Mid-Century Design Meets Modern Accessibility In Yarraville

The delicate balance of form and function is perfectly aligned in today’s family home in Yarraville.

Owners Claire and Hayden Halford live here with sons Owen and Ned, and cat Archie. The family worked with the team at Brave New Eco to transform the 1950’s house sensitively and sustainably, and make it wheelchair accessible for Owen. The result is a highly personalised and playful space, which works for the whole gang.


Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

The Yarraville family home of the Halford family. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

The kitchen underwent a transformation from bold 1950’s yellow and black, to a more muted green palette which perfectly complements the home’s mid-century roots. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Detailed joinery in the kitchen. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Kitchen details. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Vintage dining setting, Pop & Scott handcrafted pendant light. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Vintage dining setting, Pop & Scott handcrafted pendant light. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

A beautiful renovation consistent with the home’s mid-century roots. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Vintage kitsch and industrial objects find a home in the kitchen. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Love the paprika-coloured entry hall! Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Special objects on display. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

A home that isn’t afraid of colour! Photo – Emma Byrnes.

A colourful study nook. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

A distinctly retro colour palette. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Lounge room. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Retro styling meets modern convenience in the brand new, retro-inspired laundry! Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Retro styling meets modern convenience in the laundry! Photo – Emma Byrnes.

A bright and fresh bathroom. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Sweet details in the bedroom. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Kids’ bedroom detail. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Owners Claire and Hayden with sons Owen and Ned. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

The post-war brick bungalow exterior. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

The curved external wall of the post-war designed home. Photo – Emma Byrnes.

Lucy Feagins
29th of August 2018

Claire and Hayden Halford purchased their Yarraville home four years ago, after falling in love with the retro-feel of the property. They were charmed by the pelmets, plaster work, light fittings and floor boards – but the original floorplan needed a little work to accomodate modern family life. Working with interior design firm Brave New Eco, the family reconfigured the home, turning a pokey 1950’s layout into the perfect functional family home – without sacrificing any of that mid century magic!

A key outcome of the renovation process was to improve the accessibility of the house for son Owen, who uses a wheelchair. Claire describes how the renovations have improved everyone’s experience of living in the house, as ramps, accessible showers and widened doorways make the space more comfortable for the whole family.

Megan Norgate of Brave New Eco describes the design process as ‘optimistic, nostalgic and playful’ explaining that the finished home speaks volumes of the ‘character, tenacity and good taste of the people that inhabit it.’

The materials of the original residence were key factors in the colours and finishes selected for the renovation. Existing sandstone paving and peachy bricks now meet muted sage greens, buttery yellows and even punchy paprika hues, whilst chocolate brown floor tiles in a distinctive herringbone configuration offer a clever balance between mid century style and current trends.

Claire describes their style as ‘eclectic, practical and sentimental’ which is evident in the family’s delightful assortment of kitsch collectables. Her late father’s metal and woodwork pieces hold a special place in the home, displayed alongside other pre-loved treasures the couple have collected over the years.  ‘It’s important not to take it too seriously’ Claire advises, ‘just surround yourself with things that make you feel good.’

One particularly stunning aspect of this renovation is the ‘pool’ inspired bathroom, where various soft blue tiles create a mosaic, the sleek curved edge of a custom-made vanity unit allows a wheelchair to tuck in neatly, and brass taps lend the perfect finishing touch. Like all rooms in the house, the bathroom combines joyful colour, accessibility and clever design to produce a space which is both functional and beautiful.

There’s a lot to love about this vibrant, personality-filled home, ‘We hope that we’ve been able to respect the past and build a solid foundation for a new future, which includes a sustainable, contemporary ethos’ says Claire. We think they’ve pretty much nailed it! This is such an excellent example of how thoughtful design can produce uniquely beautiful, environmentally sensitive, and inclusive spaces for everyone to feel at home in.

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