A Hidden, Architectural Dream Home In Elsternwick

We visit a LOT of beautiful homes… but some really are *extra* special. The Burrows family home is one of those memorable houses that leaves a lasting impression, even after just one visit. This incredible family pad truly is a DREAM HOME.

This architecturally designed home, nestled amongst enveloping gardens, is something of a hidden gem. Built in an unexpected spot on the site of a former tennis court in Elsternwick, its bold, contemporary design captures the uncompromising aesthetic of owners, fashion designer Dana Burrows and architect Graham Burrows; as well as providing a relaxed, versatile base for their teenage daughters, Camilla and Sienna.


Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

The Elsternick home of Graham and Dana Burrows, their two daughters and two dogs. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The dream family home was designed by Graham, an architect and founding partner at Jackson Clements Burrows Architects. Photo – Eve Wilson.

A hidden glass skylight allows the kitchen ‘box’ to float off the main building. Arco Slim Dining Table with Marcel Breuer’s Cesca Chairs with arms. ‘My parents bought the chairs designed in 1928 in the 1970s and I grew up with them, we recently restored them and they are a true testament that good design doesn’t age’, Dana says! Photo – Eve Wilson.

The living room, which makes the most of the lush garden, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Limited edition black stained Eames classic lounge and ottoman from Living Edge – a favourite piece Dana bought for Graham for his 40th birthday. The coffee table was given to the couple by Dana’s sister for their wedding 18 years ago! Photo – Eve Wilson.

The dining nook at the end of the kitchen, a favourite breakfast spot. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The living room opens up to an internal courtyard. Photo – Eve Wilson.

A secret door clad in larch timber allows the kitchen to be concealed. Gubi’s Mategot Trolley (designed in 1953!) is from Luke Furniture. Photo – Eve Wilson.

This Matthew Johnson painting and rug by Loom add vibrancy to a soft internal palette in the main living room. Claudia Lau vases from Modern Times. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The den. Bend Sofa by Patricia Urquiola (B&B Italia) and Psiche Tall Mirror designed by Antonio Citterio for Maxalto both from Space Furniture, Muuto Around side table from Luke Furniture, Artemide Tolomeo Lamp. The image above the sofa is by John Gollings of St Kilda Promenade, one of Graham’s favourite projects. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Dana is the creative director and owner of silk wardrobe-essentials label, Banded Together. She’s wearing her custom designed Foulard Print silk shirt and pants. xJust visible is one of Dana’s most prized possessions, a silk rug from Loom made from recycled silk saris. ‘Our beautiful ornamental pistachio tree was only a metre tall when we planted it a few years ago’, Dana says of their impressive internal courtyard greenery. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The living room, looking back towards the kitchen. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Master bedroom. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Master bedroom. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Master bedroom. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The study, where a lot of Dana’s design work for Banded Together is done. Banded Together’s custom designed prints hang with an Antique Persian silk rug and Showtime Barcelona Chair from Living Edge. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The family pool – so dreamy! Photo – Eve Wilson.

Lucy Feagins
4th of April 2018

After stumbling upon a vacant block of land in Elsternwick (formerly, the tennis court of a local school), Dana and Graham Burrows designed their home from the ground up. Despite the narrow street frontage (access to the house is along a 33m long and 3m wide driveway – cosy!) the opportunity to build a new home from a ‘clean landscape’ appealed to the couple, who ‘saw an opportunity for creating a hidden home immersed in a secret garden.’

Soon after acquiring the land, Graham immediately had a vision for ‘a layered and transparent home’. He and Dana wanted it to be a calm and reductive space,  one that embraced and embedded itself in the landscape. ‘In a sense, we were both clients and both co-creators’ Graham describes of the creative process. In the end, the project took about 3.5 years to design and build. All good things take time!

The house is informed by modernist aesthetics, and particularly references the home of Dana’s grandparents. ‘There are elements of this house that pay homage to that one both aesthetically, in the rectangular form, flat roof excessive windows, and the way the rooms flow into each other’. Dana explains ‘I wanted to feel the same in this house as I did in theirs as a child.’

With its sweeping windows, lush landscaping and internal courtyard, every room within the home is connected to the outdoors, and the eye is constantly drawn outside. Dana describes the interiors as ‘reductive in colour palette and excessive in texture’ – which could equally describe her own design approach. As the founder of boutique fashion label Banded Together, Dana spends a lot of time working from home, and her surroundings are an endless source of inspiration. ‘I spend a lot of time here, as its where I do a lot of the design work for my brand, and the home really fuels my imagination’ she says.

What is perhaps most distinctive about this home is a sense of quiet confidence. Each with their own discerning tastes, Dana and Graham have worked together to create a home that is highly considered, yet simple and understated. ‘We both very much believe in buying less and choosing well’ Dana reflects. ‘Every element of our home has some sort of significance and meaning’.

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