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

News

Ring In The New Year With A Massive DOMO Sale!

DOMO are bringing in the new year with up to 50% off major international brands.
Sponsored

Food

Julia's Herby Prawn Mayo Sandwiches

Julia Busuttil Nishimura serves up the ultimate summer sanga. YUM!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Homes

The Top Five Apartments Of 2021!

From a tree-top art deco flat filled to an interior designer’s personalised Bondi pad, these are our favourite apartments of the year!

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!
Amelia Barnes
  19 hours ago

Food

The Tastiest Recipes Of 2021

From savoury galettes to triple tiered vanilla sponges with craem and lemon curd, these are our five most popular recipes of last year.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

Tiny Homes

The Most Inspiring Tiny Homes Of 2021

From converted shipping containers to prefabricated dwellings available for purchase, these were our favourite tiny houses of 2021.

Architecture

9 Outrageously Beautiful Australian Coastal Homes

From humble shacks, to architectural masterpieces, these are our favourite beachside homes of 2021!

Gardens

Heide Museum’s Enchanting New Healing Garden

Heide Museum of Modern Art opens a new healing garden – a therapeutic space to benefit the mind, soul, and body.

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Creative People

Seven Standout Emerging Creatives of 2021

Discovering talented new creatives is our favourite thing we do – here are the artists, designers and makers who got us talking in 2021.

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Stays

The Most Dreamy Getaway Spots Of 2021

From beach shacks on Stradbroke Island to a Blue Mountains weekender that floats among the clouds, these are the hottest holiday spots of la...

Homes

Designer Anna Spiro’s Heavenly Island Home

The celebrated interior designer shares her relaxed yet luxurious Minjerribah/North Stradbroke holiday house.

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

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

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Food

The Tastiest Recipes Of 2021

From savoury galettes to triple tiered vanilla sponges with craem and lemon curd, these are our five most popular recipes of last year.

Homes

Designer Anna Spiro’s Heavenly Island Home

The celebrated interior designer shares her relaxed yet luxurious Minjerribah/North Stradbroke holiday house.

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!
Amelia Barnes
  19 hours ago

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

Tiny Homes

The Most Inspiring Tiny Homes Of 2021

From converted shipping containers to prefabricated dwellings available for purchase, these were our favourite tiny houses of 2021.

Architecture

9 Outrageously Beautiful Australian Coastal Homes

From humble shacks, to architectural masterpieces, these are our favourite beachside homes of 2021!

Food

Julia's Herby Prawn Mayo Sandwiches

Julia Busuttil Nishimura serves up the ultimate summer sanga. YUM!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Gardens

Heide Museum’s Enchanting New Healing Garden

Heide Museum of Modern Art opens a new healing garden – a therapeutic space to benefit the mind, soul, and body.

News

Ring In The New Year With A Massive DOMO Sale!

DOMO are bringing in the new year with up to 50% off major international brands.
Sponsored

Stays

The Most Dreamy Getaway Spots Of 2021

From beach shacks on Stradbroke Island to a Blue Mountains weekender that floats among the clouds, these are the hottest holiday spots of la...

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Creative People

Seven Standout Emerging Creatives of 2021

Discovering talented new creatives is our favourite thing we do – here are the artists, designers and makers who got us talking in 2021.

Homes

The Top Five Apartments Of 2021!

From a tree-top art deco flat filled to an interior designer’s personalised Bondi pad, these are our favourite apartments of the year!

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.