The personal home of Brylee Schache (interior designer and director of Humbl Studio) and Sam Winfield (builder and owner of Winstar Construction) is one of the few remaining houses from Geelong West’s industrious period from the 1840s and 1850s, back when the area was known as Kildare.
Sam purchased the heritage-listed house in 2019 in a heavily renovated state, although the property’s age was evident. ‘The home lacked some love, warmth and natural light, while I was fascinated by the existing plumbing works running above ground from the bathroom, through all the kitchen and living room joinery, and through to the backyard,’ says Brylee.
The couple began living in the home in 2022 and set about making it their own.
Brylee designed the renovation to introduce more colour and functionality suitable for the couple. No extension was added, but a few tweaks to the existing floor plan helped expand the kitchen, rework the bathroom, and create a designated study at the end of the hallway.
Brylee explains, ‘A key change here was removing the door to the study and creating a beautiful curved opening where you see a snippet of the navy blue walls as you look down the hallway. Originally the hallway was dark and cold, but now the hallway feels spacious and inviting with a lot more natural light filtering through.’
Each room was designed to have its own personality, achieved through changes in the colour palette. ‘I particularly like this idea for the bedrooms,’ Brylee says. ‘Rather than having white walls like the rest of the space, you walk into this warm and slightly subdued bedroom that is more relaxing than other spaces of the home.’
Shades of blue and green were introduced throughout on the kitchen and living room joinery, bathroom tiles, and main bedroom walls.
Special attention was also paid to the joinery to make the most of the home’s compact floor plan of around 100 square metres. ‘We feel like we got the functionality of the home spot on. There is a spot for absolutely everything and plenty of storage space,’ Brylee says.
The renovations were completed over 18 months on weekends around Brylee and Sam’s other work. The couple completed about 70 per cent of the work themselves including the joinery, tiling, and installing the flooring.
Brylee’s advice to other renovators is to do each job once and do it well. ‘Even if you can’t afford to do it all at once, you can chip away at it, but save enough to do exactly what you want in each space and you will love it forever.’