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 1960s Penthouse With Magic + Zing!

Homes

There’s nothing we love more than a bold, bright, colour-rich renovation, so when this St Kilda project came across our desk, we got VERY excited!

With the help of Wowowa Architects and a stellar trades team, Rosalind Willett, managing partner of partnership and event design agency Willett Marketing, has completely refitted her 1960s penthouse, to feature jazzy spaces with a touch of glamour. 

From coloured cabinetry to an incredible rooftop terrace, there is so much to love in this home!

5th February, 2020

Tessa the dog. SBW Halo sofas and chairs. Landscaping by WOWOWA, In Design Company, Cultivate Nursery & Gifts. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Ros Willett and Tess. SBW Halo sofas and chairs. Landscaping by WOWOWA, In Design Company, Cultivate Nursery & Gifts. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Mattioli flooring. Tiles from. The City TilerSBW Halo chair and stool. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Custom barbecue joinery by WOWOWA. Light from Koda Lighting. SBW Halo stool. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Custom barbecue joinery by WOWOWA. Light from Koda Lighting. SBW Halo stool, chairs and sofa. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Interior design and custom joinery design by WOWOWA. Joinery by Evolve Interiors. Falcon Chair from Modern Times. Sofa by Jardan, Loom rug, SBW ottoman and coffee table. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Interior design and custom joinery design by WOWOWA, built by Evolve Interiors. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Interior design and custom joinery design by WOWOWA, built by Evolve Interiors. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Interior design and custom joinery design by WOWOWA built by Evolve Interiors. Crisp light by Rich Brilliant Willing from Koda Lighting. Appliances by Fisher & Paykel. Iriede tiles from Academy Tiles. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Vintage drinks tray and coasters. Iriede tiles from Academy Tiles. Mapei jade green grout. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Kai Kristiansen Model 42 chair from Modern Times. Crisp wall light by Rich Brilliant Willing from Koda Lighting.  Iriede tiles from Academy Tiles. Parquetry floors by Andrew Urbaniak. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Bitossi ceramics. The vintage original ’60s painting and ’70s pewter wine goblets are both family hand me downs. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Akoya 14 pendant light by Rich Brilliant Willing from Koda Lighting. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

‘Zeus’ artwork by Heather Stewart. Falcon Chair from Modern Times. Sofa by Jardan. Loom rug. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

‘Fish Mouth’ artwork by Richard Glasson. Gouge artwork by Sara Willett. Tuscan Watercolour artwork by Dorothy Cuming. Bridget Bodenham vase. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Brick base on fireplace by Brickworks. ‘Fish Mouth’ artwork by Richard Glasson. Gouge artwork by Sara Willett. Tuscan Watercolour artwork by Dorothy Cuming. Bridget Bodenham vase. Nicolette Johnson vase.  Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Rug by Halcyon Lake. Sofa by Jardan. Coffee table and yellow chair by SBW. Original drawings by Virginia Hodgkinson. Vintage French lamp from Angelucci 20th Century. Tretford peacock carpet from Gibbon Group. The leather wingback is a vintage ’60s family hand me down that’s been reupholstered. Vintage Featherston Contour Chair purchased Luther & Co. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Philippe Starck pendant. Interior design and custom joinery design by WOWOWA built by Evolve Interiors. Tretford peacock carpet from Gibbon Group.  Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Tretford peacock carpet from Gibbon Group. H. W. Klein for Bramin vintage leather swivel chair by purchased by Modern Times. Portrait by Richard Glasson. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Wall light by Mondoluce. Figurative paintings by Virginia Hodgkinson. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Adeona mosaic tiles from Academy Tiles. Velvet curtain from Bradley’s Curtains & Blinds. Crisp wall light by Rich Brilliant Willing from Koda Lighting. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Custom joinery design by Wowowa built by Evolve Interiors. Photo – Martina Gemmola. Styling by Ruth Welsby.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 5th February 2020

Working with architects and interior designers brings magic to your home, and the value of that can’t be measured.’ – Rosalind Willett.

Rosalind Willett has long called St Kilda home. The managing partner of Willett Marketing was living nearby when this apartment went up for sale, and despite not being in the market for a new home at the time, she was instantly taken with its sensational ‘60s features. ‘Our family was at a stage that living in an apartment close to the city and transport was very convenient’ she says, ‘we couldn’t resist.’

Rosalind’s apartment is the penthouse of her building (a block of 16) that was originally the builder’s own family home. It’s definitely not your typical shoebox apartment, but a four-bedroom, two-bathroom haven with multiple living spaces and even a rooftop terrace. They don’t make them like this anymore! 

‘It has a beautiful aspect across to the city and neighbouring rooftops, trees and the Sacred Heart Mission,’ says Rosalind of her rooftop oasis. ‘The bird life is spectacular – magpies, currawongs and parrots come to drink from a bird bath I have and they love the new flowering native trees.’ 

After living here for eight years, Rosalind set out to renovate with the team at Wowowa Architects. The plan was to retain any original ‘60s elements (such as the glass doors, windows and dividers throughout) but otherwise give the place a serious facelift. 

The renovations saw new joinery, flooring, carpet, heating, cooling and lighting added to the apartment. The kitchen, bathroom, and terrace were completely renovated, while the upstairs living room was redesigned with joinery pieces, timber slats, and ceramic tiles on the chimney. 

Never ones to play it safe, Wowowa encouraged Rosalind to experiment with colour to add some magic and zing! ‘They were an inspiration, and pushed me to go with things I wouldn’t have thought of, or ordinarily been brave enough to do,’ she says. ‘Working with architects and interior designers brings magic to your home and the value of that can’t be measured.’ Among the many spectacular details are the superb green kitchen cabinets, the yellow striped awning  over the terrace, and peacock coloured carpet. Brass finishes in nearly every room provide a sophisticated touch, tying the entire space together. 

Rosalind currently shares this home with her son, jazz musician Jack Hosking, and his partner HR Manager Irene Censini, who are living here while they save for a property of their own. ‘The apartment remains a comfortable space for the family, bringing joy to all those who frequent it,’ Rosalind says, ‘It’s tactile, delightful to look at and be in, or as Mon [Wowowa architect Monica Woodward] would say, it’s thoroughly delicious.’

This Week

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

We share the winners and finalists from Australia's most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telst...

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

On The Market

The Most Glamorous 1970s Melbourne Beach House Is For Sale

The 1975 ‘Saade House' designed by modernist architects Holgar & Holgar is for sale in Black Rock.

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Homes

A Refined Bronte Beach Apartment Rental

The Bronte apartment of Monica Colla and architect Ben Feher is equal parts refined home, design studio, and weekend surf shack!

On The Market

A Textile Factory Turned Family Residence Hits The Market

This North Melbourne property has been transformed into a grand family pad over two decades, and it's finally for sale!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras
  7 hours ago

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras
  10 hours ago

Architecture

A New Timber Home Inspired By Music + Performance

Music Box by Multiplicity is a new Elwood, Melbourne home inspired by its musician owner, and the surrounding landscape.

Creative People

Meriam and Yupungathi Man Chris Bassi On Capturing The Nostalgia Of Home

In her latest column Koorie woman Jirra Lulla Harvey visits artist, Meriam and Yupungathi man, Chris Bassi.
Jirra Lulla Harvey

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

Stays

A Nostalgic Mid-Century Beach Shack On Victoria's Coast

Escape to Miles Away, a dreamy 1950s accomodation in Ocean Grove, filled with retro details and coastal vibes!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Homes

A Personality-Filled Off-The-Plan Apartment

Imogen Milford's Fitzroy apartment brimming with local Australian art and design is proof that big design can happen in small spaces!

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

Flack Studio Flair In Fitzroy!

Flack Studio transform an inner city worker’s cottage into a stylish empty-nesters' dream home.

This Week

On The Market

A Textile Factory Turned Family Residence Hits The Market

This North Melbourne property has been transformed into a grand family pad over two decades, and it's finally for sale!
Christina Karras

Homes

A Refined Bronte Beach Apartment Rental

The Bronte apartment of Monica Colla and architect Ben Feher is equal parts refined home, design studio, and weekend surf shack!

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras
  10 hours ago

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

Stays

A Nostalgic Mid-Century Beach Shack On Victoria's Coast

Escape to Miles Away, a dreamy 1950s accomodation in Ocean Grove, filled with retro details and coastal vibes!
Christina Karras

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

We share the winners and finalists from Australia's most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telst...

Architecture

A New Timber Home Inspired By Music + Performance

Music Box by Multiplicity is a new Elwood, Melbourne home inspired by its musician owner, and the surrounding landscape.

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras
  7 hours ago

Creative People

Meriam and Yupungathi Man Chris Bassi On Capturing The Nostalgia Of Home

In her latest column Koorie woman Jirra Lulla Harvey visits artist, Meriam and Yupungathi man, Chris Bassi.
Jirra Lulla Harvey

On The Market

The Most Glamorous 1970s Melbourne Beach House Is For Sale

The 1975 ‘Saade House' designed by modernist architects Holgar & Holgar is for sale in Black Rock.

Similar Stories

Homes

A Personality-Filled Off-The-Plan Apartment

Imogen Milford proves that big design can happen in small spaces!

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

Flack Studio Flair In Fitzroy!

Flack Studio transform an inner city worker’s cottage into a stylish empty-nesters' dream home.

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