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

A 1980s Beachside Brick Home Gets A Dreamy Renovation

Homes

An 1980s brown brick home doesn’t necessarily jump out as an interior designer’s dream home… but Alex Bennett could see the potential in this Suffolk Park property.

With help from Those Architects, this home was gutted, reworked and extended to create the perfect beachside sanctuary for Alex and her two young children, Parker and Scout.

9th October, 2019

The Suffolk Park home of Alex Bennett, renovated by Those Architects with builder Todd Knaus Constructions. Togo sofa from Domo. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sculpture by Den Holm. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Alex and Scout at home. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Outdoor table and benches by Eco Outdoor. Indoor chairs by chairs by Something Beginning With. Dining table by Pop and Scott. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Joinery by Woodrabbit Kitchens. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Dining table by Pop and Scott, chairs by Something Beginning With, wall planter by Unearthed Garden. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

MCM house lounge, artwork by Karla Rose. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vintage lamp, sofa from Pop and Scott. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Living room detail, with artwork by Karla Rose. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artworks by Bobby Clark, dining table by Pop and Scott, chairs from Something Beginning With. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pampa wool rug, vintage marble table from Gumtree, op shop vase and ashtray, incense holder by Pampa. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Tree recycled from a local plant nursery. Pot from Pop and Scott. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Le Bambole vintage sofa, artwork by Lily Nicholson. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Wall hanging by Dharma Door, wool runner from Pampa. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Linen bedding by Deiji Studios, artwork by Pampa. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Travertine side tables from En-Gold, vessels from Mel Lumb. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 9th October 2019

‘We have filled the space with the works of local talented creatives’ – Alex Bennett.

Alex Bennett was eager to set up a home in Suffolk Park… so eager that she purchased this 1980s brick home and undertook serious renovations to make her dream location work. Alex explains ‘the entire original home was gutted, and 3 metres was chopped off the rear of the house.’  This full rebuild was coupled with Alex’s own interior design and styling input, to create a warm, contemporary and refined home.

The brief to Simon from Those Architects was for something solid, practical, and well laid out. The family wanted a big main living area and kitchen to hang out together in, and lots of natural light. Alex enthuses ‘we got all of this plus more!’

The architects retained the original external walls and tiled roof, but that was all that remained. The internal layout was completely reconsidered, and the doors and window positions were relocated to enhance the aspect and natural light. Once this initial work was complete, a second story extension was introduced.

Alex has brought her own touch to the interior styling, creating a ‘soft but solid’ feel, with a variety of textures and warm neutral tones. The home balances lots of open space with comfy nooks, and reflects the relaxed lifestyle of the family who live here. Alex describes ‘we have filled the space with the works of local talented creatives, which really enhances the warmth of the house.’ The soft, neutral palette is achieved through a mix of Dulux natural white on the internal walls and ceilings, vivid white on the doors and trims, and fair bianca externally.

While the resulting outcome is exactly what Alex dreamed of (and what we are now dreaming of!) it wasn’t without its bumps along the way. Adaptive reuse (rather than totally re-building from scratch) is an excellent environmental strategy, but can involve hidden costs and unexpected hurdles. Alex highlights ‘renovating rather than rebuilding was more costly and stressful than planned, as there were a lot of unknowns in the quality of the existing structure.’ But she emphasises that the outcome was worth it!

The calm and light filled home is located a street away from the beach, making it a favourite location for friends to drop in for an evening BBQ. The home’s new functionality and layout makes it the perfect spot for casual entertaining – Alex enthuses ‘it’s so nice having friends over, the adults can sit around and have a chat while the kids run and play on the grass.’ Living the Suffolk Park dream!

This Week

Homes

An Architecturally Superb Melbourne Home By Sean Godsell

The meticulously considered home of Mandy Wilton in South Yarra, renovated by Sean Godsell Architects.

News

Mark Your Calendars For Cult’s Massive Sale Of Designer Furniture

It’s the best time of the year to score huge savings on your favourite designer furniture pieces!
Sponsored

Gardens

An Abundant Biodynamic Flower Farm Guided By The Cycles Of The Moon

An inside look at Alchemilla in the foothills of Victoria's Otways, where Phoebe East cultivates her organic farm by the lunar cycles!
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Mid-Century Masterpiece Hits The Market In North Warrandyte

The ‘Wright House’ has been named as one of Robin Boyd's most iconic designs, and it's for sale for the first time in over a decade!
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Architect’s Own Tranquil, Terrazzo-Filled Home

Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze is the master of taking unremarkable homes and making them unique - including her own family home in Northco...

Architecture

Restoring A Mid-Century Apartment In Brisbane’s Famous Torbreck Building

A sympathetic renovation inside Brisbane’s heritage Torbreck building, brought back to life by Kin Architects and the owners.

Shopping

Bold + Funky Rugs From Local Creative, Objects By Kit

Melbourne designer Katie Ford launched her lockdown-inspired furniture business with a duo of funky rugs, designed to brighten up our living...
Christina Karras

Travel

Eleanor Pendleton’s Guide To The NSW Central Coast

The best places to eat, drink and shop according to Gritty Pretty founder, beauty influencer and Central Coast local, Eleanor Pendleton!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Chef Turned Ceramicist Claire Ellis’ Amazing, Experimental Practice

She got her start working as a chef at Attica, but has since developed a range of beautiful stoneware, with sustainability front of mind!
Christina Karras

News

‘Open Mess’ Brings Together Art And Food For A Good Cause

Attend an ‘art feast for good’, featuring Melbourne’s best foodies across the art and hospitality industries, to raise mon...
Christina Karras

At Home With Sheridan

Interior Designer Brahman Perera + Restaurateur Jason M Jones’ Luxe Melbourne Terrace

The West Melbourne home of interior designer Brahman Perera, styled with personal heirlooms and luxury Sheridan bedding.

Sustainable Homes

Two Sustainable Rental Properties In Melbourne’s Middle Ring

Bardolph Gardens by Breathe Architecture is an environmentally-sustainable and well-designed rental housing project in Melbourne's Glen Iris...

News

DOMO Opens A Luxurious New Sydney Flagship Showroom

Sydneysiders have a new design destination to explore – and it’s been curated to help you find your dream furniture!
Sponsored

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing a group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia!

Architecture

This New Northcote Home Takes Its Cues From Italian Villages

Think of West Bend House — a new Northcote home designed by MRTN Architects with Brave New Eco — as an ‘inhabited pathway,’ inspired...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Spectacular Spanish-Influenced Homestead In The Byron Hinterland

Emma and Tom Lane, co-owners of The Farm in Byron Bay, share their incredible family home – 'The Range'.

Shopping

Morocco Meets Byron Bay In This Modern Bohemian Wonderland

A virtual visit to the rug and artisanal object treasure trove that is Tigmi Trading.
Elle Murrell

Architecture

A House That Channels Modern Mediterranean, In Byron Bay

Those Architects transform an 80s brown-brick home in Byron Bay beyond recognition!
Miriam McGarry

This Week

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents: ‘Martumili Artists’

Introducing a group show in collaboration with the incredible Martumili Artists from Newman, Western Australia!

Architecture

An Architect’s Own Tranquil, Terrazzo-Filled Home

Melbourne architect Lisa Breeze is the master of taking unremarkable homes and making them unique - including her own family home in Northco...

News

Mark Your Calendars For Cult’s Massive Sale Of Designer Furniture

It’s the best time of the year to score huge savings on your favourite designer furniture pieces!
Sponsored

Architecture

This New Northcote Home Takes Its Cues From Italian Villages

Think of West Bend House — a new Northcote home designed by MRTN Architects with Brave New Eco — as an ‘inhabited pathway,’ inspired...

On The Market

A Mid-Century Masterpiece Hits The Market In North Warrandyte

The ‘Wright House’ has been named as one of Robin Boyd's most iconic designs, and it's for sale for the first time in over a decade!
Christina Karras

Gardens

An Abundant Biodynamic Flower Farm Guided By The Cycles Of The Moon

An inside look at Alchemilla in the foothills of Victoria's Otways, where Phoebe East cultivates her organic farm by the lunar cycles!
Christina Karras

Homes

An Architecturally Superb Melbourne Home By Sean Godsell

The meticulously considered home of Mandy Wilton in South Yarra, renovated by Sean Godsell Architects.

At Home With Sheridan

Interior Designer Brahman Perera + Restaurateur Jason M Jones’ Luxe Melbourne Terrace

The West Melbourne home of interior designer Brahman Perera, styled with personal heirlooms and luxury Sheridan bedding.

News

DOMO Opens A Luxurious New Sydney Flagship Showroom

Sydneysiders have a new design destination to explore – and it’s been curated to help you find your dream furniture!
Sponsored

Studio Visit

Chef Turned Ceramicist Claire Ellis’ Amazing, Experimental Practice

She got her start working as a chef at Attica, but has since developed a range of beautiful stoneware, with sustainability front of mind!
Christina Karras

Sustainable Homes

Two Sustainable Rental Properties In Melbourne’s Middle Ring

Bardolph Gardens by Breathe Architecture is an environmentally-sustainable and well-designed rental housing project in Melbourne's Glen Iris...

Architecture

Restoring A Mid-Century Apartment In Brisbane’s Famous Torbreck Building

A sympathetic renovation inside Brisbane’s heritage Torbreck building, brought back to life by Kin Architects and the owners.

Shopping

Bold + Funky Rugs From Local Creative, Objects By Kit

Melbourne designer Katie Ford launched her lockdown-inspired furniture business with a duo of funky rugs, designed to brighten up our living...
Christina Karras

News

‘Open Mess’ Brings Together Art And Food For A Good Cause

Attend an ‘art feast for good’, featuring Melbourne’s best foodies across the art and hospitality industries, to raise mon...
Christina Karras

Travel

Eleanor Pendleton’s Guide To The NSW Central Coast

The best places to eat, drink and shop according to Gritty Pretty founder, beauty influencer and Central Coast local, Eleanor Pendleton!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Homes

A Spectacular Spanish-Influenced Homestead In The Byron Hinterland

Emma and Tom Lane share their incredible family home – 'The Range'.

Shopping

Morocco Meets Byron Bay In This Modern Bohemian Wonderland

A virtual visit to the rug and artisanal object treasure trove that is Tigmi Trading.
Elle Murrell

Architecture

A House That Channels Modern Mediterranean, In Byron Bay

Those Architects transform an 80s brown-brick home in Byron Bay beyond recognition!
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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net