Can you actually BELIEVE how beautiful this house is? Seriously. SO stunning, and styled with such an inspired combination of colour, pattern and texture... hats off to graphic designer Zoe Murphy for creating such a special family home!
Zoe and husband Ben purchased their dream blank canvas in Prahran in 2009 - it was very dilapidated and needed a lot of love, and so a major renovation was planned. The house needed re-wiring, re-plumbing, re-roofing and re-flooring - not to mention a complete overhaul of the room layout, which had been split into 3 apartments at one stage.
'When we purchased the property it was bordering on derelict' says Zoe - however, she and Ben were undeterred! They could see the unlimited potential of this generous Victorian home, which backs onto a beautiful leafy park. The house was originally built in the 1860's with bluestone foundations and double brick walls, which Zoe (ever the optimist!!) says provided 'fantastic bones' for their plans.
Luckily design runs in the family for Zoe, whose brother Rodney Eggleston runs March Studio - a fantastic little architecture and design firm in Fitzroy who have been responsible for some incredible interiors recently including Baker D. Chirico's latest shop in Carlton (amazing) and a handful of Aesop stores. Rodney re-worked the home extensively - the second bedroom was converted into a huge ensuite, and the upstairs level was extended to increase the size of two rooms at the rear of the house overlooking the backgarden and park beyond ; these became the nursery and home office.
Downstairs the original parlour (now a formal sitting room/library - pictured above) is where Zoe really went to town, selecting a brave geometric Designers Guild wallpaper (LOVE IT!), classic furniture and beautiful bespoke cabinetry. 'I designed the diagonal shelves picking up the pattern from the wallpaper and drapes' she says. This stunning room provides space at the front of the house to welcome guests or find inspiration in an extensive library of design books.
The kitchen and living zones towards the rear of the home open out onto the garden with beautiful views to the adjoining park. Here most of the internal walls were removed to create the large, bright living space seen here, and Zoe was inspired by the leafy outlook when selecting the textiles and finishes for this room. 'We also designed the plywood kitchen with Rodney, incorporating a glass roof over the kitchen and clever bulkhead to complete the space and provide natural light on the southern side of the house' Zoe says.
After 12 months of planning and renovating, Zoe and Ben finally moved in late 2010 and welcomed little Myra (6 months) into the family late last year!
As you might expect it was a little tricky for Zoe to choose just a few favourite aspects of her beautiful home! 'The whole house is a collection of my favourite items and my favourite artworks - from the bright green Jielde lamp light over the breakfast table, to the rugs from Hub Furniture and Loom.... to my best friend Chloe Paul's Gursky-like beach images dotted around the walls...' she says. Zoe also has great affection for some of the original features of the home - 'I love the items that were existing here and which we gave a new life - such as original Georgian Marble Fireplace in the dining room, which was falling apart and we had refurbished' she says.
All in all, this home is given an incredible sense of life and personality by the brave decoration choices Zoe has made, and the sheer variety of design details. Each room has a unique character and feel, from the formal parlour to the light and airy living/kitchen space - and the 'hotel-like' ensuite to the dark master bedroom (dubbed 'The Cave' by Zoe and Ben!).
Massive thanks to Zoe and Ben for sharing their beautiful home with us today! Zoe was so accommodating during our visit - we're very grateful! Thanks also to Jess Nixon from Loom Rugs / Okologi Interiors who discovered this gem during a routine rug delivery (!!) and was kind enough to tip me off! What a find :)