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The Top Ten Homes Of 2020

Roundup

Our Wednesday home stories are consistently the most clicked content on The Design Files, and we love bringing them to you! 

2020 certainly made photographing these stories a bit more challenging than usual, but as always, the universe still managed to deliver the goods! From retro rentals, to art deco apartments, and a rammed earth house rebuilt after a fire, these were the homes you loved the most in 2020!

29th December, 2020

Lisa Hodge‘s Macedon home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lisa Hodge‘s Macedon home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lisa Hodge‘s Macedon home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

An Enchanting, Rustic Rental In The Macedon Ranges

Every so often a home comes along that’s so lived-in and character-filled, we can’t believe it’s a rental property!

Lisa Hodge and her children were the lucky tenants of this property in Macedon, at the time we visited, earlier this year (they’ve since moved on to a new home).  

The home was styled so beautifully by Lisa, with an eclectic mix of mid-century and ‘80s furniture finds, complementing the home’s rustic timber tones and recycled materials. 

Revisit the original story here

A Landscape Designer’s Serene Bondi Oasis

Before sweeping the design awards circuit this year (including our very own TDF + Laminex Design Awards) we were lucky enough to photograph the Bondi home of one of our favourite landscape designers, William Dangar, shared with his wife Julia Dangar.

The house is one of two adjoining, newly extended, post-war homes, each with gardens designed by Will’s practice, Dangar Barin Smith

With Andrew Burges ArchitectsDavid Harrison and Karen McCartney, Will and Julia have created a serene, semi-industrial space with white washed, reclaimed brick walls. The home is styled to perfection with designer and vintage furniture (including pieces from the couple’s other business, Robert Plumb), and sublime handcrafted details.

Revisit the original story here

A 1960s Penthouse With Magic + Zing!

There’s nothing we love more than a bold, bright, colour-rich renovation! 

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 St Kilda penthouse to feature jazzy spaces with a touch of glamour. 

The renovations have seen new joinery, flooring, carpet, heating, cooling and lighting added to the apartment. The kitchen, bathroom, and terrace have also been completely renovated.

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

Revisit the original story here

The Macedon Ranges home of Jessica Tremp and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

The Macedon Ranges home of Jessica Tremp and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

The Macedon Ranges home of Jessica Tremp and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

An Early ‘80s Home With Good Vibes

Another Macedon Ranges home we loved this year is the 1980s home of photographer and sculptor Jessica Tremp, her husband Michael Madden, and children.

Jessica got her hands on the property after placing letters in the mailboxes of local homes, resulting in one owner selling directly to her! 

Jessica and Michael have made minor updates since purchasing, including a fresh paint job, new light fittings, and a DIY kitchen renovation.

A freshly painted, clean white backdrop highlights an ever changing arrangement of colourful furniture and art, including Jessica’s own stunning limestone sculptures.

Revisit the original story here

The Merricks North family home of Alex McCabe, co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The Merricks North family home of Alex McCabe, co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The Merricks North family home of Alex McCabe, co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A Family Home Full Of Warmth, Fit For A Colour Queen!

If you’d asked a young Alex McCabe, co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co, where she’d raise her future children, she definitely wouldn’t have said her hometown on the Mornington Peninsula, and especially not the land her parents bought 30 years ago!

When her parents went to sell the block a few years ago, Alex realised her nostalgic attachment to the land, and decided to take it off their hands. Since then, she’s built a weekender on the property she’ll soon move into permanently with her husband Bobby Babb and children.

Alex is known for her love of colour, but this house is all about texture. The interior walls throughout feature various textures including stucco, render and seagrass wallpaper.

Revisit the original story here

The Narre Warren North home of Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls from Nicholls Design. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

The Narre Warren North home of Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls from Nicholls Design. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

The Narre Warren North home of Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls from Nicholls Design. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

A Beloved Family Home, Re-Built From The Ground Up

The Narre Warren North home of Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls’ of Nicholls Design is located on a 100-acre property owned by Brad’s family for 55 years, alongside the 170-year-old homestead where Brad grew up, and where his mother still lives!

This modernist-inspired family home is actually the second iteration of Sarah and Brad’s house, after the original (built in 2006) tragically burned down. The central rammed-earth wall was one of the only elements to survive, and forms the centrepiece of their new home, completed in 2012. The badly soot-damaged bedroom side of the wall has been stained black, while a lush vertical garden hangs on the living room side, obscuring fire damage.

Sarah describes the aesthetic as ‘modern country, with mid-century Scandinavian and Japanese influences.’ There’s also a strong emphasis on recycled materials, including windows made from recycled hardwood salvaged from one of the original foundries on Spencer Street in Melbourne’s CBD.

Revisit the original story here

The Glen Iris family home of artist and interior decorator Phoebe Rolleston. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

The Glen Iris family home of artist and interior decorator Phoebe Rolleston. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

The Glen Iris family home of artist and interior decorator Phoebe Rolleston. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

The Glen Iris family home of artist and interior decorator Phoebe Rolleston. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

An Art-Filled Melbourne Family Home, With Santorini Vibes!

Renovations by architect Lucy Bowen have totally transformed the Glen Iris home of artist and interior decorator Phoebe Rolleston, George Rolleston, and their children.

Believed to be built in 1980 (and renovated multiple times since) the house contains Japanese inspired elements, alongside quirky proportions, and a facade that resembles a Scandinavian lodge. 

Lucy’s design plays on the home’s existing features, adding further character in the form of raised skirting, indented shelving, and retaining plenty of wall space for art. Many paintings are by Phoebe herself, and whenever a piece is sold, she creates a new one to hang in its place!

Revisit the original story here

The Bondi Beach art deco apartment of Daimon Downey and Georgia Gorman. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The Bondi Beach art deco apartment of Daimon Downey and Georgia Gorman. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

An Artist’s Art Deco Apartment With Incredible Views Of Bondi Beach!

If you’ve ever been to Bondi Beach, you’ve likely looked up at the apartments directly opposite, and wondered who lives there and wakes up to *that* view every morning. Daimon Downey and Georgia Gorman are two of these lucky people! 

Located above a restaurant and a surf shop, this art deco apartment has been Daimon’s home for over 10 years, and it’s where you’ll often find him creating art while looking out at the expansive ocean views.

The colour-filled rental is a reflection of his current work, and to some extent, the chaos and energy of his former lives as a DJ, restaurateur and member of the iconic 2000s band Sneaky Sound System!

Revisit the original story here

The Dandenong Ranges home of Lucy Spartalis and Alastair Innes of She Takes Pictures He Makes Films. Photo – Lucy Spartalis

The Dandenong Ranges home of Lucy Spartalis and Alastair Innes of She Takes Pictures He Makes Films. Photo – Lucy Spartalis.

A Creative Couple’s Lovingly Renovated 1950s Home

Lucy Spartalis and Alastair Innes of She Takes Pictures He Makes Films didn’t plan on buying in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges, but from the moment they inspected this property, the space instantly felt like home.

The 1950s house had been flipped just prior to purchasing, and while the couple loved the new open-plan living area, other elements were lacking in personality. One Japanese inspired kitchen renovation and several cosmetics updates later, this house is now a cosy, textured space that exudes warmth, and speaks to the personalities of its very creative residents.

Revisit the original story here

The 1920s St Kilda apartment of John Wares, owner of Melbourne gift and homeware shop Mr Wares, and Peter Papadopoulos. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

The 1920s St Kilda apartment of John Wares, owner of Melbourne gift and homeware shop Mr Wares, and Peter Papadopoulos. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

The 1920s St Kilda apartment of John Wares, owner of Melbourne gift and homeware shop Mr Wares, and Peter Papadopoulos. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

A European-Style, Beachside Melbourne Apartment!

St Kilda is home to numerous 1920s apartments with ornate features, one of which belongs to John Wares, owner of Melbourne gift and homeware shop Mr Wares, and his friend of 30 years, Peter Papadopoulos.

Since purchasing this property in 2015, John has embarked on a major renovation that respects the building’s distinct 1920 architecture by Christopher Cowper.

Initially a two bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, this property now contains three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The new kitchen is the crowning jewel of the entire space, where lady onyx marble, green cabinetry, and garden views harmoniously come together.

The space now feels akin to a European apartment, with the added benefit of bayside Melbourne views!

Revisit the original story here

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