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 California Bungalow That Embraces Its Garden

Interiors

Maike Design are a Melbourne design studio who’ve gained a reputation for their clever approach to heritage home renovations, creating bright and functional spaces completely tailored to each individual site.

Their latest project, Garden House, showcases this very approach, comprising a sympathetic renovation of a brick California bungalow, alongside a new north-facing pavilion. The original house has been reworked to create calm and enclosed private spaces, while the pavilion is as much a part of the garden as it is the house.

31st January, 2022

Garden House is a bright and functional transformation of a previously dark and inward facing brick bungalow in Malvern East, Victoria. Various ceramics from Modern Times. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

Various ceramics from Modern Times. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

Among Mairead’s favourite elements of the project is the glass walkway – the single point where these two structures meet. Garden design by Amanda Oliver Gardens. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

The adjoining extension turns 90 degrees to the original house towards the northern sunlight. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

Spaces are lined up along the length of a nine-metre long glazed wall, directly connecting each room to the garden. Artwork by Saxon Quinn from Modern Times. Photos – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

Artwork by Saxon Quinn from Modern Times. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

Maike Design replanned the existing house to feature quiet spaces catering to the ‘inwards facing parts of life’. Artwork by Stacey Rees via Modern Times. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

Where old meets new. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

The overall project has allowed for the existing house to be largely retained, while creating space for new rituals and moments of delight. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

The most significant update was the opening of the original house rear to the garden. Photo – Tess Kelly. Styling – Beck Simon

Amelia Barnes
Monday 31st January 2022

‘The design has been detailed to distort the line where the house ends and the garden begins.’ – Mairead Murphy

Garden House is a bright and breezy transformation of a previously dark and inward facing brick bungalow in Malvern East, Victoria, by Maike Design, and overseen by Bancroft and Malone Architects

The brief provided was to accommodate the growing family’s needs, including the provision of spaces for working from home at odd hours.

‘It was a clean and neat little house, but it needed repairs, and it didn’t functionally meet any of the client’s requirements,’ says Mairead Murphy, director of Maike Design, of the house pre-renovation. 

‘The two almost teen girls were sharing a room (which was definitely starting to wear thin!), the house had almost no storage, it was very cold and damp. and gave next to no connection to the enormous backyard.’

In response, the designers replanned the existing house to feature quiet spaces catering to the ‘inwards facing parts of life’ (three bedrooms, a bathroom, en suite, laundry and lounge), capitalising on the original building’s inherent solidity and calm.  

‘We focused on how the existing spaces could be replanned, using just a few deliberate and considered new openings and small alterations,’ says Mairead.

The most significant update was the opening of the original house rear to the garden designed by Amanda Oliver Gardens, achieved by demolishing the pantry, laundry, and storeroom. 

An adjoining extension was meanwhile added, turning 90 degrees to the original house towards the northern sunlight. Spaces are lined up along the length of a nine-metre long glazed wall, directly connecting each room to the garden. 

‘The design has been detailed to distort the line where the house ends and the garden begins,’ says Mairead. ‘The subtle qualities of the materials shift and change as the light changes outside, just like the garden does.’

Among Mairead’s favourite elements of the project is the glass walkway – the single point where these two structures meet. 

‘As you walk through the house, you step out of the old building, to be down to ground level and surrounded on both sides by greenery,’ says Mairead of this space. ‘For a space that technically doesn’t do anything, it has such a huge impact on the design and how the old and new sit together.’ 

The overall project has allowed for the existing house to be largely retained, while creating space for new rituals and moments of delight – details that really make a home.

This Week

On The Market

A Former Shopfront Turned Architecturally-Designed Home In Coburg Hits The Market

Behind an unassuming facade unfolds a brilliantly designed and sun-filled Coburg home, and it's for sale!
Bea Taylor
  13 hours ago

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.

Father's Day Favourites

Find The Perfect Book For Dad With 20% Off From Hardie Grant Publishing!

From the best barbecuing recipes to epic travel inspiration, you'll find the perfect book for dad in our edit of Hardie Grant Publishing's f...
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.

Father's Day Favourites

Give Dad A Dose Of (Stylish) Wanderlust With Bespoke Luggage From July!

Gift dad bespoke luggage from our favourite travel brand July and receive a complimentary personalised luggage tag worth $85!

Father's Day Favourites

Shop Luxurious Outdoor Essentials For Dad With 20% Off The Grampians Goods Co.

This one is for the dads who love camping, picnics, and a hot cocoa by the fire! We've got 20% off The Grampian Goods Co.!
Christina Karras

News

Shop Dreamy Pastel Landscapes In Collection III From ‘Palette by Jono Fleming’

Introducing interior stylist Jono Fleming’s third art collaboration with Sicilian-Australian artist Chanel Sohier.
Christina Karras

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras

Interiors

How This First-Time Renovator Transformed Her Pint-Sized Melbourne Apartment

A tiny renovation (34 square metres, to be precise) – that packs a big punch!

Studio Visit

Inside Elena Strohfeldt's Beautifully Therapeutic Ceramics Practice

How the self taught artist started making ceramics as a way to work through a painful trauma, channeling it into whimsical and organic vesse...
Christina Karras
  23 hours ago

Shopping

Kip&Co Team Up With Robert Gordon For A Fun-Filled Ceramic Range

The loveable local brands have created a new playful ceramics collection, bringing prints and colour to range of hand-crafted vases!
Christina Karras

Father's Day Favourites

Elevate Your Dad's Wardrobe This Father's Day With An Epic 20% Off Seed Heritage!

Seed Heritage has everything you need to level up your gift-giving efforts and dad’s personal style - and we have a special 20% offer for
Christina Karras
  15 hours ago

Homes

A Historic Melbourne Apartment With Artful, Lived-In Interiors

Interior designer Leigh Ellwood invites us inside her 1930s Beverley Hills apartment in South Yarra.

Father's Day Favourites

Announcing The Design Files Father's Day Favourites 2022!

Find the best gifts for dad and score special deals with our Father's Day Favourites online shopping event!

Similar Stories

Interiors

An Inspiring Renovation Of A Post-War Melbourne Home

Director of Maike Design, Mairead Murphy, saved a post-war Brunswick East house from demolition, and transformed it into her beautiful famil...

Interiors

A ‘60s Home Makeover For A Family + Their Cats!

The client’s cats were just as important as the human family members in this Melbourne home renovation by Maike Design – hence the proje...

Architecture

A Radical Reimagining Of The Suburban Family Home

PW Studio set out to design a house that integrated the two fundamentals of architecture, humans and nature, into one calm family home.

This Week

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.

Father's Day Favourites

Announcing The Design Files Father's Day Favourites 2022!

Find the best gifts for dad and score special deals with our Father's Day Favourites online shopping event!

Father's Day Favourites

Find The Perfect Book For Dad With 20% Off From Hardie Grant Publishing!

From the best barbecuing recipes to epic travel inspiration, you'll find the perfect book for dad in our edit of Hardie Grant Publishing's f...
Christina Karras

Father's Day Favourites

Give Dad A Dose Of (Stylish) Wanderlust With Bespoke Luggage From July!

Gift dad bespoke luggage from our favourite travel brand July and receive a complimentary personalised luggage tag worth $85!

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.

Homes

A Historic Melbourne Apartment With Artful, Lived-In Interiors

Interior designer Leigh Ellwood invites us inside her 1930s Beverley Hills apartment in South Yarra.

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...

Shopping

Kip&Co Team Up With Robert Gordon For A Fun-Filled Ceramic Range

The loveable local brands have created a new playful ceramics collection, bringing prints and colour to range of hand-crafted vases!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Inside Elena Strohfeldt's Beautifully Therapeutic Ceramics Practice

How the self taught artist started making ceramics as a way to work through a painful trauma, channeling it into whimsical and organic vesse...
Christina Karras
  23 hours ago

On The Market

A Former Shopfront Turned Architecturally-Designed Home In Coburg Hits The Market

Behind an unassuming facade unfolds a brilliantly designed and sun-filled Coburg home, and it's for sale!
Bea Taylor
  13 hours ago

Interiors

How This First-Time Renovator Transformed Her Pint-Sized Melbourne Apartment

A tiny renovation (34 square metres, to be precise) – that packs a big punch!

Father's Day Favourites

Elevate Your Dad's Wardrobe This Father's Day With An Epic 20% Off Seed Heritage!

Seed Heritage has everything you need to level up your gift-giving efforts and dad’s personal style - and we have a special 20% offer for
Christina Karras
  15 hours ago

News

Shop Dreamy Pastel Landscapes In Collection III From ‘Palette by Jono Fleming’

Introducing interior stylist Jono Fleming’s third art collaboration with Sicilian-Australian artist Chanel Sohier.
Christina Karras

Father's Day Favourites

Shop Luxurious Outdoor Essentials For Dad With 20% Off The Grampians Goods Co.

This one is for the dads who love camping, picnics, and a hot cocoa by the fire! We've got 20% off The Grampian Goods Co.!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Interiors

An Inspiring Renovation Of A Post-War Melbourne Home

Mairead Murphy saved a post-war house from likely demolition, and turned it into her beautiful family home in Brunswick East.

Interiors

A ‘60s Home Makeover For A Family + Their Cats!

The client’s cats were just as important as the human family members in this Melbourne home renovation – hence the project’s name, Meo...

Architecture

A Radical Reimagining Of The Suburban Family Home

PW Studio set out to design a house that integrated the two fundamentals of architecture, humans and nature, into one calm family home.

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