Australian Homes

Melissa Webb and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 15th February 2012

The incredible 1970’s Doncaster home of Melissa Webb and family.  All furniture and glassware second-hand / vintage sourced by Melissa Webb. All Photographs – Sean Fennessy, Styling – Lucy Feagins + Marni Kornhauser.

Furniture, lamp and glassware second-hand / vintage sourced by Melissa Webb. All Photographs – Sean Fennessy, Styling – Lucy Feagins + Marni Kornhauser.

Living room.  All furniture and flokati rug second-hand / vintage sourced by Melissa Webb.  Cushions are Missoni from Safari Living.  Photographs – Sean Fennessy, Styling – Lucy Feagins + Marni Kornhauser.

Ok so today’s Melbourne Home is certainly in a league of it’s own – not to mention an era of it’s own!  This incredible 1970’s stone house, overlooking a nature reserve in Melbourne’s Doncaster is such a truly unique building… it’s a little different from the homes we usually feature, but I just couldn’t  pass up the opportunity to photograph and share this amazing place!

Illustrator / graphic designer Melissa Webb is currently the custodian, passionate caretaker and DIY stylist of this incredible home, on behalf of her Mother, Lois Webb, who now lives in aged care.  Lois bought the house around 13 years ago – Melissa says her Mum was an artist and ‘enjoyed eccentric and beautiful things – so this house really hit the mark!’

The origins of the house are a little sketchy.  Melissa says the story goes that it was originally built by a stone mason (figures!), who apparently spent seven years constructing it.   The original building plans are dated 1979.  Melissa says it would be fantastic if anyone could shed any extra light on the origins of the house – if someone out there magically has any more info she would love to hear from you!  (As far as we know it was built for a ‘Mr Cern’, she says).

The really exceptional feature of this house is, of course, the materials used to build it – in particular the incredible variety of stone used in the interior surfaces.  Melissa says what she loves most about the home is that it was clearly built as a labour of love – ‘the materials used have been chosen and placed so carefully with an artistic eye, and an obvious desire to build something special’ she says. There are black, grey, pink, cream and green marble walls and floors, sandstone  and travertine walls and even featured sections of stone that contain unique fossils.  There is also an INDOOR WATER FEATURE – echoing the sound of trickling water throughout the house!  I kid you not.

This very special home has recently undergone a few minor renovations – Melissa took on this challenge late last year, and has since been clearing out and restoring each corner of the house with gusto!  ‘We tamed and replanted the garden, which had become an unruly jungle, re-carpeted the whole house, fixed barge boards and roofing and generally spruced it up’ she says.  Melissa and her family also replaced all the lighting in the house, except for the grand chandelier in the from room.  ‘The light fittings had suffered from some novelty problem solving through the years!’ Melissa says.

But the most exciting challenge for Melissa has been hunting for furnishings and decorative pieces to dress up the house, to create an atmosphere to complement it’s quirky character and breathe a little life into the place.  ‘Everything had to be found with virtually no money, so ebay, op shops and gumtree have become my best friends’ says Melissa. ‘This last bit has been tremendous fun and I wish I could continue doing it!’

Unfortunately, as you may have guessed if you’ve read this far, Melissa and her family sadly are not able to hold on to this spectacular 70’s masterpiece much longer, and it will soon be on the market.  Melissa is committed to finding a new owner who will love this home for it’s quirky character and hopefully retain it’s original features… fingers crossed!   (Enquiries – email Melissa direct).

MASSIVE thanks to Melissa for sharing this truly one-of-a-kind Melbourne home with us today!  Thanks also to Sean Fennessy for the stunning pics, and Marni Kornhauser for last minute styling assistance (so grateful!) and Safari Living for kindly loaning us a few colourful pieces to help to make these pictures pop!

Sitting room with vintage record player (in perfect working order!) found by Melissa’s partner Phillip!  Chandelier is original, Missoni rug from Safari Living.

Records belonging to Melissa and partner Phillip, vintage glassware (pink) sourced by Melissa, Marrimekko glass (amber) and Missoni rug from Safari Living.

Kitchen!  All original- including brass pole.  Madness.  Love it.  Chairs sourced by Melissa (ebay I think!).

Stone details and some of Melissa’s extensive glass collection

Dining room framed by a stone arch.  Travertine walls – amazing.  Vintage table and chairs sourced by Melissa. Glassware and ceramic jug from Safari Living.

Dining / bar details.  Glassware and ceramic jug from Safari Living.  Tiki collection fromn Melissa’s partner Phillip!

Master bedroom with incredible stone walls and adjacent courtyard.  Bedspread and cushion – Safari Living.

Child’s bedroom (one of 4 bedrooms in total) spruced up with some vintage pieces from Melissa (bedside, lamp, vintage ceramic lion) and a few brighter  pieces (Donna Wilson cat, purple velvet cushion, yellow radio) from Safari Living.  Patchwork quilt by Marni’s Mum!

Outdoor courtyard.  You can get those butterfly chairs and covers in any colour you want from Angelucci Twentieth Century (just pre-empting a few emails later!).

Exterior!  Amazing sloping roof!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 15th February 2012


  • Dana 5 years ago

    What a treasure and a delight to start the day.

  • dustjacket 5 years ago

    Amazing job … like stepping back in time.

  • Donna 5 years ago

    What a unique and beautiful home. Love it!

  • Tegan @ Style Chic 5 years ago

    Incredible – Love that big window in the 1st pic. Can imagine the view out the other side.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • handmaderomance 5 years ago

    a labour of love for sure. it would be great it someone knew more about the person behind this homes origin. the stone walls are like works of art themselves, the way they piece together with their beautiful earthy tones and fossils omg! i could gaze at them for days. if only i had a treasure chest full of cash, i could happily spend my days in a house that echoed of water trickling throughout. thanks for sharing this doncaster gem with us!!

  • Jane 5 years ago

    What an amazing place! I am so sad that Melissa’s family has to let the home go. Hopefully all the hard work means that the house will sell for a bundle! Looks great, congratulations on a job well done!

  • BusiChic 5 years ago

    in DONCASTER!? Amazing. Love it!

  • sunshine & daydreams 5 years ago

    I thought Doncaster was full of ‘Mc Mansions’. What an eye opener this is. An amazing house decorated with an artistic eye. Beautiful!

  • claire 5 years ago

    So glad I visited your blog today. This house is amazing. So beautiful. x

  • Donna 5 years ago

    Love it! Too cool. Glad they’ve kept so much of the homes original character and added their own very cool stamp.

  • Melissa 5 years ago

    Wow that really is a beautiful home. Doncaster does have some surprises!

  • Kylie 5 years ago

    This is an amazing house! Probably my favourite so far (and that’s saying something!)
    I love it! Even the kitchen looks fabulous (we are in the process of ripping out a very similar one, if it had a beautiful breakfast bar like Melissa’s Mum’s we might be tempted to keep it…better not show my husband these pics ha-ha!)
    I hope you find someone new to love and care for it soon Melissa (wish it could be me!)

  • Georgia 5 years ago

    Gorgeous! This reminds me of growing up in nearby Eltham, happy memories. It’s very funny though to think that style now counts as retro.

  • Ray Garrod 5 years ago

    Swoon. love that stonework….some lovely glimpses of what looks like an amazing glass collection too :)

  • Ellen 5 years ago

    I’ve recently discovered your blog and am really enjoying it. Thanks for this gorgeous posting. I loved the stone walls of this home. The perfect backdrop for the splashes of bright colour from the vintage glass collection.

  • Clare 5 years ago

    So, so beautiful. Thanks for including something ‘different’ to your usual feature homes (not that they aren’t great too!) Keeps things fresh and interesting! Such a beautiful house. Oh, and that patchwork blanket? Crazy for it!

  • Kate 5 years ago


  • Margie 5 years ago

    wow, this home is so amazing! So crafted!

  • Tash 5 years ago

    Too cool for words

  • Saskia (1=2) 5 years ago

    That stonework rocks (‘scuse the pun).

  • Anna 5 years ago

    It looks like a 1970’s Merchant Builders house, though I don’t know their catalogue well enough to say for sure, it might just have been in that style. A lot of the Merchant Builder’s houses were designed by the architect Graeme Gunn, who won the RAIA Gold Medal in 2011.

    Merchant Builders were a housing developer active in the 1960s and 70s in Melbourne, they’re kind of legendary in Melbourne architecture circles for building such good, affordable houses, unlike most of what is built by housing developers today… Just because not everyone can afford a custom house, doesn’t mean they don’t still deserve good design.

  • Anna 5 years ago

    The travertine walls definitely wouldn’t have been standard though, if it is a Merchant Builders house. They would have cost a fortune! Stonemason owned and built makes sense in that respect.

  • jo 5 years ago

    incredibly cool. i love it.

  • Chapel Street 5 years ago

    I want to eat fondue and throw a groovy party in this house right now. Very 70’s chic.

  • femlib 5 years ago

    I love this house and as a suburban deweller I always enjoy seeing images that may convince others that design and beautiful things exist outside the inner city.

  • Samone 5 years ago

    This house is gorgeous

    And absolutely, Femlib. For starters in Melbourne: Beaumaris, Eaglemont, Eltham, Mt Eliza, depending on your modernist or 70s environmental-style bent!

  • alice 5 years ago

    I love all the stone, I think this might be my dream house, must buy a lotto ticket so I can make melissa an offer (a girl can dream)

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    Hmm I hope it finds a new owner that treasures it as much as Melissa and Lois……..

  • MildlyCrafty 5 years ago

    Yay for the suburbs, I second femlib’s comments.

  • design elements 5 years ago

    beautiful especially the kitchen caught my heart.

  • dell 5 years ago

    Argh! Amazing. All that stone.

  • carly 5 years ago

    You can order the butterfly chairs from their origin, Argentina, for a little bit more but in leather! ooh la la I love them.

  • Siri Hayes 5 years ago

    Inspiring. There something so special in well-crafted anything. I’m sure you can see the person’s time and careful consideration of material as well as the love of just creating something beautiful:-)

  • Brendan 5 years ago

    Groovy, man!

  • Kristen 4 years ago

    Oh this house is just beautiful. Reminiscent of the Knox houses. Why oh why do these houses have to be in places I don’t want to live?

You might also like

Cassy Morris
Tuesday 27th October 2015
Jo Hoban
Thursday 29th October 2015
by Georgina Reid
Monday 26th October 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 3rd November 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 27th October 2015
by Lisa Marie Corso
Friday 23rd October 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 28th October 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 10th November 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 3rd November 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 17th November 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 24th November 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Monday 2nd November 2015