new elegance #29

An elegant fusion of old and new gives a timeless feel to this Melbourne family home...

Get the look The portrait is of the owner’s grandfather. Artist Simon Foxall has a similar style. The bust is a family heirloom – try Rockett St George for busts.

The properTy

An extended Edwardian house in Melbourne, Australia. On the ground floor, 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.


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.

Get the look This is the Red Serpent artwork by Aboriginal artist Long Tom Tjapanangka. JGM Art is a good source of Aboriginal art. Find the Lora pendant shade by weplight at Spatial Lighting.

Living room

When they bought the house 12 years ago, neither of the owners had 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 and a 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.

Get the look For a similar paint shade, try Off-Black estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. For a similar round table, try Lombok. The armchair, an auction find, was reupholstered in Peonies in Lemon by Michael Szell for Christopher Farr Cloth. Head to George Smith for a similar chair. Find the Josephine T pendant light by Jaime Hayon for Metalarte at Foundry Light + Design.

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.

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.

Get the look The Claude sofas are by pinch, upholstered in Linara shadow linen by romo. The small side table is an auction find. Try Alfies Antique Market for similar. The fireplace was designed by Melbourne architect stephen Akehurst. see Ideas to steal for similar.

living room/shelf detail

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

Get the look This is the Fornasetti Riflesso wallpaper by Cole & Son. The Italian woven chair is from Geoffrey Hatty Applied Arts in Melbourne. Try 1stdibs. com for similar. The Stanley stool is from Jardan in Melbourne. Vitra does a similar stool. The shelf/drawer unit was designed by Melbourne architect Stephen Akehurst. Try Lago at Living Space for similar.


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.

Get the look For a reclaimed kitchen table and bench, try Pacha Design. Find a light like this at Hector Finch. The kitchen units were designed by Melbourne architect Stephen Akehurst. Try Plain English for similar. The rug is from Behruz Studio in Melbourne. Find similar at Luke Irwin.

Utility room

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

Get the look The Fornasetti Tema e Variazioni wallpaper by Cole & Son has been discontinued. Check out the latest Fornasetti/Cole & Son collaboration at For antique French kitchen scales like these, try Sunbury Antiques Market. The glassware and silver is a mix of gifts and antique finds. Try Pitfield London for similar.

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.

Get the look The pineapple lamp base was bought at Leonard Joel auction house in Melbourne. Try Heathfield & Co for similar. The shade is covered in Florence Broadhurst fabric. Borderline sells her designs. This is the Tale of Two Cities cushion by Charlene Mullen. The metal table came from Geoffrey Hatty Applied Arts in Melbourne. For a similar table, try Andrew Martin.

GuesT bedroom/ music room

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

Get the look The portrait above the fireplace is by Australian painter Gil Jamieson. The piano was Fiona’s grandmother’s. Find similar at Markson Pianos.


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.

Get the look The bathroom cabinet was designed by Stephen Akehurst. Try CP Hart for similar. Head to Mandarin Stone for limestone floor tiles. The Jade lamp table (used as a stool) is by Wilhelmina McCarroll for Zuster in Melbourne. Try Objekten for similar.

Photography / Lisa Cohen

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