The all-white, heritage facade of this Fitzroy home refuses to give anything away about what lies inside, but that’s exactly what makes it so much fun.
It’s the family residence of Dennis Daniel, his wife and their two children. Dennis is an architect by trade, but has worked as a sculptor for artists Patricia Piccinini and Peter Hennessey since he finished university, and had even ‘been tinkering with a moody grayscale 3D model of his dream renovation for years’ before he engaged design practice Hindley & Co for the transformation.
‘Dennis’ sculptural model of the house was the starting point,’ Hindley & Co director and principal architect Anne Hindley reveals.
Together, they reconciled the Victorian-era home’s dark spaces and impractical floorplan with his creative vision – approaching the renovation as if it was a work of art itself, Anne adds.
It helped that ‘[Dennis] appreciates colour, texture and composition in a way that many clients do not, as well as having access to some of Patricia’s amazing artwork to use in the house.’
They also adopted a ‘spendy-savey’ attitude to the materials. This meant mixing feature tiles with budget-friendly utility tiles and a combination of laminate and timber for the joinery, while the Baltic pine floors were kept for warmth wherever possible.
‘We transformed the steep old Victorian staircase by wrapping it in feature finishes, and making it glow from within, installing strip lighting inside the balustrade. The unused under-stair area was turned into an all-blue secret laundry and powder room,’ Anne explains.
Upstairs, the front two rooms were turned into a wide main bedroom, allowing the grand front windows that overlook the street to give it a European apartment feel. Skylights throughout fill the interior with light, and the extended living room made way for a new study and reading nook thoughtfully hidden behind a clear screen.
Anne says the contrast between the simplicity of the interiors and the whimsical styling was all about ensuring longevity. The built-in forms feel aligned with the home’s elegant roots, creating a timeless backdrop that heroes the family’s ever-changing collection of colourful art and sculptural furniture.