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 Compact Terrace, Custom-Made For Two

Interiors

Melrose Terrace is a renovation project that sees a small, nondescript North Melbourne house transformed into a bespoke, carefully crafted home. 

Designed for retired downsizers who had recently moved from the Mornington Peninsula to the city, the clients were prepared to compromise on space, but not function. 

Dan Gayfer Design’s response implements the same amenity one would expect in a large home, activating every square millimetre of this property’s compact footprint.

22nd June, 2020

Melrose Terrace is a North Melbourne renovation with an incredible suite of built-in furniture. Photo – Dean Bradley

A standout furniture piece is the living room lounge – a custom-built element that simultaneously integrates shelving, a side table, daybed and casement windows. Photo – Dean Bradley

A small mosaic tile on the rear facade contrasts with the existing weatherboards above. Photo – Dean Bradley

 Ochre coloured carpet features in the living area. Photo – Dean Bradley

When the rear windows are open, the lounge becomes immersed in the garden. Photo – Dean Bradley

The front door opens to the new dining area, followed by the kitchen. Photo – Dean Bradley

Built-in seating in the dining area. Photo – Dean Bradley

A durable, semi-glazed terracotta tile was selected to accommodate traffic through the front door. Photo – Dean Bradley

The interiors feature a unique application of timber, brass and porcelain panelling. All cabinetry and custom furniture is by KohdePhoto – Dean Bradley

The mint tile in the powder room is one of the design details Dan Gayfer describes as ‘exclamation marks!’ Photo – Dean Bradley

The largest bedroom opens to an incredible street-facing rooftop terrace. Photo – Dean Bradley

This space has been specifically designed for small social gatherings, with a steel pergola clad in timber battens creating beautifully dappled light. Custom upholstery is by Inform Upholstery + Design. Photo – Dean Bradley

Amelia Barnes
Monday 22nd June 2020

‘Creating spaces and elements larger than they needed to be was simply not an option.’ – Dan Gayfer

Behind the brick facade of this single-fronted North Melbourne is a surprising, clever and fresh renovation by Dan Gayfer Design

Prior to this makeover, this house was uninspiring and lifeless, with no decorative features to speak of. The clients (a downsizing couple) were seeking a complete overhaul of the interiors, as well as a comprehensive reworking of the entire house’s function. ‘Having relocated from their generous family home down on the Mornington Peninsula, the couple were prepared to compromise on space but not function,’ explains Dan. ‘This small statured home was to be as comfortable and accommodating as their previous.’ 

An extensive concept design process was firstly undertaken to understand how the owners would use every single inch of the home. ‘Creating spaces and elements larger than they needed to be was simply not an option,’ says Dan. Almost the entire ground floor was stripped away and redesigned as a result, with only the brick walls and location of the staircase remaining. 

Built-in furniture has been inserted at every opportunity to maximise space throughout. ‘The ability to design and somewhat slot the furniture in like a piece of puzzle enabled us to eliminate dead or wasted areas that compromised function, flow and interaction,’ explains Dan. A standout piece is the living room lounge – a custom-built element that simultaneously integrates shelving, a side table, daybed and casement windows. Dan says this piece was inspired by 1960s Australian architecture that often features built-in furniture, as well as the intensely workshopped creative solutions of contemporary Japanese architecture. 

The bedrooms are contained to the upper level of the home, with the largest leading to a street-facing rooftop terrace. This space has been designed for small social gatherings, with a steel pergola clad in timber battens creating beautifully dappled light. Custom furniture is again utilised in the form of an outdoor daybed that intertwines with the pergola and garden planters.

Despite its dedication to function, this home also contains flourishes of fun and frivolity throughout described by Dan as ‘exclamation marks.’ He says, ‘The aesthetic is elegant and carefully varied, albeit with a few strategically placed exclamation marks such as the mint tile in the powder room, burnt red carpet in the living room and the mosaic tile on the rear facade.’ 

With its attention to detail, high level of function, clever use of space and distinctive interior aesthetic, this house exceeds all expectations. 

See more Dan Gayfer Design projects here.

This Week

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

News

An Exhibition Of Abstract, Thought-Provoking Pieces Is On Now At Heide

See a line-up of abstract works exploring negative space and time, featuring leading Australians and world-famous artists like Anish Kapoor!...
Sponsored

Interiors

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Reorientated + Optimised For Decades To Come

Pipkorn Kilpatrick goes back to basics to enhance the interior and natural light of this Victorian cottage.

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Miso Eggplant Rice Bowls

Quick, tasty and oh-so-healthy (and vegan!) - Julia Busuttil Nishimura's sticky and sweet miso eggplant bowl will be your new go-to dinner!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Space-Efficient Family Home Filled With Colour (+ The Brightest Bathroom EVER)

This family home in Preston by Sibling Architecture has the fizzy sherbert palette of a lolly jar, but with all the trimmings of a modern fa...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace with a new renovation, including internal gardens!
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

An Inviting Home Atop A Violin Shop!

Tsai Design and Sustainable Homes Melbourne turn a dark space above a violin store into a light-filled home.
Amelia Barnes

This Week

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

News

An Exhibition Of Abstract, Thought-Provoking Pieces Is On Now At Heide

See a line-up of abstract works exploring negative space and time, featuring leading Australians and world-famous artists like Anish Kapoor!...
Sponsored

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

Interiors

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Reorientated + Optimised For Decades To Come

Pipkorn Kilpatrick goes back to basics to enhance the interior and natural light of this Victorian cottage.

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Miso Eggplant Rice Bowls

Quick, tasty and oh-so-healthy (and vegan!) - Julia Busuttil Nishimura's sticky and sweet miso eggplant bowl will be your new go-to dinner!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Space-Efficient Family Home Filled With Colour (+ The Brightest Bathroom EVER)

This family home in Preston has the fizzy sherbert palette of a lolly jar, but with all the trimmings of a modern family home!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace.
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

An Inviting Home Atop A Violin Shop!

Tsai Design and Sustainable Homes Melbourne turn a dark space above a violin store into a light-filled home.
Amelia Barnes

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