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Matthew and Andrea Arendsen


The Arendsen family home is a large red brick 1920’s California Bungalow in East Malvern, impressively renovated and extended by the clever folk at Architects EAT.

9th November, 2016
Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 9th November 2016

Andrea and Matthew Arendsen purchased their home in East Malvern 3 years ago. Previously, the house had not been touched in over 40 years, and was in need of a little love. It still had an outdoor laundry with an original trough for handwashing, and rusted old plumbing which struggled to keep up with the demands of a busy family and two almost-teenage boys! (Alexander is now 15, and Christian is 10). ‘Suffice to say it was time to renovate’ recalls Andrea!

When the time came to redesign their home, Andrea and Matthew approached Albert Mo from Architects EAT. ‘We had worked with Albert on our previous home, and he had a great understanding of the type of home we were trying to create for our family’ Andrea says. Albert and project architect Sarah Magennis came up with a design that retained the original façade of the house, whilst adding an incredible contemporary addition to the rear.

The front four rooms in the older part of the house were retained, with two bedrooms converted into generous bathrooms, whilst the rear of the house was significantly extended, and a second level added, giving the Arendsens’ teenage boys their own space.

Renovating can be stressful, and not everyone is lucky enough to have a great relationship with their architect and tradespeople, but the Arendsens couldn’t be more complimentary about both their architect and their builder. The entire renovation took 12 months to complete, and Andrea says their builder was an absolute star. ‘We were so fortunate to have an amazing builder in Joel McKerlie from McKerlie Builders‘ she says.

One of Andrea and Matthew’s favourite features of their home is the 6.5 metre high hallway that connects the old and new parts of the house. ’This hallway allows so much light into the house, and creates amazing shadows along the black perforated steel staircase leading to the boy’s rooms upstairs’ Andrea says. Indeed, we met Albert Mo from Architects EAT during our shoot, and he was particularly chuffed with that perforated steel staircase too!

Back of the house. ‘We love the different shapes and angles of the house from this view, you don’t expect to see this when you walk in the front door,’ says Andrea. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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