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Jenna and Josh Densten’s Dreamy New Family Home

Homes

Back in 2018 we shared the pint-sized North Melbourne home of Josh and Jenna Densten. This home remains in the hands of the couple today, but is now joined by a new, larger family house right behind the original tiny weatherboard home!

The designers and seasoned renovators (you probably remember them from their days on The Block!) worked with Foomann Architects to bring this project to life. 

The result is a seriously stunning and calming space, offering the comfort and tranquility of a day spa, with the practicality to suit a young family of four! 

21st April, 2021

‘Traeger’ smoker by BBQs and Outdoor. Curtains from DIY Blinds. ‘La Paloma’ bricks in Miro from Brickworks. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Family portrait, from left: Fred, Josh, Jenna and Story. Vase by Marloe Marloe. Ball cushion by The Creative Muster. Bolster cushion by Klay. Pendant light by Daniel Emma. Curtains from DIY Blinds. Vintage sofa sourced from En Gold. Coffee table by Softer Studio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Heatmaster B750 fireplace. ‘La Paloma’ bricks in Miro from BrickworksWoodcut colour Voss flooring. ‘Epic’ rug in camel from Hali Rugs. Coffee table by Softer Studio. Boucle ‘Joy’ armchair by Jardan. Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Epic’ rug in camel from Hali Rugs. Coffee table by Softer Studio. Vase by Marloe Marloe. Small object by Natalie Rosin. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Epic’ rug in camel from Hali Rugs. Coffee table by Softer Studio. Woodcut ‘Voss’ colour flooring. Boucle ‘Joy’ armchair by Jardan. Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry. Pendant light by Daniel Emma. Curtains from DIY Blinds. Vintage sofa sourced from En Gold. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lamp by Neighbourhood Studio. Lower artwork by Audrey Bodisco. Middle artwork by Clare Dubina. Upper artwork by Edit E. Woodcut ‘Voss’ colour flooring. Grey Earth Studio who did the concrete for the barbecue area and for either side of the fireplace. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artwork by Clare Dubina. Small object by Natalie Rosin. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Epic’ rug in camel from Hali Rugs. Coffee table by Softer Studio. Woodcut ‘Voss’ colour flooring. Boucle ‘Joy’ armchair by Jardan. Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry. Pendant light by Daniel Emma. Curtains from DIY Blinds. Vintage sofa and dining chairs sourced from En Gold. Heatmaster B750 fireplace. Plant pots from The Pot Project. Custom designed dining table and mirror made by Joel Elliott furniture. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Storage baskets from Ikea. Woodcut ‘Voss’ colour flooring. ‘Epic’ rug in camel from Hali Rugs. ‘La Paloma’ bricks in Miro from Brickworks. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vintage sofa sourced from En Gold. Plant pots from The Pot Project. Custom-designed mirror made by Joel Elliott furniture. Coffee table by Softer Studio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lamp De Marseille wall lamp. Vintage dining chairs sourced from En Gold. Custom-designed dining table made by Joel Elliott furniture. Woodcut ‘Voss’ colour flooring. ‘Epic’ rug in camel from Hali Rugs. Vintage sofa sourced from En Gold. Coffee table by Softer Studio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lamp De Marseille wall lamp. Vintage dining chairs sourced from En Gold. Custom-designed dining table made by Joel Elliott furniture. Artwork by Clare Dubina. Memor vase from Tigmi Trading. Timber bowl from Mcmullin & Co. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Tap by Brodware. Corian benchtop. Joinery by Joel Elliot Furniture. ‘La Paloma’ bricks in Miro from Brickworks. Left artwork by Carley Bourne. Right artwork by Stanislas Piechaczek. Back artwork by Ash Holmes. Wall light by Douglas and Bec. Vintage Artek Rocket Stool via Nord Modern. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Ceramic objects by Ella Bendrups. ‘La Paloma’ bricks in Miro from Brickworks. Joinery by Joel Elliot Furniture. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Tap by Brodware. Corian benchtop. Joinery by Joel Elliot Furniture. ‘La Paloma’ bricks in Miro from Brickworks. Left artwork by Carley Bourne. Right artwork by Stanislas Piechaczek. Back artwork by Ash Holmes. Wall light by Douglas and Bec. Vintage Artek Rocket Stool via Nord Modern. Woodcut ‘Voss’ colour flooring. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Woodcut ‘Voss’ colour flooring. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Right artwork by Stanislas Piechaczek. Pitcher from Tigmi Trading. Wall light by Douglas and Bec. Wetdash render wall finish. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Curtains from DIY Blinds. Rug from Hunter & Nomad. Cot from Ikea. Stool from Pan After. Mural painted by Josh and Jenna. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Triple bunk custom designed and built by by Joel Elliot Furniture. Linen by Castle. Rug from Ikea. Wall sconces from West Elm. Curtains from DIY Blinds. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The view from the hallway into the main bedroom. Rug from Tigmi Trading. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The main bathroom. Taps by Brodware. Wall light by Volker Haug. Venetian Plaster finish on walls. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Josh and Jenna’s room featuring seagrass wallpaper. Linen from The Sheet Society (‘butter’ colour). Art by Nastia Gladushchenko. Curtains from DIY Blinds. Vintage bedsides sourced from Curated Spaces. Bedhead from McMullin & Co. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The en suite. Tap by Brodware. Corian benchtop. Joinery by Joel Elliot Furniture. Soap holder by Dinosaur Designs. Tiles from Sarah Ellison Studio. Venetian Plaster finish on walls. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Linen from The Sheet Society in Butter. Art by Nastia Gladushchenko. Curtains from DIY Blinds. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The house completely opens to the central courtyard, flooding the living room with light. ‘Traeger’ smoker by BBQs and Outdoor. Curtains from DIY Blinds. ‘La Paloma’ bricks in Miro from Brickworks. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Timber-look screen that conceals a shed by Protector Aluminium. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The quaint cottage facade neatly conceals the treasure that lies behind! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 21st April 2021

‘It’s the perfect balance for us – straightforward design but still enough space for us to showcase our collection of art, records and ceramics.’ – Josh Densten

 

Josh and Jenna Densten give very good house. In fact, this dynamic couple (they really don’t need introducing but in case you’ve forgotten, Josh is a plumber by trade, whilst Jenna is an interior designer and founder of Design School) have renovated a total of 10 homes together, since the pair were just 18 years old. But this house, their brand new three bedroom home in North Melbourne, is one they plan on sticking with for a while. And we can certainly see why – it’s a total dream home!

In fact, this spectacular home is a lot more than meets the eye. Tucked inconspicuously behind the couple’s former home – a tiny single-fronted worker’s cottage on a narrow 5 metre wide site in North Melbourne – its scale and sweeping ceilings are totally unexpected. How do you hide a house this distinctive, behind an unassuming little weatherboard cottage? It feels like a magician’s trick!

The house is a completely new freestanding dwelling, separated from the original house by a courtyard. It was designed by Foomann Architects, with the main purpose of providing more space for Josh and Jenna’s young daughters, Fred and Story. The original weatherboard dwelling on the site, which sits at a mere 32 square metres,  has since been converted into a self-contained guests’ quarters.

‘The rear dwelling was pulled toward the back of the block so it would become north-facing onto the courtyard,’ says Josh. ‘The home also has a small courtyard in the centre, and another at the rear, off the kid’s bedrooms, which has become a private, shaded play retreat.’ Not an inch of space on this inner city block is wasted!

Inside this new home, you’ll find the same calming interior aesthetic that Josh and Jenna have become known for. ‘We love soft lines, textures, timber, neutral colours, and creating a calming, cohesive atmosphere’ says Jenna – all of which is reflected in this serene, airy space. 

‘We love how uncomplicated the home is. We love the combination of large windows, curves, internal courtyards and timber,’ Josh says. ‘It’s the perfect balance for us – straightforward design, but still enough space for us to showcase our collection of art, records and ceramics.’

Of particular importance to Jenna and Josh has been curating the home’s furniture and decor. ‘We had to be patient, and always on the lookout for the perfect ceramic or armchair. Lots of mood boarding!’ says Josh.

Personal touches such as Josh’s record player and vinyl collection instil a homey feeling, which is amplified at night when the children are in bed and the couple can listen around an open fire! 

It’s been a labour of love, but now that the house is finally finished, Josh and Jenna have set their sights on a new (slightly more modest) project – renovating an old RV! They just can’t kick that renovating bug…

If you’re also a keen renovator, be sure to check out Jenna’s business, Design School, offering accredited interior decoration courses and online masterclasses, to learn how they do it!

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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