Since the day they got the keys in 2012, interior decorator Lauren Egan and commercial photographer Glenn Hester have been slowly updating their 1920s Preston home (nine kilometres north of Melbourne’s CBD).
‘We came in and ripped up the mouldy carpet, and then spent every spare moment for the next six months getting the house liveable,’ says Lauren.
The house required re-stumping, and the internal walls all needed replacing, but the couple enjoyed every moment.
After an initial renovation in 2012, Lauren and Glenn engaged Project 12 Architecture in 2018 to design an extension, adding more living space, another bedroom and bathroom. Originally the couple were seeking a major overhaul, but after undertaking a career change and opening co-working and photography studio Council Street in Clifton Hill, they settled on a more modest design. Some compromises had to be made, but there was no budging on the terrazzo en suite, Anchor Ceramics kitchen tiles, and solid Concrete Collective bench tops!
‘We revised our brief and Aimee and Louis [from Project 12] came back to us with this creative use of space that we could execute ourselves as owner-builders, and get our hands dirty where possible,’ Lauren says. ‘Their design has transformed our house from quaint to showstopper (we often have people drive by for a closer look!).’
Having completed an interior decoration course in 2018, Lauren undertook the interior design herself. One of her most inspired ideas was introducing a varied colour palette, eliminating all internal white walls in the process.
‘There are eight paint colours we used throughout the house, some of them deep and bright, and some of them subtle and neutral,’ she says. ‘Because of the abundance of natural light, we used a muddy grey on the main living spaces in the old house, which pairs beautifully with the smoked oak floors, then we flipped this in the new lounge where the walls are tan and the floors concrete.’
Other colours reflect various natural elements outside the home, such as subtle dirty purples that reference established jacarandas in the front and back yards, and deep greens reflective of the property’s lush garden by Mud Office.
To keep costs down and add character, Lauren has sourced second hand furniture as much as possible, and is no rush to ‘finish’ the space.
‘We’re at ease with filling our home overtime,’ she says. ‘I have a decent list of things I’d love to own, but there’ll be the right time and place to bring them into the fold.’
It’s an ongoing process, but Lauren hopes thoughtful changes they’ve made will see the house through another century.
‘We’re hopeful that we’ve given this house a new lease on life, and it will last another 100 years!’ she says.