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Fine And Dandy In Dandenong!

Homes

The suburb of Dandenong, around 30km South East of Melbourne isn’t one that often jumps up in the ‘hottest properties’ lists online. But for PR guru Jade Roberts of raraPR, the location offered a dreamy mid-century home that aligned with her budget and wish-list. A good lesson in trawling online to find hidden gems!

Jade shares this renovated home with husband Wes and their three daughters Edith (7), Rose (5) and Mae (3), and two cockerbull dogs Bobby and Disco.

14th August, 2019

The gorgeous Lounge room. Floor cushion, coffee table and white pots by Pop and Scott. Beacon Lighting ceiling light. Lounge suite 1960s Tessa, bought by Wes for $50 during the couple’s uni days. Amy Leeworthy vase. Esenar window furnishings. Art print by Jade (‘These are all around my house and are usually an abstract version of what’s out the window. It’s just a bit of fun’, says Jade). Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Front door/entrance hallway. Pot by Pop and Scott. Wall unit by Ikea. Family heirloom telephone seat. ‘The Alchemist’ artwork by Carla Fletcher. ‘This original piece immediately ensures that upon entering, you know you’re in an Australian home’, says Jade. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Jade (founder/director of raraPR), husband Wes (a land surveyor), Edith (7), Rose (5), and Mae (3) outside their family home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lounge room. Floor cushion, coffee table and white pots by Pop and Scott. Beacon Lighting ceiling light. Lounge suite 1960s Tessa, bought by Wes for $50 during the couple’s uni days. Amy Leeworthy vase. Esenar window furnishings. Art print by Jade (‘These are all around my house and are usually an abstract version of what’s out the window. It’s just a bit of fun’, says Jade). Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

This open shelving unit helps break up an otherwise blank wall. Layers of greenery placed by Jade, tended to by Wes! Ceramic pots by Wingnut and Co. Assortment of ceramic and clay plates by Benna Co. Original acrylic painting on second shelf by Lennon and Birdie. Clock by Established & SonsSlim Aaronsart print on top shelf. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The dining area. This used to be an outdated built-in 70s bar with dark-yellow wood, a small serving window and wine racks. Wes and Jade pulled out the bar and knocked out a wall but kept as much of the original joinery as they could. They freshened it up with paint (Dulux Natural White) and put a built-in seat where the fridge was. The kitchen, dining and living room are now connected but still have their own defined place. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Wireless radio that once belonged to Wes’s grandmother, it takes pride of place in the living room. White pot by Pop and Scott. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The dining area. Beacon Lighting ceiling light. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A selection of the couple’s bits and bobs. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The kitchen (which used to be a small, dark dining room!). Wes and Jade opened up the walls, repainted in Dulux Natural White, replaced the chipboard flooring with recycled timber flooring and then built the kitchen. Ceiling light from Beacon Lighting. Fridge from Smeg. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Edith’s room. Wall hanging by Little Indigo (bought by Jade’s sister from a local artist in her country town, who turned out to be Jade’s oldest, best friend’s auntie! Serendipity!). Jade’s own old desk. Flower press given to Jade by her mum, at Edith’s age. Wooden pencil case handmade for Jade as a child by her uncle. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rose’s room. Mustard cushion by Kip and Co. Vintage bedside table. Middle of Nowhere Lama print from Life Interiors. ‘Rose is very attached to a soft lama toy. It is so loved, we’ve had to replace it several times. I bought this print in preparation for the day a replacement can’t be found’, Jade says! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Living area/fireplace. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Master bedroom. ‘We added panelling to an otherwise underwhelming room. It feels more like a main bedroom now’, tells Jade. Window furnishing by Esenar. Cushion by Pampa. Print from Hunting for George. Bedding from I Love Linen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Master bedroom. Rainbows on wall by Lennon and Birdie. Ceramic pot that once belonged to Jade’s grandma. Mustard Made bedside table. Speckled cushion from Ivy Muse. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The gorgeous Dandenong home of raraPR‘s founder and director Jade Roberts, husband Wes, and girls Edith (7), Rose (5) and Mae (3). The home was originally built in 1960 by a local builder who built many of the homes in and around the area which still exist today. This was his personal, family home. There is a smaller twin house next door, which he built for his son. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 14th August 2019

‘A mid-century home with a curation of hand crafted objects’ – Jade Roberts.

Jade Roberts of PR-led digital agency raraPR and her family moved into their home in Dandenong in 2013, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the team began their renovations. Jade explains that the 1960s home had undergone some previous upgrades, and had touches of the ‘60s, 70s, 80s and 90s throughout!’ Keen to avoid this pick-your-own-decade-adventure-aesthetic, the family updated the home to ‘harmonise everything aesthetically, while creating an open plan living area where we could all be together’.

Aesthetic changes included repainting the interiors from their original green and yellow (!) to a fresh Dulux Natural White, and swapping blue carpet to a neutral tone. Structural renovations involved relocating the kitchen to create an extra bedroom, and an open plan living space. Jade explains ‘the kitchen moved to an outdated dining area at the back of the house. We were able to open up that dining area, remove some nibs and connect it to a rumpus/bar, which is now our living and dining.’ Sadly, the aging 70s bar had to go, but the family kept much of the original joinery to create a new dining area and nook.

Jade explains that her background in fashion and retail PR has provided her with a ‘life-long passion for thoughtfully designed and made things.’ She highlights how this interest has matured into a love of interior design, art and architecture – which has been shaped by her friendship with Rhiannon Orr from Design Orr Build who ‘unofficially guided me from the sidelines.’ Incredibly helpful, as Jade reveals that the renovations were completed while parenting a one year old, pregnant with their second child and running a business with a team from home. Phew!

When we asked Jade for her favourite pieces in the home… we received quite a long list! Highlights include the Anchor Ceramics pots, Kara Rosenlund Landscape Mountain print (a daily reminder of making time for outdoors goodness) and the retro radio wireless. Jade highlights ‘with a restricted furniture budget over the years, we’ve had stages of too much retro furniture all at once…. at the risk of ‘grandma kitsch’ we’ve kept this piece.’

Jade describes her much loved home as ‘mid-century… with a curation of handcrafted objects.’ Imbued with warmth, and decorated with an elegant collection of favourite collected objects, this family home perfectly balances a sense of nostalgia with contemporary design and sleek minimalism.

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