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

Enhancing The Past In Studley Park

Architecture

This mid-century home in Melbourne’s Studley Park was originally designed by influential Russian-born Australian architect Anatol Kagan – who was committed to designing buildings that had a positive impact on society. 

The 1950s family home has recently received a sympathetic, contemporary renovation from Kennedy Nolan, who refreshed the architectural beauty of the property, while rezoning the layout to reflect a contemporary mode of living. The aesthetics of the past, reformatted for modern life!

29th August, 2019

Welcome to the Kagan House, renovated by Kennedy Nolan, and built by Weiss Builders. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A 1950s kitchen retains its identity, but has enhanced connection to the garden outside. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

1950s post-war austerity colours shine in the kitchen. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

1950s windows, meet a contemporary couch. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Soft draping curtains are drawn back to reveal the leafy outdoors. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Muted tones will considered pops of colour in the living area. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A room with a view. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A cosy bedroom corner. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A relaxed window seat. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Mid-century aesthetics, with contemporary flow and zoning of spaces. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The renovation encourages new connections to the outdoors. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Looking stately, in Studley park. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Miriam McGarry
Thursday 29th August 2019

This renovation by Kennedy Nolan takes a gentle but decisive touch in transforming a historic home by architect Anatol Kagan in Studley Park, Kew. The owners of the 1950s home had a deep appreciation of the original architect’s vision, and valued the home’s architectural and historic value. However, having lived in the property for several years, they ‘were also aware of its eccentricities and limitations’ and were keen to match its nostalgic charm with contemporary liveability.

Kennedy Nolan approached this renovation with a desire to preserve the beauty of the original design, while also updating the space to reflect a contemporary mode of living. 

The first step for the architects was to research Anatol Kagan’s work, and then remove the additions that had changed the identity of the home over the years, ‘to reveal the original intention of the design.’ While the beauty of the home was something the clients and architects wished to retain, the layout was ‘eccentric and strangely inefficient.’ Kennedy Nolan carefully adapted the zoning and circulation, and increased the connection between the home and the garden. 

Aesthetically, the renovations took inspiration from Melbourne modernism, translated into a contemporary form. The colours, material and details capture the restrained mood of post-war austerity. The green kitchen offers a nod to the era of  ‘Mad Men’, while remaining firmly rooted in Melbourne now – a feat that earned The Kagan House a commendation in the 2019 Dulux Colour Awards. Interior elements, including the study shelving that was specified by the original commissioning Bell family were retained and restored. 

The final move was to emphasise the link between the indoor and outdoor spaces, without overriding the original 1950s design, which emphasised clearly delineated zones. At the front of the home, the terrace was expanded to create a welcoming space and a connection between the front yard and the home. The best of the past, re-configured for the now. 

This Week

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.

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

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

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!

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.

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.

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
Amelia Barnes
  4 hours ago

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

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....

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!

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

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

View Comments

Similar Stories

Modernist Australia

Could This Be Australia's Most Beautiful, Original Mid Century Home?

The Canberra residence Theo Bischoff built in 1969, for renowned Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne and her husband, astronomy professor Be...
Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs

Architecture

Making Mid-Century Modern Again

The rejuvenated 'Fig Tree Pocket' 60’s House by Bligh Graham Architects, in Brisbane.

Architecture

A Home That Balances Mid-Century And Modern

Hindley & Co architects bring mid-century design into the 21st century with elegance and restraint, in Newtown, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

This Week

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

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.
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....

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!

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.

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

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

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

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!

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

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

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...

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.

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
Amelia Barnes
  4 hours ago

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!

Similar Stories

Modernist Australia

Could This Be Australia's Most Beautiful, Original Mid Century Home?

The Canberra residence Theo Bischoff built in 1969, for a power couple of formidable minds.
Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs

Architecture

Making Mid-Century Modern Again

The rejuvenated 'Fig Tree Pocket' 60’s House by Bligh Graham Architects.

Architecture

A Home That Balances Mid-Century And Modern

Hindley & Co architects bring mid-century design into the 21st century with elegance and restraint, in Newtown, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

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.