With a career spanning 20 years, Derek Swalwell is one of Australia’s most esteemed photographers. Admired for capturing some of the world’s most spectacular architecturally designed buildings, Derek is fascinated by architecture and the built environment, both in Australia and abroad.
It stands to reason then, that Derek and his wife Georgia Young would collaborate with recognised Australian architecture firm (and long-term clients) Kennedy Nolan to renovate their own 1960s bungalow in Elsternwick.
After purchasing the property four years ago, the original ‘orange brick veneer’ house has been updated to reflect the lives and aesthetics of the new owners. Derek explains ‘I guess it’s a representation of us and our tastes – retro, as well as modern, and very functional for our family.’
The renovations included a new concrete slab being poured to extend the footprint of the home, which allowed for the addition of an expansive contemporary kitchen and dining space. With a versatile L-shaped layout, the new floorplan envelops the garden, ensuring leafy views from every room.
The bright openness of this home feels particularly appropriate for a photographer who has been consistently engaged in capturing the quality of light in his work, and Georgia’s styling talents are apparent in every room. The house balances robust, solid materials – bricks, concrete and solid timber – with a playful, bright colour plate. ‘It feels cosy, but solid,’ Derek concludes, which sounds like a perfect family home to us!