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

Creative People

Behind The Scenes Of 'Rone In Geelong’ – Opening This Weekend!

See a retrospective of artist Rone's work to date at Geelong Gallery from Saturday February 27 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

Architecture

A New Melbourne Home That Follows The Sun

This Eaglemont home has been cleverly designed 'to almost disappear', by Architects Eat.

News

A Group Show Combining Ceramics + Still-Life Under One Roof!

Ceramicist Grace Brown joins artistic forces with figurative artist Margaret Voterakis for a new exhibition at Modern Times, ‘Utopian Purs...
Sasha Aarons

Architecture

A Casually Confident Beachside Home

A falling down period home in South Fremantle has been brought back to life with a new extension by David Barr Architects.
Amelia Barnes
  24 hours ago

Stays

This Origami-Style Beach Shack Is The Perfect Coastal Getaway

This architecturally designed coastal retreat on Stradbroke Island looks out over the glittering Coral Sea. The most dreamy vacation destina...
Sasha Gattermayr
  16 hours ago

On The Market

This Elegant Victorian With An Eclectic Architect-Designed Extension Is For Sale

Period features meet unique, contemporary design in this Ascot Vale, Melbourne home.

Tiny Homes

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

FABPREFAB have teamed up with TRIAS to create Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces,...

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

Travel

A Stylist's Bookmark-Worthy Guide To Byron Bay + The Northern Rivers Region

Stylist Jono Fleming shares his impeccable recommendations for the best eating, shopping, swimming and sleeping spots on the NSW North coast...
Jono Fleming
  Less than an hour ago

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

Creative People

A Travel-Inspired Ceramics Collection That Will Take You On Holiday!

Queensland-based ceramics brand Marloe Marloe launches a new collection of vessels inspired by the seaside!

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Artist Creating Ceramics Inspired By Ancient Mesoamerican Culture

From dub music to the Chinese Song Dynasty, the influences of Enrique Tochez Anderson stretch far, wide and into the past.

Homes

A Biophilic Family Home Among The Trees

The newly-renovated Warrandyte family home of Millie and Dave Wells perfectly blends indoors and out!

Shopping

Lockdown-Inspired Woven Outdoor Picnic Mats, From One Of Our Fave Local Stylists!

Stylist Nat Turnbull launches Laze, a new brand of outdoor mats for lounging and picnicking, with designs by Alice Oehr.

View Comments

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

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Artist Creating Ceramics Inspired By Ancient Mesoamerican Culture

From dub music to the Chinese Song Dynasty, the influences of Enrique Tochez Anderson stretch far, wide and into the past.

Travel

A Stylist's Bookmark-Worthy Guide To Byron Bay + The Northern Rivers Region

Stylist Jono Fleming shares his impeccable recommendations for the best eating, shopping, swimming and sleeping spots on the NSW North coast...
Jono Fleming
  Less than an hour ago

Homes

A Biophilic Family Home Among The Trees

The newly-renovated Warrandyte family home of Millie and Dave Wells perfectly blends indoors and out!

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

News

A Group Show Combining Ceramics + Still-Life Under One Roof!

Ceramicist Grace Brown joins artistic forces with figurative artist Margaret Voterakis for a new exhibition at Modern Times, ‘Utopian Purs...
Sasha Aarons

Creative People

A Travel-Inspired Ceramics Collection That Will Take You On Holiday!

Queensland-based ceramics brand Marloe Marloe launches a new collection of vessels inspired by the seaside!

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

Shopping

Lockdown-Inspired Woven Outdoor Picnic Mats, From One Of Our Fave Local Stylists!

Stylist Nat Turnbull launches Laze, a new brand of outdoor mats for lounging and picnicking, with designs by Alice Oehr.

Stays

This Origami-Style Beach Shack Is The Perfect Coastal Getaway

This architecturally designed coastal retreat on Stradbroke Island looks out over the glittering Coral Sea. The most dreamy vacation destina...
Sasha Gattermayr
  16 hours ago

Architecture

A Casually Confident Beachside Home

A falling down period home in South Fremantle has been brought back to life with a new extension by David Barr Architects.
Amelia Barnes
  24 hours ago

Creative People

Behind The Scenes Of 'Rone In Geelong’ – Opening This Weekend!

See a retrospective of artist Rone's work to date at Geelong Gallery from Saturday February 27 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

Architecture

A New Melbourne Home That Follows The Sun

This Eaglemont home has been cleverly designed 'to almost disappear', by Architects Eat.

Tiny Homes

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

FABPREFAB have teamed up with TRIAS to create Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces,...

On The Market

This Elegant Victorian With An Eclectic Architect-Designed Extension Is For Sale

Period features meet unique, contemporary design in this Ascot Vale, Melbourne home.

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.