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 Dessert-Inspired ‘60s Home Makeover!

Architecture

When the current owners took possession of this Brighton East property, they became only the second owners in its history. The 1960s house was in completely original condition, but rather than strip it of mid-century features, they called in Wowowa to turn up the colour dial!

The architects designed an extension with a unique roof form similar to a boat; reconfigured the existing rooms; and integrated the clients’ personalities through a punchy, vibrant interior palette that looks good enough to eat.

It’s an incredibly fun home (as is the Wowowa way), but it’s also a functional, hardworking house for a family of six.  Let’s take a tour!  

10th June, 2021

Wowowa is an architecture firm renowned for its use of colour, but this Brighton East residence takes it up a notch! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Large sliding doors make for a grand segue between indoor and outdoor spaces. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The kitchen is the most playful area of all with a colour scheme ranging from banana Paddle Pop yellow benches; a chocolatey, fluted timber island base; creamy pastel pink cabinetry; and fizzy terrazzo flooring. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Dark cabinetry, yellow benches and speckled pink terrazzo give the space a confectionary-like palette. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

An agile new extension runs the length of the house, with all flank rooms serviced by a light-filled colonnade. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The timber roof takes design cues from the nearby beach to feature cladding and construction methodology akin to a boat with a keel, bow and stern. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The nautical reference is carried through in whimsical detailing: brass fittings, porthole windows for additional light to wet areas, and the timber decking applied to both ceiling and floor. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Peach and grey laundry interiors give even the most serviceable interiors a pop! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

This rear area now serves as the children’s wing containing three bedrooms including study spaces and breakout areas. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Colour-coded bedroom dreams. Bags the pink! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Crimson, fairy floss, peachy and raspberry coincide for a feast of pinks in this bedroom. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Less colours and more details at the head of the bed, which is made from in-built custom joinery. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Muted blues still pop in this bathroom due to the speckled terrazzo flooring. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

A different colour for every room! Moss green tiles in this ensuite give way to orange tiling just beyond. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The retro bones of this ’70s house remain the dominant exterior expression! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The clever, agile extension meant the home for the family of six could spread outwards rather than upwards. Keeping it all on one level was essential to keeping the mid-century lines! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Faithfulness to colour still extends throughout the garden detailing. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The garden is landscaped by Amanda Oliver. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The new renovation to this retro Brighton East home stays faithful to the original architecture while still bringing the design firmly into the 21st century! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Amelia Barnes
Thursday 10th June 2021

The dessert-inspired colour palette draws in the client’s mid-century furniture, and allows a smiling eye to whimsically dance around the home.’ – Monique Woodward

The owners of this 1960s home in Brighton East weren’t interested in demolishing or removing its mid-century sensibilities, but rather taking these to the next level!

They approached Wowowa with an open mind, requesting more space and a renovation that suited the house. Drawing on these desires, and the distinct personalities of the family of six, Wowowa devised a reworking of the original home, alongside an agile new extension.

This extension adopts a simple, linear form that slides against the existing volume to run lengthways down the block. 

‘Our extension aimed to rise to this history and sit alongside it with pride and conviction [and] equal robustness, but also with a warm, teddy bear-coloured hug,’ says Monique Woodward, director of Wowowa.

The focal point of this new structure or ‘colonnade’ is the roof, which takes design cues from the nearby beach to feature cladding and construction methodology akin to a boat with a keel, bow and stern. 

Monique explains, ‘The keel of the boat is expressed down the length of the colonnade like the belly of a whale, and the nautical reference is carried through in whimsical detailing: brass fittings, porthole windows for additional light to wet areas, and the timber decking applied to both ceiling and floor.’

This rear area now serves as the ‘children’s wing’ containing three bedrooms including study spaces and breakout areas.  Meanwhile, the main bedroom lies in the reconfigured front portion of the home, followed by the sitting room, before the open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge, that run perpendicular to the extension. Landscaped areas by Amanda Oliver Gardens on either side offer valuable green, outdoor space and views, in addition to the front yard and new pool at the rear. 

While the proportions of the updated home are impressive, it’s the new interior palette that’s the real showstopper. The kitchen is the most playful area of all, with a colour scheme ranging from banana Paddle Pop yellow benches; a chocolatey, fluted timber island base; creamy pastel pink cabinetry; and fizzy terrazzo flooring. 

‘The dessert-inspired colour palette draws in the client’s mid-century furniture, and allows a smiling eye to whimsically dance around the home,’ says Monique. 

Vibrant colour combinations were also applied in the bathrooms and children’s bedrooms, while the main bedroom offers a moment of respite, with its calming tones.

Another fabulous, characterful home, from one of our favourite Melbourne architecture studios!

This Week

Creative People

Andalusian-Inspired Lampshades, Handwoven In Sydney

Lana Launay makes her textured light covers from natural materials such as coffee-stained raffia, coconut shell rope and bamboo yarn.

News

Laminex Extend Their Epic Colour Collection With These On-Trend Hues

The heritage Australian company adds seventeen new ‘decors’ to its offering, including warm earthy shades, stone-look textures + woodgra...
Sponsored

Gardens

Three Trees + A Pool - The Love Story Of A Wild-Looking, Natural Garden

Mcnuttndorff Landscapes tamed this rambling Fairfield garden around a new pool and three majestic eucalypts!

Gardens

A Vacant Cow Paddock Turned Relaxed Australian Country Garden

Weeds and camphor are replaced by lush natives, a veggie garden and a hilltop plunge pool in this country garden by Fig Landscapes.

Architecture

An Architect’s Reworking Of Sir Roy Grounds’ Former Balmain Home

A heritage 1970s house in Balmain once owned by Sir Roy Grounds has been its re-engineered by its present owner, architect Conrad Johnston o...

Shopping

Seven Local Kids Design Brands We Can’t Get Enough Of!

Seven of our favourite local kids brands, and where to find them!

Architecture

An Architecture Power Couple’s Extraordinary Concrete Home

Inside 'La Scala’ – the contemporary, concrete Brisbane home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, co-founders of Richards an...

Homes

An Interior Designer’s Mini Converted Warehouse That Feels Like Home

In past lives, this little converted warehouse in Fitzroy has been a secret bar and a photographic studio. Now, it’s the charming rental h...
2.02

Art en Route

A Visit to the Blue Mountains with Jono Fleming, and Ford Puma

Sydney stylist Jono Fleming is our tour guide for a dreamy day trip to the Blue Mountains, in the new Ford Puma!

Architecture

A Bushy Family Home That Brings The Outdoors In

You'd never know that this clever home by Anthrosite Architects shields its occupants from a busy motorway on one side of the house.

Art

The Secret Mystical Paintings of International Art Sensation, Hilma af Klint

The visionary Swedish artist’s enormous colourful artworks were hidden from the world for decades. Now, they are on show at Art Gallery of...

News

Cute Handmade Aprons For Tiny Chefs!

Little Linens sell patterned aprons designed, printed and hand-sewn from a kitchen table in Melbourne!
Sasha Aarons

Interiors

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Interior Designer

What does an interior designer do, and how much does a residential project cost? Here's everything you need to know, with info from leading

Shopping

The Aboriginal-Owned Homewares Brand Bringing First Nations Art To Homes + Classrooms Across Australia!

Bundjalung/Minjungbal woman Emma Rolls of Emro Designs shares her collection of rugs, cushions and soon-to-be-released picnic mats featuring...

Interiors

A Peaceful, Pastel Transformation Of A Petite Art Deco Apartment

Rosanna Ceravolo creates a new, sympathetic interior personality for a two-bedroom flat in the leafy suburb of South Yarra.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Minty Fresh Addition For A Beloved Family Home

This Flemington home in the hands of one family for 80 years has been given a sympathetic update by Lisa Breeze.

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace That Plays Design Gymnastics!

Melbourne's colour masters Wowowa are back with another clever Victorian renovation!

Architecture

A Mood-Enhancing Melbourne Home

Kennedy Nolan have knocked it out of the park again, transforming a Victorian house with a dated extension into a cohesive home, with uplift...

This Week

2.02

Art en Route

A Visit to the Blue Mountains with Jono Fleming, and Ford Puma

Sydney stylist Jono Fleming is our tour guide for a dreamy day trip to the Blue Mountains, in the new Ford Puma!

News

Cute Handmade Aprons For Tiny Chefs!

Little Linens sell patterned aprons designed, printed and hand-sewn from a kitchen table in Melbourne!
Sasha Aarons

Interiors

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Interior Designer

What does an interior designer do, and how much does a residential project cost? Here's everything you need to know, with info from leading

Architecture

A Bushy Family Home That Brings The Outdoors In

You'd never know that this clever home by Anthrosite Architects shields its occupants from a busy motorway on one side of the house.

Interiors

A Peaceful, Pastel Transformation Of A Petite Art Deco Apartment

Rosanna Ceravolo creates a new, sympathetic interior personality for a two-bedroom flat in the leafy suburb of South Yarra.

Gardens

Three Trees + A Pool - The Love Story Of A Wild-Looking, Natural Garden

Mcnuttndorff Landscapes tamed this rambling Fairfield garden around a new pool and three majestic eucalypts!

News

Laminex Extend Their Epic Colour Collection With These On-Trend Hues

The heritage Australian company adds seventeen new ‘decors’ to its offering, including warm earthy shades, stone-look textures + woodgra...
Sponsored

Architecture

An Architecture Power Couple’s Extraordinary Concrete Home

Inside 'La Scala’ – the contemporary, concrete Brisbane home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, co-founders of Richards an...

Shopping

The Aboriginal-Owned Homewares Brand Bringing First Nations Art To Homes + Classrooms Across Australia!

Bundjalung/Minjungbal woman Emma Rolls of Emro Designs shares her collection of rugs, cushions and soon-to-be-released picnic mats featuring...

Architecture

An Architect’s Reworking Of Sir Roy Grounds’ Former Balmain Home

A heritage 1970s house in Balmain once owned by Sir Roy Grounds has been its re-engineered by its present owner, architect Conrad Johnston o...

Shopping

Seven Local Kids Design Brands We Can’t Get Enough Of!

Seven of our favourite local kids brands, and where to find them!

Homes

An Interior Designer’s Mini Converted Warehouse That Feels Like Home

In past lives, this little converted warehouse in Fitzroy has been a secret bar and a photographic studio. Now, it’s the charming rental h...

Art

The Secret Mystical Paintings of International Art Sensation, Hilma af Klint

The visionary Swedish artist’s enormous colourful artworks were hidden from the world for decades. Now, they are on show at Art Gallery of...

Creative People

Andalusian-Inspired Lampshades, Handwoven In Sydney

Lana Launay makes her textured light covers from natural materials such as coffee-stained raffia, coconut shell rope and bamboo yarn.

Gardens

A Vacant Cow Paddock Turned Relaxed Australian Country Garden

Weeds and camphor are replaced by lush natives, a veggie garden and a hilltop plunge pool in this country garden by Fig Landscapes.

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Minty Fresh Addition For A Beloved Family Home

A sympathetic makeover for a Flemington home passed down by the one family for over 80 years.

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace That Plays Design Gymnastics!

A clever renovation of a Brunswick East home, completed by the masters of colour, Wowowa.

Architecture

A Mood-Enhancing Melbourne Home

Kennedy Nolan have knocked it out of the park again, transforming a Victorian house with a dated extension into a cohesive home, with uplift...

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.