The Self-Designed Home Of An Architect In South Melbourne

We talk a lot about warm, ‘light filled’ homes at TDF… but this property is designed as a true ode to light and landscape!

Self-professed ‘light obsessive’ interior architect Edwina Glenn and her husband, architect Edward Glenn re-designed this South Melbourne home in 2014. The couple transformed a wasp-filled, asbestos-laden ‘serviceable’ property, into a glowing family home they now share with Jack (7), Frances (4) and Maggie (2).

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

Bridget Bodenham ceramic and gold teapot. Lightbox artwork by Studio Osk. Small painting ‘Drowning and Swimmer (Tidal pool)’ by Ambrose Reisch from Edwina’s godmother, Stella Downer of Stella Downer Fine Art in Sydney. Mr. Kitly brass pepper mill. Criteria pair of glass mugs (left) and Cibi pair of glasses (right). Matchbox tray made by Ed in kindergarten, circa 1983! Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Custom oak and papercord dining chairs made by Arteveneta. Custom made laminate and brass table by Edwina Glenn. Italian brass pendant, circa 1960s, from Castorina and Co. Muuto Nerd stool from Surrounding Australia. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Large brass jug from The Hub General Store. Small brass jug borrowed from Edwina’s mum. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The living room. Artwork by Ben Sheers. Jardan Wilifred sofa upholstered in Westbury linen. The Supercool Williamsburg corduroy cushion. Vintage Arflex T-Line chair by Burkhard Vogtherr for Arflex 1984 purchased from Leonard Joel. Cassina Cicognino side table from Space Furniture. Maison Balzac throw. Rugs Carpets and Design ‘Cascade’ rug. Great Dane Furniture Moller Bench #63 coffee table in oak and natural paper cord. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

B&B Italia Harry Sofa by Antonio Citterio from Space Furniture. Normann Copenhagen Tablo table from Space Furniture. Alfie Pilot throw from Jardan. Aggregato Sospensione light from Artemide. Photograph by Natalie Jeffcott (left).  Vintage poster (right). Jardan charcoal cushion. Nest white linen cushsions. Third Drawer Down corn cob side table. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Edward and Edwina Glenn at home with Jack (7), Frances (4) and Maggie (2). Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Left: Landscape painting of Gretna, Tasmania by Alfred H. Cook. Isadora Vaughan ceramic from schoolhouse studios. Lego model of the Hogwarts Great Hall built by 7-year-old Jack Glenn! Right: Landscape painting by Andrew Smith from Olsen Gallery in Sydney. ‘Kangaroo Study Number 2’ by Joseph McGlennon from Michael Reid Gallery. Edwina’s treasured hand-cut crystal decanters and antique Art Noveau silver milk jug and sugar bowl, passed down from her grandmother. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A dream outdoor area! Angelucci butterfly chairs. Fatboy beanbag. Landscape design by Kate Seddon with the couple’s friend Luke from Elk Landscape Developments. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Custom Carrara marble and steel dining table designed by Ed and Edwina Glenn. Gian Franco basket chair from Feelgood Designs. Moooi floor lamp from Space Furniture.  Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Fred Ward side table circa 1930 from Geoffrey Hatty.  Custom bed by Edwina Glenn upholstered in Kvadrat Maharam. Linen from Bed Threads. Mr. Kitly paper vessel. Portrait by Ed’s dad Gordon Glenn. Tolomeo mini wall sconce from Artemide. Vintage glazed ceramic vase from Edwina’s grandmother. Lucy Folk clutch. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Finger painting artwork by Jack at kinder. Noah’s ark from Home and Abroad. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Paperboy wallpaper – ‘I bought rolls when I was pregnant with our first child 7 years ago and only just had the guts to finally install it!’ admits Edwina. May Gibbs x Kip and Co Wattle Babies sheet. Mustard Made ‘The Shorty’ locker from Mini Mosh in Byron Bay. Mr Kitly cushion. Miffy lamp from The Supercool. Min Pin artwork. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Interior Architect Edwina Glenn and her architect husband Edward Glenn purchased their South Melbourne home in 2011, and inherited a property infested with wasps, possums and asbestos! They adapted to life with an outdoor bathroom for a few years, before rebuilding from the ground-up in 2014.

The design for the new home was created by the creative pair, largely informed by a hand-drawn floor plan sketched by Edward. Edwina explains ‘we revisited the floorplans a numbers of times to ensure we made the most of the street frontage and orientation, but essentially came back to that preliminary sketch of Ed’s. I then focused on the internal joinery and finishes.’

The pair worked easily together, and Edwina explains ‘I understood the intent of his floorplans very quickly’ (the perks of working with your partner!). The new plans saw all but the front wall of the house knocked down, with a design that reoriented the home to capture the northerly aspects, and enjoy the walled garden.

First and foremost, though, the new design was all about capturing light. Edwina explains ‘we now wake up to easterly light streaming into our bedroom, but it is more important than just morning light. It is at every stage of the day, and then by night, our passion for lighting adds layers of theatre to everyday living.’

This theatricality is enhanced by the assemblage of furniture and artworks, and of course light fittings! Edwina swoons over the Italian brass pendant by Afran and Tobia Scarpa from Castorina & Co explains ‘frankly, I’d rather buy lighting than shoes.’ Other beloved items include the Artflex T-Line chair, and Kangaroo Study artwork by Joseph McGlennon.

While filled with stunning pieces, the house is no show room. Edwina describes their contemporary garden house as a ‘study in light and landscape, filled with things we love.’ The warm grey and white palette is enhanced with hints of marble, terrazzo and timber. She explains ‘by having a neutral colour scheme, I feel I can move objects freely’.

Edwina is a keen proponent of South Melbourne living, which combines a working class heritage with modern renewal. She highlights ‘there were certainly no lap pools here in the 1950s!’ It is very difficult to believe the family inherited the home in a derelict state, and transformed it into such a glowing gem!

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