The Kensington home of jeweller Kim Victoria Wearne and her partner Stuart Beer. The open plan living room extends to the rear courtyard. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Living room details including photo on cabinetry by Kim Victoria Wearne and resin crystal work by Kate Rohde from Pieces of Eight. Courtyard details show the exterior of the home with vertical garden and built-in custom outdoor furniture so that Kim and Stuart could maximise the use of this small space! Photo – Eve Wilson, photo – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Kitchen including Volker Haug pendant lighting, table from CIP and vintage dining chairs from Modern History. Photo – Eve Wilson, photo – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Kim’s home studio where the creates beautiful pieces for her range Kim Victoria Jewels. Kim’s studio was FASTIDIOUSLY tidy and organised – she loves the pegboard which allows quick and easy access to her tools! Modified IKEA table and floorboards used to make workbench, IKEA vessels used to store tools, and ceramic horse head from Uncommon Vintage. Photo – Eve Wilson, photo – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Close up details of Kim’s jewellery in her studio - featuring 18ct yellow gold rhodelite garnet and diamond ring and sterling silver ring, and Sequin Bullet gold necklace. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Melbourne-based jeweller Kim Victoria Wearne on the porch of her Kensington cottage. Photo – Eve Wilson, production — Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Today’s beautiful house in Kensington is home to Melbourne jeweller Kim Victoria Wearne and her husband, Stuart Beer. I guess there’s no shortage of super cute renovated Victorian cottages in Melbourne, but I must say, today’s example is particularly impressive! For a modest single fronted home, it’s incredible how generous the proportions are in the renovated rear extension of Kim and Stuart’s house – the soaring ceilings and clever internal courtyard really give this home a deceiving sense of space.
Kim and Stuart have lived in this home for 10 years, however, it wasn’t until 2010 that they embarked upon their renovation. ‘When we originally moved in it looked very different’ says Kim. ‘The previous owners had done quite a bit of work to make it comfortable, but there were the same old problems everyone has with this style of home – no storage, a kitchen the size of a shoebox, an outdoor laundry and a barely functioning bathroom. The entire backyard was concreted too, so it was rather ugly!’. Kim and Stuart made a few minor cosmetic changes over their early years here, but always knew they wanted to do a proper renovation when they could afford it.
In 2010, Kim and Stuart employed Architects EAT and Ficus to design and build their extension. The back of the original house was completely knocked down – allowing for a new build which now extends to the rear laneway and envelopes an internal courtyard. The extension has allowed for a much more generous kitchen and open plan living space as well as a much needed third bedroom (now the master bedroom) and ensuite, whilst also incorporating a purpose-built home studio for Kim’s jewellery practice. The build took about 9 months to complete.
As someone who works from home, Kim is particularly attached to her new surroundings, and loves the way her home and studio are now connected. ‘Because I work from home, it is amazing to occupy a space that feels serene and quiet. The connection to the outdoors is fantastic. While we actually have far less backyard than we originally did, the courtyard allows glimpses of light and greenery from many rooms. Every single room has a view outside which is unexpected in a house like ours’.
‘My studio is also just wonderful’ says Kim. ‘I am so lucky to have a purpose built space to make jewellery in, and it functions beautifully. The tools can be organised, the lighting is perfect for soldering and I can lock the door at the end of the day when I ‘leave’. A simple action that mentally helps when you work where you live’.
As a creative herself, Kim has relished the chance to add a few personal touches to her home since the completion of their renovation. She and Stuart are very fond of their dining table, a particularly treasured piece, as it was hand made by a close friend – AJ from CIP. The repurposed stove in the bathroom is also feature that Kim and Stuart are very happy they could include, having always loved it as a feature in the original house. Other sentimental pieces include the paintings by Laura Skerlj hanging in the lounge room, purchased whilst on honeymoon in Byron Bay. ‘It was the first time Stu and I had ever totally agreed on a painting – we bought it straight away!’ says Kim.
Huge thanks to Kim and Stuart for sharing their beautiful home with us today! Do share the love by checking out Kim’s exquisite jewellery, created under the name Kim Victoria Jewels, a selection of which can be purchased through her online shop. Her work can also be viewed at Pieces of Eight in Melbourne.