In every great city there are always a handful of iconic homes which seem to really epitomise the style and unique personality of that city. These are the kind of homes that pop up in the press from time to time, that are familiar enough to warrant an inquisitive glance when you drive past them, and more often than not, are homes that belong to people you have heard of – well known and interesting people who run ‘success story’ businesses. I reckon every international city hides a small number of homes like this, and today’s feature would have to be one of Melbourne’s most prominent examples. A home that to many needs no introduction – the Fitzroy family home of Lisa Gorman and Dean Angelucci!
I have got to say, I rarely chase homes that have been seen extensively in the press before. But I’m sure you’ll agree, THIS ONE really deserves documenting here, despite having featured in both local and international mags in recent years! Dean and Lisa’s incredible home, set back off a leafy Fitzroy street with a generous sunken garden in the front, distinctive Victorian frontage and timber modernist-inspired extension at the rear is such a truly special place – and I reckon is a succinct snapshot of the way many Melburnians aspire to live. Ie – in a renovated Victorian home, surrounded by an eclectic edit of Australian art and mid century furniture, and a stone’s throw from great coffee!
‘Boston Villa’ was built around 1863 by William Candy, a stonemason and the first owner of this home. Around five years ago Dean and Lisa acquired the building, and engaged architect and friend Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects to update and extend the home. (You’ve seen Emilio’s own home here).
‘We actually owned the house for about 1.5 years before moving in’ recalls Dean. ‘It was completely decrepit when we bought it. The original intention was to simply renovate the existing house, but after one of the squatters who was living here burnt it down, a re-think of our plan was in order! The eventual renovation by NEST Architects was major - pretty much a rebuild, starting with a hole in the ground surrounded by some, but not all of the exterior walls!’.
The original footprint of the home was expanded, and a children's wing was added for Dean and Lisa’s two kids, Pepa and Hazel, taking place of old stables out the back. Emilio also added a cellar, and a single guest room/study upstairs. Another significant change was a new entrance to the home – rather than enter through the original front door, the front door is via the side of the house, landing visitors straight into the centre of the home, at the junction between the 'Victorian' and 'Modern' halves.
It was a tricky house to capture, this one. As Sean Fennessy accurately put it after our shoot – ‘that was like shooting 4 homes in one’. He was so right! It’s not a scale thing, it’s a style thing… this home happily unites so many different styles and eras under one roof, but it’s a tricky thing trying to tell that story visually in a linear way. Anyway I sincerely hope we have done this place justice, because of ALL the homes we have ever featured here, I don’t think I've ever fallen quite so hard as I have for this one!
Of course, with homeowners like these, it’s no surprise this unique pad is curated to perfection. Dean has been trading mid century treasures for years, though his business Angelucci Twentieth Century, in Smith st Fitzroy. Dean has an incredible eye for furniture and fine art, which coupled with Lisa’s passion for vibrant colour and pattern, makes for a seriously photogenic home, full of unexpected details.
IN ADDITION to sharing their stunning home with you all today, Dean and Lisa have a very special gift for one lucky reader! Dean has offered a set of iconic tableware from Russell Wright for Bauer Pottery USA – a pitcher, two beakers and plates from his store, Angelucci Twentieth Century. This generous gift, pictured below, is valued at $475.
To be in the running, simply leave your comment on today's post before 10.00pm Melbourne time. A winner will be drawn at random and contacted tomorrow! (For extra credit, though not imperative for entry to this competition, Angelucci would love you to like them on Facebook!)
MASSIVE THANKS to Lisa and Dean for sharing their amazing home with us today. If there was ever a home we’ve featured that I truly wish I could just move straight in to… this is it!