When Emma Abrahams (of Heart of Bone) and husband Justin (of Pedla) purchased their Studley Park home in 2002, it hadn’t been lived in for some time. The house was originally designed for a family of five by architect Alan Synman in 1970, and Emma explains ‘we lived in it for a while with all the multicolour shagpile carpets and bespoke 70s wallpapers.’ While it is difficult to imagine this minimal home ever being filled with wild and wonderful colours and textures, Emma confirms ‘we had a few crazy parties here in those days.’
After a year of shagpile under the feet, Emma and Justin engaged architects Coy Yiontis to renovate their home, and bring the aesthetic a little more in line with the couple’s own style. Emma explains that ‘most of the works we did were cosmetic’, but the major work was in gutting the middle of the home, to create an open plan kitchen and living space with a cosy fire. In the backyard, the pool and landscaping were given a new lease on life, and two enormous palm trees (wedding gifts from friends) were made right at home.
With two creative directors at the helm, Emma admits there were some robust discussions over the colour palette of the home. ‘I wanted the house in all black tones and Justin wanted all white.’ Justin won (‘this time’ Emma notes!) and the interiors of the home are painted in Dulux ¼-strength Berkshire White.
Against these bright white walls, the family have created a contemporary, fun Miami beach vibe. Emma highlights the 18th century Venetian chaise-lounge from Justin’s flamboyant grandmother as a favourite piece. Originally upholstered in ‘hot pink velvet’, the chair has now been refurbished to fit into the family’s sleek aesthetic.
For Emma and Justin, the Studley park location is perfectly positioned near both of their Collingwood offices, and provides great walking tracks for their German Shepherd. Emma highlights ‘the streets are quiet enough for the kids to ride and scooter around, and the garden faces west so its filled with beautiful warm afternoon light.’ While Melbourne weather can’t quite match Miami’s, the pool, tropical plants and bright interiors definitely make this home feel like an eternal holiday!