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A Childhood Home Revived For The Next Generation

Architecture

These days, it’s not often that an adult human lives in the house they grew up in. But on the rare occasion they do, you’d want to be sure to keep some of the memories of your childhood home alive.

In the case of the Toorak House by Melanie Beynon Architecture + Design, the client inherited her parents’ single-storey brick home and engaged the design firm to oversee a contemporary renovation of the building. By keeping inside the original footprint and working with the mid-century bones that were already in place – the designers were able to create a future-oriented residence that still evokes the generations of family history within its walls.

26th November, 2020

A timber-clad kitchen contains stool by Ercol and a Muuto vase. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Stool by Ercol and a Muuto vase. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Rug by Loom. Bat chair by Gubi from In Good Company. Munega lamp by Luciano Vistosi from Mondoluce. B&B Italia Frank ottoman by Citterio from Space Furniture. Ercol stool. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Rug by Loom. Spade Chair by Studio Toogood from Hub Furniture. Lobby Bench by House of Orange. Sheep skin by House of Orange. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

The dining nook. Gubi round dining table from In Good Company. Moroso St Mark chairs from Hub Furniture. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Moroso St Mark chairs from Hub Furniture. Rug by Loom. Bat chair and round dining table by Gubi from In Good Company. Artwork by Kate Tucker (right). Artwork by Chris Connell (left).  Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Rug by Loom. Artwork by Kate Tucker. Lobby Bench by House of Orange. Munega lamp by Luciano Vistosi from Mondoluce. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Gubi round dining table from In Good Company. Moroso St Mark chairs from Hub Furniture. Muuto vase. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Rug by Loom. Bat chair by Gubi from In Good Company. Ercol bar stool. Eames stool from In Good Company. Roma floor lamp from Mondoluce. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Eames stool and Martyn sofa from In Good Company. Rug by Loom. Gubi mirror. B&B Italia Frank Oval Ottoman by Citterio from Space Furniture.  Photo – Dave Kulesza.

A showstopping, gum-drop pink bathroom. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Stool by House of Orange. Photo – Dave Kulesza.

Sasha Gattermayr
Thursday 26th November 2020

‘We wanted to create a space that felt open and contemporary whilst also being warm and textured.’ – Melanie Beynon

When Melanie Beynon  and her team were brought in to update this once-tired brick house in Toorak, it was clear they would have to tread carefully to create a sensitive modern update for their client’s childhood home.

The first port of call was opening the closed floorplan, ensuring natural light would penetrate through the home, and to allow a sense of connectedness between communal spaces. Working within the original footprint, Melanie completely overhauled the layout to create an open-plan space. A dining and living areas surround a central kitchen at the heart of the home, flanked by stately glazing to capitalise on the garden outlook.

A fine balance was struck between rejuvenating the dwelling for a new generation, and retaining the memory-filled character of the original home. The key lay in the material expression. 

‘The discovery of the original Tasmanian Oak flooring inspired the continuity in key timber elements throughout the design,’ explains Melanie, highlighting the timber-framed window openings and the statement panelled joinery throughout the kitchen. This hand-crafted element lent an artisanal touch to the interior detailing that interpreted the client’s wish for a robust and tactile material palette while still referencing the original home’s mid-century aesthetic.

The wash areas represent a complete departure from both the heritage-inspired palette and the clean, modern design supporting the rest of the home. Boldly patterned tiles in rich shades of pink, magenta and blue adorn the bathroom walls, providing an unexpected flourish of colour in an otherwise tonally understated home. ‘The bathrooms were inspired by the clients love of colour and pattern – rich blues in the master bathroom tiles and multicoloured terrazzo tiles in the main,’ says Melanie of the dramatic shift.

This precisely executed home is a masterclass in gesturing to the past while stepping firmly into the future. 

Is this totally tickling your fancy? See more projects from Melanie Beynon here.

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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.

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