The Brightest Bungalow

Often, home renovations are about stripping back a former life – removing previous owners’ colour schemes, and recreating the space without the aqua carpet or purple walls. But when you inherit a Kennedy Nolan home – the task shifts to embracing the past, and, in this case, continuing a bold exploration of colour.

Doherty Design Studio are responsible for an inspired design response for this 1920s Californian bungalow that is both vibrant and sophisticated, incorporating every arc of the rainbow.

Miriam McGarry

The St Kilda bungalow renovated by Doherty Design Studio. Photo – Derek Swalwell

The bold red room divide was an existing feature, and helped to inform the design direction. Photo – Derek Swalwell

The home combines quiet corners and colourful pops. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Kitchen details. Photo – Derek Swalwell

A rainbow window reflected in a clever rug addition. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Circular elements are echoed in the living moss installation on the wall. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Welcome to the red room. Photo – Derek Swalwell

The new bathroom is inspired by the pre-existing orange and blue bathrooms in style and tile design. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Miriam McGarry
25th of July 2019

The design brief for transforming this 1920s Californian bungalow was to maintain and revitalise the vibrant, colourful nature of the previous Kennedy Nolan renovation, whilst re-working the living area, kitchen, entry, bathroom and laundry. Mardi Doherty of Doherty Design Studio explains ‘rather than shunning the home’s colourful past, our design response was to heartily embrace these elements.’The re-design creates a balance between spaces and joinery that echoes the boldness of the original, colourful renovation, and quieter areas of relaxation and subdued tones.

The existing glossy red room divide on the ground floor was the key-pin in informing a bright and bold design response. But while colour reigns supreme, it is clever material choices that bring this rainbow together! Mardi describes how the bungalow is updated with a ‘robust and daring mix of materials; black steel, oversized terrazzo, marble, Corian, fluted glass, polished plaster and mosaic tiles.’

The new upstairs bathroom echoes the scale and graphic qualities of the retained orange and blue bathrooms, but here is realised in white mosaics, against bright blue grout. The raised ceiling and curbed corners in the shower recess create further graphic appeal and sense of space. An elegant update that references the heritage of the home.

The living and dining room is fitted out with vintage furniture and new accessories, bringing further pops of colour with orange chairs, a magenta stool, and patterned rug that reflects the tones in the nearby rainbow window.

Though it makes a bold statement, in fact, the success of this project lies in its respectful celebration of a previous renovation. A clever, vibrant interior treatment that shows just how transformative colour can be!

Latest Stories

Recent Interiors