble, and the kitchen cabinets were made bespoke from charcoal-stained American oak with powder-coated handles. These are the Albert bar stools by Massproductions – Twentytwentyone stocks this design. The tap is by Dornbracht. This is a Bertazzoni oven.

master bedroom

The bedrooms are in the period part of the house at the front and required little more than new flooring and painting. With more room at the back, the couple were able to add an en-suite bathroom to their bedroom, tucked neatly into the space behind the main family bathroom next door, with the showers back to back.

Get the look The bed is from Jardan in Melbourne. Find a similar design at The flooring is made from smoked limed oak. Find similar at Victorian Woodworks. A Stool 60 by Artek, available at Aram Store, is used as a side table. This is the Studioilse w084t2 light for Wästberg, available at Twentytwentyone.

Family bathroom

Vertical tiles accentuate height in the bathroom and a basin with an integrated towel rack helps keep the walls clutter-free.

Get the look The white glazed ceramic wall tiles are from Signorino Tile Gallery in Melbourne. Fired Earth does similar tiles. This is the Pressed Glass wall light by Tom Dixon. The washbasin is by Pozzi-Ginori. CP Hart has a good range of washbasins with towel rails. The bath is by Duravit. For a shower like this, try John Lewis.

See more of Clare’s work at

Photography / Armelle Habib

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