Australian Homes

Emilio Fuscaldo of NEST Architects

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 25th April 2012

The Coburg home of Emilio Fuscaldo and Anna Krien. Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Simple plywood bookshelves divide the living and sleeping spaces.  I’m slightly obsessed with that custom marble front door handle. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

I guess it’s every young architect’s dream to design their very own house from scratch – especially after creating so many dream homes for other people!  For Emilio Fuscaldo of NEST architects and his partner, Anna Krien, a writer, this opportunity presented itself in a rather unexpected way.

After almost losing hope of securing a piece of land in their favourite pocket of Melbourne, an unusual opportunity presented itself. Basically, they found someone keen to subdivide their large residential block in the inner North – essentially Emilio and Anna bought their backyard!  The result is a hidden secret in the backstreets of Coburg – a unique, cleverly designed home tucked neatly behind an existing double fronted Californian Bungalow.  The new structure isn’t visible from the street, and can be accessed via a rear laneway.  How superbly modern and efficient is THAT!?

Emilio and Anna purchased their perfect pocket of land at Auction in April 2010.  By October their design was complete – after much deliberation they settled on a two bedroom home constructed in reclaimed red bricks with hardwood details, timber door frames and polished concrete throughout.  Of course being the home of an architect, the house faces North (!!) and takes in bucket loads of natural light, with a simple, open plan design reminiscent of a 1960’s beach house.

‘Anna was adamant that we had to live somewhere with big North-facing windows and plenty of heating’ says Emilio, who responded with a design that incorporates underfloor heating in the slab (SO toasty!).  ‘We both wanted something pretty small and cosy, with a bit of a mid-century feel’ says Emilio. ‘Anna hates losing stuff behind cupboard doors, so we had to avoid the usual kitchen cupboard scenario’ explains Emilio, who instead opted for open shelves and storage where possible.  The pair selected red bricks as a reference to Emilio’s Italian ‘maintenance free’ heritage!

Emilio recalls it took about nine months to secure finance for their build, which eventually commenced in winter 2011.  Prior to building, Emilio roped in a few mates to dig a 35m trench from the street to the house. ‘We put gas, water, stormwater, telephone and electricity pipes in the trench – and I had four visits to a physiotherapist as a result’ says Emilio!  Nice one.  Definitely worth it!

The home was completed late last year, and in early December Emilio and Anna finally moved in.  They share the home with Mowgli (super cute puppy) and Puska (the cat), plus a menagerie of ‘walk-throughs’ – local cats and random chickens can often be found wandering their yard, whilst the original landowner still lives in her house on the front section of the block, with her four daughters, two dogs and a cat.  Emilio and Anna love the community feel of their new neighbourhood – ‘Our neighbours lean over the fence and give us tomatoes, our other neighbours have a walnut tree which rains sweet nuts throughout the year, and we often get visits from kids in the street who want to pat the cat and play with the dog’.

Of course, as it’s a custom design and still very new, Anna and Emilio are pretty love-struck by their new surroundings!  Anna loves the morning light through the front door and highlight windows, and she’s also obsessed with the floor heating in the concrete slab. (It was freezing during our visit, and I can attest to the wonders of the underfloor heating!).   Emilio is very proud of the fact that everything in the house comes with a story from a previous life.  ‘The kitchen is an old workbench, the pantry is an old cobblers storage unit, the walls are made from recycled bricks, and the kitchen and bathroom sinks were rescued from a house being demolished in Sydney’  he says.

MASSIVE thanks to Emilio and Anna for sharing their very special home with us today!  If you love it, chances are you’ll also love Emilio’s other residential work – do pop over to the NEST architects website for a snoop at some of his other projects!

Thanks also to YOU, excellent readers, for popping by to visit us on ANZAC day!  We salute you.  We would also like to remind you that there are just six days left to enter our rather special Facebook / Jardan giveaway…!  Simply LIKE us on Facebook and follow the prompts to enter – a winner will be drawn on Monday!

Front entrance. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Excellent kitchen!  The industrial kitchen bench is a vintage find, which just happened to be the perfect fit for this space. Living room details. Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details. Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom. How about that amazing pillowcase!? Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom – reclaimed brass tapware and sink.  Handblown ‘Touch’ glass pendant lights by Spaceleft, who share a studio space with Emilio at NEST, Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Wide view of living space – beautiful high windows and leafy outlook. Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Exterior. Living room details. Photography – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 25th April 2012


  • librarygirl 4 years ago

    I just love this. Much more so than some of the multi million dollar spaces you show sometimes.
    This is warm and stylish, thoughtful and achievable.. I love the attention to light, warmth, recycling and found obejects. More of these sort of living place please!

  • carly 4 years ago

    Loving the recycled materials, the pillowcase (agreed!), and the approachable style. The bathroom details are great.

  • nancyblackett 4 years ago

    I love, love this. So cosy and so clever. I have underfloor heating in my bathroom and love it.

  • Barbara Fisher 4 years ago

    What a unique and beautiful home Emilio & Anna have created for themselves. I love seeing a new build that is so full of character – so rare these days. That red brick is amazing, and the whole place looks so warm and cozy (maybe I am just day dreaming of that heated slab when it’s about two degrees outside here in Canberra!).

    Happy ANZAC day. I hope everyone is doing something to remember.

  • krieno 4 years ago

    How good is that! Well done, Em and Anna. The heating is so cool, so to speak, on a day like today.

  • Melissa 4 years ago

    Love this place. That living room full of light looks very inviting. Have been admiring Nest Architecture since I saw the Lisa Gorman’s house in Inside Out. Great work.

  • sandra 4 years ago

    Great to see a house that’s a REAL home..not just another show pony. Please, can we see more houses like this.

  • Kate 4 years ago

    I’ve been searching for a little parcel of land like this too! Thanks for sharing! I’m even more determined to find our little patch!

  • Clare 4 years ago

    I’m with Barbara: This is a beautiful space for living in, an environment reflecting real personalities and interests. I applaud the use of recycled bricks (yes, there’s something Tuscan about their boldness) and timber and bathroom bits. The kitchen workbench is fabulous! There’s a refreshing openness and friendly feel in every room. I like the gazelle bathroom mirror and zebra, just cute! Great bookshelves throughout and Thank You for NOT arranging books by spine colour, a pet peeve, that diminishes books to fashion objets!

    And yes, on ANZAC Day, we honour selflessness and patriotic pride.

  • kirra 4 years ago

    Kitchen orgasm.

  • Jaclyn 4 years ago

    you had me at the exposed brick. Suddenly my own little pad is looking very drab. happy anzac day.

  • Donna 4 years ago

    A wonderful home. I particularly love the exposed brick, pops of colour in the kitchen, and the bedhead in the master bedroom. One of my new faves here on TDF.x

  • Lauren 4 years ago

    I just checked out there website and they have lots of great work in their portfolio. Really nice!

  • Penny 4 years ago

    LOVE IT! Seriously amazing home, I would be extremely happy living there! Love the use of reclaimed brick to give a new home some great character!

  • beci 4 years ago

    love it too. perfect!

  • Kath Wilson 4 years ago

    Oh, the home of the lovely Anna Krein! What a talented lass is that one. I hope readers here are aware of her fearless, jawdroppingly brilliant journalism, and her latest book, which has rightly gotten a lot of gongs. But where, Anna, does your bunny live now? And where do you park your ol’ wallpapered van?

    As for nest architects, are there any better in Australia? I buy Green magazine simply in the hope that I’ll get a glimpse of their latest project. When I have enough dough to build my underground hobbit-house, they’ll be the first people to call. For now, I go to their site to gorge on architectural eye-candy (is there an Australian equivalent of ‘eye-candy’? ‘Eye-lollies’ just doesn’t seem to capture it…)

  • Olivia 4 years ago

    This is my dream home, so gorgeous, simple and cosy. I absolutely love it.

  • emily 4 years ago

    Love the house! Love the rug! Where o where does it come from?

  • Andrea 4 years ago

    LOVE! Red brick and raw timber, leagues above plasterboard and laminex.

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    OH MY! Now we’re talking! This is my sort of home. Thanks for sharing x

  • Catherine 4 years ago

    This home is full of heart and life. It is a wonderful place that feels authentic. Thanks Lucy. And to all our brave service men and women, Lest We Forget.

  • Marcela Restrepo 4 years ago

    Love that house! The brick walls bring back memories from my home town :)

  • Laura 4 years ago

    Who did the giraffe collage? It’s beautiful!

  • Lisa 4 years ago

    The giraffe collage looks like it’s by Tai Snaith, but not 100% sure. LF LOVE THIS HOUSE!

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    oh, i’d so love to live here!

  • Sangi 4 years ago

    Oh! How incredibly delicious this house is! Would love to see more pictures, brilliant & so, so lovely!

  • Benjamin Law 4 years ago

    Laura and Lisa: I can confirm the giraffe collage is definitely the work of the exceptional Tai Snaith. Man she’s talented.

  • lilly rose 4 years ago

    This house is amazing, I love all! the bricks walls are wonderful, I want that in Paris! thank you Lucy for these beautiful pictures.

  • Tammy 4 years ago

    Absolutely Gorgeous! Where is the Toni Kola print in the kitchen from ?

  • margie 4 years ago

    So warm and comfy… I can imagine these two cooking up a storm on a cold wintery Melbourne evening. Can I come over please? And that lovely mirror in the bathroom – wowsers, I have the EXACT mirror on the top of a side table! Snap! Looks beautiful on the dark wall.

  • Tara 4 years ago

    Absolutely love the feel of this soulful, stunning home! I am also breathless over the marble door handle… Is it cheeky to ask where it was made? Thanks X

  • Michelle 4 years ago

    To Anna Krien, I loved your book Into the Woods so so much… I’ve passed it around to all of my friends and it’s generated many conversations. This house is lovely, I love the light! It reminds me of my place with plants everywhere, second hand furniture and an exposed brick wall, I’m just (really really) missing the light! I

  • John Wingate 4 years ago

    What a home!

    I love the room where you can sit on the couch and just look outside. Looks like a great room to lay back and read a good book!

  • alex papadias 4 years ago


    The marble door handles are made in greece and can be shipped worldwide.
    Please check out these and other designs at



  • Annie 4 years ago

    What a fabulous home. My favourite thus far of the many I have viewed on this site.

  • Toni 4 years ago

    Love, love , the Toni-kola poster with the grey background in the kitchen . I have been looking or it in this colourway for my kitchen .all the posters I have found are with a yellow background and red parrot . Could you please share where you purchased from. Kind regards Toni

  • Beautifully styled, the texture combinations are fabulous. Thanks for sharing. HER

  • Custom Mahogany Doors 3 years ago

    To decorate your sweet home you can use Mahogany Doors such as French, Interior, Exterior, Patio, and Hand Carved doors including Transom, Sidelites, and Surroundings.

  • Bonnie 3 years ago

    This home is so appealing, from the exposed brick to that gorgeous, worn table in the living room! I instantly thought of one word: cozy. A home without “cozy” doesn’t feel homey, at least not to me. Thank you for another great profile!

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