This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Happily-Ever-After In The Storybook House

Architecture

A ‘storybook house’ is an architectural style that was popular in the 1920s in the UK and USA, that captures a sense of playfulness and individuality. While there are no definitive features of this ‘style’ – picture a home from your favourite childhood book, and you’ve got the general vibe.

For Tim Wilson, Director of Folk Architects, creating a storybook house in modern Melbourne meant delivering a home that would ‘transcend architectural conventions to achieve something entirely new.’ Within a small footprint, the pragmatic design approach is surprisingly packed with function whilst maintaining a sense of clarity, calmness and a generosity of space.

The Storybook House in Melbourne’s inner north delivers a magical outcome!

24th June, 2019

Welcome to the Storybook House by Folk Architects. Photo – Tom Blachford.

White and cream terracotta tiling clad the renovated Victorian terrace. Photo – Tom Blachford.

No space is wasted in the home, the couch conceals storage underneath. Photo – Tom Blachford.

Inspired by Japanese designers, Folk Architects cleverly utilise every corner of space. Photo – Tom Blachford.

A desk with a view. Photo – Tom Blachford.

From bathroom to courtyard in one easy step. Photo – Tom Blachford.

Bathroom details of minimal luxe materials. Photo – Tom Blachford.

Master bedroom opens out to a sunny nook. Photo – Tom Blachford.

Miriam McGarry
Monday 24th June 2019

The brief to Folk Architects was to adapt a typical Victorian-era terrace house and create open plan living areas, an additional bedroom, and welcome in more natural light. Director of Folk Architects Tim Wilson describes how the renovation was designed to frame views and create open garden spaces, ‘including internal courtyards, a roof garden, and borrowing the landscape from the adjacent park and outlook to Melbourne’s skyline.’

The site for the renovation was limited, and Tim explains how this informed the design approach of fitting ‘as much program and amenity as possible into the small building footprint.’ Every millimetre of space has been thoughtfully considered, and ‘no single plane or surface is underutilised.’ The balustrade to the upper level also functions as a built-in desk and study, and concealed services and storage create a deceptive sense of space. A secret laundry chute is hidden under a trapdoor in the master bedroom, which delivers clothes straight to the laundry below!

The external material palette of white and cream terracotta tile cladding is respectful of the surrounding neighbourhood in its subdued tones and traditional pitched tile roof form, and the textured outside also offers a gentle reference to the unusual roof forms of storybook houses. The architects also reference Japanese design as a key influence for this project, providing examples of using space efficiently and functional details that add to their daily lives.

The success of the home is reflected in the endorsement of the owners who enthuses, ‘having only just spent a few magical nights in the house, we know it was worth all the considerations, deliberations and details.’ A fairy tale ending!

This Week

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!
Sasha Gattermayr
  7 hours ago

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.
Sasha Gattermayr
  15 hours ago

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Thoroughly Tactile Terrace

Bringing new light and life to a narrow North Fitzroy home, with Olaver Architecture.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Transformed Victorian Terrace

Designing a renovation from the inside out, by Melbourne based architects studiofour.

Architecture

A Little Home With A Long Life

Twenty years after renovating this Redfern property, architect Joe Agius shares the long-term success of his house.

This Week

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!
Sasha Gattermayr
  7 hours ago
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.
Sasha Gattermayr
  15 hours ago

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Thoroughly Tactile Terrace

Bringing new light and life to a narrow North Fitzroy home, with Olaver Architecture.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Transformed Victorian Terrace

Designing a renovation from the inside out, by Melbourne based architects studiofour.

Architecture

A Little Home With A Long Life

Twenty years after renovating this Redfern property, architect Joe Agius shares the long-term success of his house.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.