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A Biophilic Family Home Among The Trees

Homes

Millie and Dave Wells searched for 12 months for a family home to renovate, and they found it in this Warrandyte property.

Since moving in four years ago, the couple and their three children (Luella, 10, Isla, 8, and Arty, 7), have undertaken extensive renovations, bringing the outdoors in at every opportunity.

It’s a contemporary home, but with an enchanting and timeless feel, facilitated by its location among the trees in Melbourne’s outer east. 

3rd March, 2021

The Warrandyte family home of Millie and Dave Wells. Exterior paint colour Dulux Grid. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Some regular visitors to the property! Photo – Marnie Hawson

Millie, Dave, Luella (10), Isla (8), and Arty (7). Photo – Marnie Hawson

Exterior paint colour Dulux Grid. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Renovations have been made in kitchen, living, dining, family, and outdoor areas – all constructed by Sanctum Homes. Framed photo by Tim Lainson. Photo – Marnie Hawson

‘An east-facing coffee nook means you get morning sun while making coffee,’ says Dave. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Stone and timber come together in the kitchen. Timber work including planter box by Gratton Design. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Herringbone flooring has been newly installed. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Family meals often happen around the island bench. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The living/dining room looks directly out to the garden. Timber work including planter box by Gratton Design. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Artwork by Willy Nakanbala Tjungurrayi. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The open-plan dining and living area. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The main bedroom. Photo – Marnie Hawson

A new wraparound deck was added to better take advantage of the home’s natural surroundings. Photo – Marnie Hawson

An existing garden shed was moved to to make way for paths, to create more room for gardens in high sun areas. Photo – Marnie Hawson

The family enjoying the local Warrandyte State park along Yarra River. Photo – Marnie Hawson

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 3rd March 2021

‘The best term to describe the design is biophilic’ – Dave Wells

Millie and Dave Wells rented in Warrandyte (24 kilometres north-east of Melbourne’s CBD), for six years before deciding to buy in the area. 

It took 12 months to find the right property, but the house was worth the wait. The property was large, surrounded by an established garden, and in need of a renovation – exactly what Millie and Dave were after. ‘We wanted to make something ours,’ Dave says.

Works undertaken since include renovations to kitchen, living, dining, family, and outdoor areas, all constructed by Sanctum Homes.

One of the most significant changes has been the relocation of the stairs. ‘The staircase was situated in the middle of the lounge, which also meant it was in the middle of the master suite above, and severely limited the usability (and design elements) of both areas,’ says Dave. ‘We moved the staircase, then incorporated a study nook under the stairs to make best use of all the space.’

A new wraparound deck has also been added, to better take advantage of the home’s natural surroundings. This sentiment is continued indoors throughout the interiors, which Millie has styled with plenty of indoor plants. ‘The best term to describe the design is ‘biophilic’ says Dave.  

Further accentuating the home’s connection to the outdoors is the interior design by Open Door Design, featuring Dulux Grid on the exterior.

‘Open Door Design suggested that along with the extensive opening up of windows and doors, we should create a cooler scheme that was dark outside and bright inside, therefore giving an instant feeling of lightness when you walked into the house,’ says Dave. ‘It works very well. The house feels light and bright inside – well connected with the exterior.’

With the renovations now complete, this enchanting home is set to see the Wells family through many more years to come!

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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.

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