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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!

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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