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Michelle and Nick Curran

Homes

Today we share a thoughtfully renovated first home in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Highett. Michelle and Nick Curran live here with their 15 month old bub Percy, and Chester the dog.

With the assistance of Michelle’s cousin Josh Densten and his wife Jenna of Bicker Design (and yes, previously of The Block!), this young family have transformed a modest 1980’s subdivision into a serene, Scandi-inspired oasis.

8th June, 2016

Kitchen and dining. Custom plywood joinery built by Joe Lidis of Lidis Cabinetry, stools by Beeline Design, and pendants by Milk & Sugar. Table from IKEA and chairs from District. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen. Custom plywood joinery built by Joe Lidis of Lidis Cabinetry, stools by Beeline Design. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining area. Table from IKEA and chairs from District. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room. Side table by Dowel Jones, sofa from Dwell, lamp from Beacon Lighting, and custom mirror by Joel Elliott. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Interior designer Jenna Densten of Bicker Design and homeowner Michelle Curran. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Highett home of Michelle and Nick Curran. Above – kitchen and open plan living room. Custom plywood joinery built by Joe Lidis of Lidis Cabinetry, rug from Dwell in Kensington, cushions from ST. Agni, stools by Beeline Design, pendants by Milk & Sugar, sheepskin by Society of Wanderers. Walls throughout – Dulux Natural White. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Percy’s room. Chair from West Elm, prints from May and Belle, lamp from Big Dreams. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Main bedroom. Side table from Poppet and Button, linen by Sheridan. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 8th June 2016

‘The renovation has really given the inside such a relaxed and modern feel’ says Michelle. ‘It’s an Australian take on Scandinavian design – bright, calming and welcoming’.

Michelle and Nick Curran didn’t originally intend to buy a home in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Highett. Both working as lawyers with jobs in the city, they initially planned to live a little closer to town. However, after moving in with Michelle’s parents to save their house deposit, they found themselves checking out real estate in the bayside area. And, after house hunting for just two weeks, they stumbled across this property, set on a subdivided portion of land behind another house. When it passed in at auction a week later, they made an offer, and the rest is history. Now THAT’S the most straightforward home-buying experience we’ve ever heard of in Melbourne! ‘The time was just right’ Michelle says.

Michelle and Nick’s home was built in 1979 after the owners of the front house subdivided their enormous block of land, making way for a surprisingly roomy three-bedroom home with its own generous front and back gardens. With a simple, solid 1980’s brick construction, the unit was fairly nondescript, but Michelle could immediately see its potential. ’We knew it was the perfect first home for us’ she says – ‘even with bright red walls in the kitchen!’

The pair weren’t in a great rush to renovate, but after their son Percy was born 15 months ago, the family quickly outgrew the existing living room and kitchen, and began considering their options. ‘Initially, we were thinking very much within the square, but how quickly this all changed over breakfast with my cousin Josh Densten and his wife Jenna!’ Michelle recalls. ‘I asked for their advice on which wall to mount the TV, and before we knew it, we had a 10 month old crawling around a gutted kitchen!’.

Josh and Jenna of Bicker Design completely redesigned Michelle and Nick’s kitchen and living area, maximising storage, floorspace and natural light. Everything was carefully considered and custom-made for the space, from the pulls on the pantry doors and integrated fridge, to the dark range-hood box, and hide-away toy storage in the TV area. Local cabinet maker Joe Lidis of Lidis Cabinetry completed the custom joinery, whilst Jenna and Michelle sourced the perfect furnishings and lighting to complete the look. All up, the renovation took about 4 months from start to finish.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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