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 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!

This Week

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Kuku Yalanji Artist Tiarna Herczeg Creates Colourful Maps Of Country

The emerging artist shares how they found their creative voice and intuitive painting style, as their latest solo show opens in Sydney.
Christina Karras

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

Homes

A Stylist + Podcaster’s Layered, Textured Seaside Home

Kerrie-Ann Jones’ renovated retro pad in Sydney’s southern beaches is a sun-drenched dream home!
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

Architecture

The Treasure-Filled Sydney Home Of Two Global Art Collectors

House Gezellig by Studio Prineas reflects their clients’ love for modernist design principles and collection of fine art.
Sasha Gattermayr
  21 hours ago

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Warm And Wonderful 1950s Home In North Warrandyte

Vy and Andrew Costen share their charming mid century family home, in near original condition!

Homes

Revisiting A Magical Inner City Treehouse

Empty nester Fleur Glenn's brilliantly unconventional Clifton Hill home, designed by architect Murray Barker.

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.

This Week

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Studio Visit

Kuku Yalanji Artist Tiarna Herczeg Creates Colourful Maps Of Country

The emerging artist shares how they found their creative voice and intuitive painting style, as their latest solo show opens in Sydney.
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Architecture

The Treasure-Filled Sydney Home Of Two Global Art Collectors

House Gezellig by Studio Prineas reflects their clients’ love for modernist design principles and collection of fine art.
Sasha Gattermayr
  21 hours ago

Homes

A Stylist + Podcaster’s Layered, Textured Seaside Home

Kerrie-Ann Jones’ renovated retro pad in Sydney’s southern beaches is a sun-drenched dream home!
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Homes

A Warm And Wonderful 1950s Home In North Warrandyte

Vy and Andrew Costen share their charming mid century family home, in near original condition!

Homes

Revisiting A Magical Inner City Treehouse

Inside Fleur Glenn's Clifton Hill sanctuary, designed by architect Murray Barker.

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.

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