Andy and Lisa Montgomery

Today we visit a home in Perth that we’re pretty confident is the only home we’ve ever come across with a two-level scooter gallery in the living area. Yes, you heard right! Home to Andy and Lisa Montgomery, their daughter Audrey and Irish Setters Finley and Fleur, it’s a quirky addition that fully embraces their passions and family life. The home has also just recently picked up a commendation at the AIA WA Chapter Awards, in the Residential Alterations and Additions category. 

Our Perth contributors Anna Flanders and Jack Lovel recently visited the family to talk about their unique renovation and peruse the amazing Vespa collection!

Anna Flanders
Supported by Dulux

‘We love relaxing with Audrey and the dogs by the pool – the salt water makes the experience so much nicer. We also love the colour of the pool (Black Pearl) because it reminds us more of fresh water lakes and rivers than ocean. The balance of paving and grass means we can have fun, run around and play games,’ says Lisa. ‘And that’s Finley in the picture – he swims in the pool and likes to cool down by lying on the top step. Fleur is not so keen!’ Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

A salt-water pool (Bluewater Pools) was one of those essential inclusions for Lisa and Andy Montgomery in their quest to combat Perth’s summer heat. The back of the house is a strong line of Gertrudis Brown from Bowral Bricks in Sydney, while the window frames are Cedar from Cedar West. Andy and Lisa made the outdoor table from an old frame and new marble top. The Turkish towels are from Remedy  and the blow-up Cactus is from Urban Depot. Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

The family use this seating area daily, particularly in the evenings in summer,’ says Lisa. The paving is granite bluestone by Bernini Stone & Tiles in Subiaco, which contrasts beautifully with the cedar. Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

Burnished concrete flooring, berber rug from Temple Fine Rugs, most furniture from The General Store, indoor plants and pots from Let it Grow Co and Areaware gold turtle is from Andy’s store, Urban Depot. Shelving unit was designed by Andy and Lisa and built by Alternative Kitchens, to accommodate the couple’s vinyl collection and record player, while the Project 2 Experience turntable and Kef LS50 speakers are from Urban Records. Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

Much of the family’s furniture is from The General Store, while the coffee table is an original mid-century Hans J Wegner for Andreas Tuck coffee table from Angelucci 20th Century in Melbourne. It’s one of the family’s most prized possessions, along with the Vespa GS 150 (1959), Vespa GS 160 (1962) and Lambretta T 175 Series 2 (1959). Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

The family spends a lot of time in this area and loves the light that comes in throughout the day. The walls here are painted in Dulux Whisper White, and the Sketch bench seat is from OopenspacePhoto – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

‘The kitchen is very practical – we love the galley layout. We also love the marble bench top. It’s already getting a bit ‘distressed’, which we like as we want it to be a living and breathing kitchen, not a show kitchen.’ says Lisa. Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

‘Our brief for the kitchen was open-plan, but not too fussy. We wanted a fun and functional space, and a modern and easy kitchen that was an integrated part of the living space,’ explains Lisa. Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

Accessories throughout the home add fun and colour to soften the interior, and add a warmth and relaxed feel. The dinosaur bottle opener is from Remedy, and the green pot from Urban Depot. The pot and plant in the background are from Let It Grow CoPhoto – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

The bathroom is in part of the old dining room of the original house. The stained glass window was revamped when the couple first moved in, and they decided to keep it when the dining room was morphed into the bathroom. ‘We love the effect it has in the bathroom and it reminds us of the old house,’ says Lisa. Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

Audrey’s room is at the front of the house in an original bedroom. The walls are in Dulux Whisper White,  rug and Miffy lamp are from Urban Depot and the bedding from RemedyPhoto – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

Anna Flanders
28th of June 2017

Andy and Lisa  Montgomery had been living just five minutes away, when the original house on this block came up for sale. ‘We weren’t actively looking,’ says Lisa, ‘but we knew our beloved terrace wouldn’t suit our needs forever.’ At the time it was 2005, so their daughter Audrey hadn’t been born, the dogs weren’t on the scene, and Perth’s mining boom hadn’t yet sent house prices soaring. It was great timing.

The home is nestled into a leafy, multicultural pocket of Perth that’s central to North Perth, Leederville, Northbridge and Mount Lawley. From here, the couple can walk or ride their scooters or bikes to parks, Lake Monger and the busy eat streets of those surrounding suburbs. Conveniently, Andy’s shop, the much-loved Urban Records and Urban Depot, is in Oxford Street, Leederville, so also just an easy ride away, while at the time of purchase Lisa had an office nearby (though today she works in the city).

The original house had been a three-bedroom, one-bathroom character home with a 20-year-old kitchen renovation, all set on 500-square-metres. Andy and Lisa lived in it that way for 10 years, welcoming Finley and Fleur the Irish Setters (now eight) and Audrey their daughter (now three-and-a-half years) into their lives during that time. With the house starting to burst at the seams, a few years ago it was time to move out and renovate.

The pair wanted a semi-industrial feel, but were keen to retain the warmth and welcoming vibe of the original cottage. Having seen the work of Klopper & Davis Architects (KADA), Andy and Lisa knew they were the studio to bring their vision to life. What they didn’t know, however, was how far they would take it.

‘We loved their aesthetic – it’s mid-century inspired, and warm materials and palettes that just feel very comfortable,’ says Lisa. ‘Sam Klopper came back with a concept design that was completely different to anything we had ever envisaged. It put the vintage Vespas and Lambrettas front and centre in the living space – like artworks. We loved the idea!’

‘Bikes and music have always been my passion,’ says Andy. ‘I started collecting in 2000 and am quite discerning. I source rare and unique bikes from around the world that I restore in my workshop and add to my collection’.

The new design retained the front of the original home – the three bedrooms were retained in full, while the original dining room was sectioned up to create a walk-in-robe for the main bedroom, and a new bathroom. The rest of the house and its outhouses were knocked down and levels across the site changed to accommodate a new study, combined kitchen/living/dining area with scooter gallery, outdoor entertaining area to the North, pool on the Eastern side and a scooter workshop, spare bedroom, second bathroom and laundry tucked underneath the new part of the house. ‘We had a great team that we could trust and work closely and collaboratively with,’ says Lisa. ‘We were involved in the concept design, working with Sam and the team, while Andy was very hands-on with our builder, Danny of Saxon Construction.’

One of the tricky elements of the design was working out the best way to raise and lower the scooters from the basement workshop and onto two super-strength ‘shelves’ in the living area. While they toyed with different options, Andy remembered a contact of his had access to an old brick lift, so that was brought in and modified for its purpose.

The scooter gallery wall and lift have given a unique edge to the family home, while adding some unexpected colour to the living space. Surprisingly, the Vespas and Lambrettas live happily and easily alongside mid-century furniture and quirky objects from Andy’s store – once you get over the shock, it all feels quite normal!

‘The house functions so well and brings us all together,’ says Lisa. ‘The living, dining and kitchen space is seamless, especially when entertaining; the study is just the other side of the kitchen, so very integrated into everyday living, whether for our home office or a homework station for Audrey; and we were conscious of making sure the scooter workshop could be used for something else – an entertainment room, a studio or a kids’ zone – particularly if we ever decided to sell the house… which is unlikely – we consider this our forever house!’

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