This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Michael and Laura McCormack

Homes

The Point Lonsdale home of property developer and entrepreneur Michael McCormack of Milieu, and his wife Laura, a speech pathologist, represents relaxed Australian beach culture at its best.

This home, built in the 1970s, brings together distinctive cedar timber panelling, soaring raked ceilings, and a charming hodge-podge of salvaged furniture and treasured pieces – including an upright piano from Laura’s childhood, and Michael’s much loved surfboard collection.

 

1st February, 2017

The main living area features a hard-‘rubbish’ coffee table picked up in Barwon Heads, and rug gifted from Laura’s mum. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

An old carport has been converted into a second living area with cosy window seat. The Akari Lamp by Isamu Noguchi. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The clouds painting is by Mike’s sister Astrid, and the hanging cane chair was a gift from his parents. ‘I think they got it for their engagement, it was under our family house for 30 years!’ tells Mike. ‘I put it up, so Laura is always nervous to sit in it – she still doesn’t believe I used to be a carpenter…’ Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining and kitchen area. ‘I’ve always wanted one of those retro Smeg fridges,’ mentions Mike. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Mike bartered for the kitchen bench (which at first wasn’t for sale) at a potato farm in Portarlington (!!) and later restored it. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Laura, Mike and their dog Rupert, which is a Lagotto, an Italian truffle hunting dog. ‘He certainly likes digging, although he hasn’t found us any truffles for us….!’ Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The entry to the home, including  Bitossi Ceramics from Laura’s collection, Tab Lamp by Flos, limited edition art print by Carla FletcherPhoto – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The guest bedroom, with Palm Springs photograph by Kate Ballis. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The back deck and entertaining area, with a retro cane esky that gets lots of use! Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

‘It’s nice to have a backyard, as we don’t have much of one in Princess Hill,’ says Laura. ‘We try to spend time outside when down at Lonnie, gardening and just pottering around.’ Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 1st February 2017

So, I got this email a few months ago from a Michael McCormack. He was inviting me to check out his Point Lonsdale beach house. Michael is a builder and property developer, he’s a co-director and founder of Milieu – who build particularly considered and beautiful boutique developments in Melbourne’s inner Northern suburbs. I’d heard of Milieu (which was founded in 2010) and seen some of their impressive projects around town… and so in my mind, Michael McCormack was a 50+ man who drives a new model Mercedes, and his beachhouse, I presumed, would be a shiny architectural masterpiece.

WRONG on all counts. Michael McCormack is in his thirties. His partner, Laura, is an opera singer turned speech pathologist. Their beachhouse is a humble, rambling 1970’s pad, with distinctive cedar timber panelling, raked ceilings and a charming hodge-podge of salvaged furniture and treasured items – including an upright piano from Laura’s childhood, and Michael’s much loved surfboard collection. This is the quintessential, laid back Australian beach house, and much like the creative couple who live here, this place is disarmingly relaxed and unassuming.

Both Michael and Laura spent summer holidays growing up in Point Lonsdale, and have many happy memories here. Keen to buy in the area, the pair came across their home five years ago, after it had lingered on a local agents sales list for some time.

After moving in, Michael and Laura made a few basic updates and additions to their home. A dividing wall between the living space and kitchen was removed, and the kitchen updated simply, with the addition of a large industrial work bench and new appliances – ‘I’ve always wanted one of those retro Smeg fridges’ mentions Mike! The pair also replaced all the flooring, and painted throughout, but retained many original elements, such as the kitchen cabinetry.

Laura and Michael divide their time between their relaxed, beachside home and an apartment in Princes Hill in Melbourne. There’s still a lot on the ‘to do’ list here, but Michael and Laura are in no great hurry. ‘We still need to finish the laundry, and Mike wants to build a studio for work… however I suspect it’s for his surfboards!’ Laura mentions!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible Bells Beach home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts.

Homes

A Melbourne Family Home That Feels Like A Warm Embrace

With its warm, cosy feel, this Clifton Hill home is a true reflection of Rebecca Long, her children, and beloved late husband Tom.

Homes

A Slice Of Italy In Fitzroy’s Backstreets!

Situated around a lush communal courtyard is the Fitzroy family apartment of Amara Speechley and Cal Watson.

This Week

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.
Sasha Gattermayr
  2 hours ago

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
Amelia Barnes
  10 hours ago

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Similar Stories

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible Bells Beach home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts.

Homes

A Melbourne Family Home That Feels Like A Warm Embrace

With its warm, cosy feel, this Clifton Hill home is a true reflection of Rebecca Long, her children, and beloved late husband Tom.

Homes

A Slice Of Italy In Fitzroy’s Backstreets!

Situated around a lush communal courtyard is the Fitzroy family apartment of Amara Speechley and Cal Watson.

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.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.