Australian Homes

Clare Cousins, Ben Pedersen and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 13th November 2013

The home of Melbourne architect Clare Cousins and family.  View from living room to rear garage and studio. The tree is an Eastern Red Bud (Cercis Canadensis).  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from living room to rear garden.  Custom rug from Loom, glazed brick fireplace. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from TV room / play room to living room, vintage penguin chair from CodeNameTom.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

OK so I must admit today’s seriously stunning Melbourne family home is not exactly a scoop!  This beautiful home, belonging to Melbourne architect Clare Cousins and her family, has been well documented since its completion two years ago. In fact, eagle eye readers might even have noticed its inclusion in Stuart Harrison’s brand new book, New Suburban, which we recently shared here!  Butttt… we just can’t resist a beautiful Australian home when we see one, so we hope you’ll agree this very special house is worth another little moment in the spotlight today!

Clare lives here with her husband Ben Pederson, a builder, and their two daughters Ginger (5 yrs) and Ivy (2 yrs).  The pair bought their Edwardian brick home in Melbourne’s Prahran six years ago, and after a very basic clean-up which included polishing original floorboards and painting the interior, the family lived here for three years, planning the next phase. When the time came to undertake a complete renovation, they moved out for 10 months, whilst Ben’s company, Maben, managed the build.  The family returned two year ago, when Ivy was just two weeks old!

Though extensive, the renovation retained much of the existing Edwardian part of Clare and Ben’s home.  ‘The front three rooms of the original house were in good condition, requiring only cosmetic changes’ Clare explains. These rooms now serve as generous bedrooms, whilst the rear of the home has been entirely reworked.  An 80’s extension was removed to make way for cleverly designed dining and living spaces, and a new bathroom. Keen to create a sense of privacy in the garden from neighbouring flats, Clare designed a courtyard garden with the assistance of her uncle, renowned garden designer Rick Eckersley, and sandwiched this outdoor area between the house and a new two level studio / garage at the very back of the block.

What really struck me most when we visited this home, other than the incredible materials palette and attention to every last detail (!!) is the strong sense of ‘connectedness’ between the various spaces, and natural flow from one zone to the next.  ‘I love the sense of connection between living spaces’ says Clare of the open plan living and dining area. Cleverly, she tucked the TV/playroom behind the kitchen, hidden from the main living area but still very much connected to the kitchen and dining area. ‘Viewing lines allow you to connect the spaces between the living and play room, while still being physically separated’ explains Clare. Similarly, a hidden study adjacent to the living area works really well, allowing Clare to work from home whilst remaining connected to the family room. ‘It’s great to have a dedicated space that remains within the living space, while easily concealing work in progress by sliding shut the door’ she says.

The ultimate creative collaboration, this striking and supremely functional family home serves as an impressive showcase of both Clare and Ben’s complementary skills.  I can’t help but think how brilliant it must be to work closely with your partner to design and build the perfect home for your own family.  A huge amount of work I am sure, but nevertheless, a DREAM project!

HUGE thanks to Clare and Ben for sharing their home with us today!


Charcoal glazed bricks in kitchen.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen detail, Rachel Castle felt artwork, vintage ceramics.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from dining / kitchen area through to play room. Jielde lamp, Jardan Nook sofa.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Another view of lounge with Loom rug, Potence light by Jean Prouve, custom sofa by Temperature Design. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Rear exterior of the house.  White brick façade, the tree is an Eastern Red Bud (Cercis Canadensis).  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom.  Rowena Martinich painting, Ilse Crawford lamp on bedside.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Rowena Martinich painting, Ilse Crawford lamp, Tom Dixon Peg stool.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Ivy’s bedroom. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Ginger’s bedroom, vintage chair reupholstered, Rowena Martinich painting, and a single bed which was Clare’s as a child! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Back garden details.  Eastern Red Bud (Cercis Canadensis) tree.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 13th November 2013


  • Gaz 3 years ago

    Beautiful space- architect/builder match made in heaven! Equally gorgeous landscape. That tree specimen is amazing.

  • The Yellow Dance Spot 3 years ago

    What an extraordinary house! The aesthetic is fresh, beautiful and original. One of our faves for this year.

  • Vicki Fowler 3 years ago

    Thank you this sublime

    home is one of the best.

  • Vic Pemberton 3 years ago

    Absolutely adore. I would never have guesses this was Edwardian at the front. Love the Loom rug too!!

  • Kells 3 years ago

    On word… wow!

  • Cathg1g2 3 years ago

    Love so much about this home, esp charcoal bricks, and very own La Marzocca!
    Actually looks liveable for a young family.
    Congrats, brilliant design

  • Ant 3 years ago

    Awesome. Done to the detail and love the use of shingles.

  • Jane 3 years ago

    I love this house! It must be a true pleasure to live in. I would love to know where the master bedroom polka dot linen is from?

  • Christy 3 years ago

    That polka dot doona cover looks like Country Road to me.

  • Loved seeing Claire’s house on your blog today Lucy. Equally loved seeing the courtyard garden Rick designed. Beautiful project!

  • Melissa Webster 3 years ago

    Always love seeing the creative mix of homelife, kids and serious style! Beautiful Clare! Thanks for sharing Lucy x

  • Olivia 3 years ago

    i love this home- and the impression of flow and space just from the photos.
    is there anywhere to view the floorplan?
    so interesting…

  • karen mccartney 3 years ago

    I think Clare Cousins is a great talent and will watch keenly to see what she does next

  • Lily 3 years ago

    Those curves and the courtyard are sublime!

  • Mich 3 years ago

    what a stunning, warm and friendly home. I’m coveting the kitchen stools…any idea where they are from?

  • Amanda 3 years ago

    Dream home, dream architect …. x

  • Heather 3 years ago

    Gorgeous house, so many fabulous details.

  • Margie 3 years ago

    oh those glazed bricks… Divine.

  • Dannielle 3 years ago

    What a gorgeous, light-filled home!

  • Jenni 3 years ago

    Wondering where the bedding in the master bedroom came from? Thanks!

  • Mel 3 years ago

    The finishes on this kitchen are amazing. The tile splashback is perfection

  • Simone Patterson 3 years ago


  • Trudi 3 years ago

    What a gorgeous home. I love the neutral palette with the pops of colour in the art work. The finishes are fantastic and I love how the kitchen wall echos the shape of the exterior.

  • thegreatergood 3 years ago

    Love it. Anyone know where to find the outdoor chairs?

  • Sally Wilson 3 years ago


  • Clare Cousins 3 years ago

    Thanks for posting Lucy and all of the lovely comments.
    Bed linen is Country Road, the bar stools are Albert Stools from Luke Furniture and the outdoor chairs are from Space Furniture.

  • CathyK 3 years ago


  • Keira Hussey 3 years ago

    All pictures are amazing.Thanks Lucy for sharing this amazing images.

  • Airlie 3 years ago!

  • Dave 3 years ago

    Can I ask where that coffee knock box is from? Love the machine too!

  • Victoria 3 years ago

    Hello Clare, love the sideboard the TV is on – can you let me know where you got it.

    Thanks so much.


  • Locksmith Brooklyn 3 years ago

    Great design…is it take a security in consideration as well?
    what about the locking ? very interesting i like that.

  • Francesca 3 years ago

    This is such a clean and fresh look. All of the design features are perfect for the space they’re in, and the house is able to retain great taste with nothing being too over the top or too overdone. The redesign was clearly very well thought-out, and very well done!

  • Felicity McGAHAN 3 years ago

    Claire your an amazing talent what a beautuful home. Can you please tell he were to get those white bathroom tiles from. Thank you

  • Those black kitchen tiles….and Schiaparelli pink reupholstered chair I love!



  • Richard 4 months ago

    Still one of the most original homes in the country i reckon. brilliant integration of interiors and courtyard.

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