Inside A Bold, LA-Inspired Townhouse Filled With Colour + Art

Old-world charm gets a modern edge in the playful Melbourne abode of Technē Architects director Nick Travers and partner Maree Papadakis.

The property is one of four unique townhouses that have been carved out of a palatial 1930s mansion. But having recently been refurbished with the help of interior designer Bianca Baldi, the couple’s colourful family home brings a taste of LA to their Toorak neighbourhood.

Christina Karras

Inside the luxurious Monomeath House! Photo – Caitlin Mills

Rich jewel tones of green and blue run throughout the kitchen and living spaces. Photo – Caitlin Mills

The glamorous stone island bench and marble backdrop is one of the first things you seen when you walk through the front door! Photo – Caitlin Mills

Designed for entertaining, the home is reminiscent of a luxury hospitality venue. Photo – Caitlin Mills

The dining space opposite the kitchen. Le Grazon #2 sculpture by Jean Paul Mangin. Photo – Caitlin Mills

The family’s impressive collection of contemporary art completes the property’s playful atmosphere. Hyperphantasia photograph by Kate Ballis. Cactus sculpture from Living Edge. Photo – Caitlin Mills

Dusty pink timber panels complete the cosy living room. Photo – Caitlin Mills

The timber clad staircase. Photo – Caitlin Mills

It hides the entrance to an elegant powder room! Photo – Caitlin Mills

The sophisticated main bedroom. Photo – Caitlin Mills

Hollywood vibes in the glamorous ensuite. Photo – Caitlin Mills

Colour blocking was key to the renovation. Photo – Caitlin Mills

Photo – Caitlin Mills

The courtyard also brings a little taste of Palm Springs to the Melbourne home. Photo – Caitlin Mills

The exterior has been given a new look by landscape designers, Ayus Botanical. Photo – Caitlin Mills

Christina Karras
19th of October 2022

Despite its sleek and modern interiors, this Toorak property was once part of an old 1930s mansion.

The expansive, original building was divided into four townhouses, with Technē Architects director Nick Travers and Maree Papadakis purchasing Monomeath House, nestled at the very back of the property, about six years ago.

At the end of 2019, the couple decided it was time to inject their family’s playful personality into the ‘beige’ interiors of the three-level residence. They enlisted the help of interior designer Bianca Baldi, who stepped outside her role as senior interior associate at Technē to lead the renovation alongside Nick.

‘The brief was to transform the space into the forever home,’ Bianca says. ‘There was an innate conservatism to the original building, so the goal was to inject a sense of surprise and fun within the envelope while balancing all the elements we had to work with.’

The old-world charm of the home’s ornate fireplaces and ceiling details where incorporated into the colourful redesign, which drew on the family’s visits of Los Angeles with subtle nods to Hollywood’s golden age.

Jewel tones bring a sense of drama to the kitchen, where a deep green marble splashback and curved stone island bench are complete with a teal velvet curtain. The courtyard was also overhauled with a Palm Springs-inspired vibe thanks to a retro outdoor setting and new landscaping by Ayus Botanical.

In living room, dusty pink panelling and contemporary art enhance the bold atmosphere, while the doorway to a glamorous blue powder room is hidden within the timber clad staircase. Bianca says the refreshed Monomeath House is reminiscent of a luxurious hospitality venue – noting how the wide, moody stairway to the garage feels like ‘you’re walking down to the basement cinema or bar’.

‘I love how the space makes you feel’ Bianca adds. ‘It’s not too serious and reminds us all that your space can be whatever you want it to be!’

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