Tali Roth has been ‘obsessed’ with mid century homes from a young age.
After eight years of on and off house hunting with her husband, property developer Marcus Jankie, the interior designer discovered one of Melbourne’s best for sale — a 1969 architect-designed property on the market for the first time, in her childhood suburb.
‘The house is very thoughtfully laid out, with the basement originally just being an open space with a bar, in order to host small gatherings of family and friends,’ says Tali.
The Caulfield North house was designed in 1969 by Czechia-born architect Robert Rosh, who trained overseas. Rosh never registered as an architect in Victoria, so his architectural history has been seldom documented, but he designed numerous houses for European clients post WWII in Caulfield and St Kilda.
Tali and Marcus were living in New York City when the Melbourne home went up for sale, but they purchased the property with plans to return home. They lived locally with Tali’s grandmother while adjusting to Australian life, before embarking on a cosmetic renovation of their new home.
Naturally, Tali designed the renovation in her signature bold, eclectic and sophisticated style, while taking the opportunity to take some fresh design risks!
‘I think the hardest part was being the client and the designer on this job. I overthought every single decision and felt a lot of pressure to get it right,’ Tali says.
‘I really wanted to ensure it wasn’t a melting pot of all my unrealised dreams. I kept reminding myself of what Coco Chanel famously said about her style: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” I kept doing that with the home — I would assess each space and then remove something.’
Tali designed each storey to have a slightly different feel, starting with the top floor (containing the bedrooms) layered with French mid-century influences.
The main floor, meanwhile, is full of juxtapositions: warm furniture with cold floors, warm joinery with natural stone, and stainless steel. ‘I wanted it to be hard wearing but still sexy’ she explains.
‘I tried to make each space super warm, inviting, and chic’ Tali continues. ‘I think whilst the home is impressive, it still hopefully feels understated and comfortable to be in.’
Many of the home’s original 1960’s features remain, including the incredible staircase, and scalloped bathroom cabinetry that’s been decorated with Italian-made Gucci wallpaper.
Incredibly, only one significant structural change was required here – converting the kitchen area, to make it open plan. ‘We mainly rehabbed what was there, minus the kitchen part. There was no reconfiguring of rooms,’ says Tali.
The updated home is a perfect showcase of Tali’s distinctive interior design aesthetic, while also remaining a warm and functional family home.
‘My husband loves to have people over and to host, and this is the best house to do that,’ says Tali. ‘I think our home reflects both sides of our personalities.’