Renovating the inner-north Melbourne home of stylist and art director Nat Turnbull, and photographer Sam Wong, has been a labour of love over the past few years.
Soon after moving in, the creative couple initially completed their own renovations with the help of family on weekends, that saw all the old carpet removed, floorboards restored, and new concrete laid.
‘We have slowly chipped away at the renovation to allow ourselves time in between to save for the next part,’ says Nat. ‘I think if people saw the before and after, they would be quite shocked to see what we were dealing with, but the bones were good.’
Architect Adriana Hanna was engaged for the later stages of the project, involving the kitchen and bathroom.
‘The house is very small, (the kitchen, living and dining are all in one space) so our brief to Adriana was we wanted a kitchen that functioned as it needed to, but aesthetically didn’t make us feel like we were always hanging out or sitting in the kitchen,’ says Nat.
This vision has been achieved with finely detailed blush pink cabinetry (Laminex Peruvian Clay) and an island bench that hovers atop sculptural concrete spheres, appearing more as a piece of furniture than traditional joinery.
‘I love that it’s unique; it doesn’t feel or look like any other spaces I have seen before. It’s practical and functional while still being interesting architecturally, which I think is a fine line to tread.’ says Nat.
There’s a distinct use of colour in this home, though overall, the palette is most notable for its overwhelming restraint. The use of pastel, muted shades facilitates a serene, almost otherworldly feel. This distinct atmosphere has been enhanced further by the diffused lighting scheme, carefully curated by Sam.
‘Sam is a photographer, so he’s naturally interested in and great at lighting. He has perfected the ideal lamp combination!’ says Nat. ‘I do think our home is best experienced at night.’
The final touches in this expertly curated home are the handcrafted items on display throughout, and the furniture that’s been creatively sourced.
‘My favourite piece is my Le Bambole sofa, which Adriana found on eBay and sent to me. It was in pretty bad condition, but I had it recovered with Kvadrat Harald velvet at Carlo’s Upholstery and it really brought it back to life,’ says Nat.
‘I have also been lucky enough to do some contra swaps for product with particular brands that I have styled for. I do love that each piece has a story and a bit of history to it.’
Given the nature of Nat’s job, and her expert eye for sourcing unique and interesting things, there’s no doubt this distinctive home is destined to continue evolving over time. For now though, the couple are content with their calm, carefully curated surrounds. ‘I do feel like there’s always things to do’ Nat muses… ‘but I think we are done for a while now.’