A Classic Victorian Terrace Reimagined With Mid-Century-Inspired Interiors

This single-fronted brick terrace in Melbourne’s Fitzroy North conceals many surprises. After an expert renovation by Dan Gayfer of True Story, the period dwelling is now filled with elegance, character and fun.

Mid-century modern aesthetics and bold colours contrast the industrial ruggedness of the original facade, while a sunken dining room with custom built-in seating makes for the perfect entertaining space.

The magic truly does lie in the details of this family home. See the full transformation below!

Emily Holgate

Built-in leather bench made with Thomas Maxwell London Club leather in ‘Clove’ by Warwick Fabrics. Artwork by Mark Rushbrooke.

‘Porphyry’ courtyard paving by Eco Outdoor.

Nubrik ‘Traditional Chapel Red’ brickwork leans into the industrial feel of the original facade.

Blackwood timber veneer cabinetry and Brushbox timber flooring and stairs.

An elegant bar featuring an Artedomus ‘Zaragoza’ marble benchtop.

Plenty of timber and textural detailing throughout adds to the mid-century vibe.

The kitchen benchtop is also made with Artedomus marble.

‘Chifu 3090’ green tiling by Artedomus.

Steel cladding by Colorbond in ‘Southerly’.

Built-in seating throughout the home helps to maximise the space.

The upstairs reading nook overlooks an opposing parkland. Escape Velour green carpet in ‘Joni’ by Supertuft. Artwork by Spinifex Hill Studio.

A built-in study is also found upstairs. Artwork by Giorgia Bel.

Artwork (left) by Giorgia Bel. Rooftop terrace Atrium ‘0351’ outdoor upholstery (right) by Kvadrat.

‘Apple Green’ bathroom vanity benchtop by Signorino. City Plus tapware in ‘Statue Bronze’ by Brodware.

Pixel41 tiling in ‘Frog’ by Perini Tiles.

Floor/vanity terrazzo tiling in ‘Khaki Jam’ by Fibonacci.

Martino coral tiling in ‘Terracotta Matt’ by Perini Tiles.

Emily Holgate
20th of June 2024
Interior Design

Fitzroy North, VIC/Wurundjeri Country

Exposed brick, bold colours and a mid-century modern aesthetic collide at this magnificently renovated Victorian terrace in Melbourne’s inner north.

A single-fronted period dwelling — located on a coveted corner block in Fitzroy North — was a rare find when couple Ellie and Matt purchased the home in 2016. But after welcoming two children into their lives, it wasn’t long until the young family began to outgrow the two-bedroom pad.

So, the pair engaged interior designer Dan Gayfer, director of design firm True Story (previously known as Dan Gayfer Design), to reimagine the space. The original front rooms were retained and renovated as children’s bedrooms, while the adjacent hallway was stripped of its plaster to expose the hidden brickwork.

In collaboration with Ben Lloyd of New Zealand architecture studio Lloyd Hartley, Dan and his team designed a new addition to the home with elegant interiors that still complement the industrial ruggedness of the facade.

‘The refined interior architecture and design radiate characteristics of mid-century modern design — stylistically a contrast to the building’s more robust and grandiose architecture,’ Dan elaborates.

Inside, warm timber accents and textural elements create an inviting atmosphere, while various pops of colour inject a sense of fun into the home —  the main bathroom, for example, where every surface is covered in bold green tiling.

By contrast, the main bedroom’s ensuite features a softer and more sophisticated palette thanks to a combination of muted coral and pink terrazzo tiling.

‘We didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously or become too minimalist, hence the selection of these colourful and textural tiles,’ Dan says.

Deep green tiles continues in the kitchen alongside blackwood timber cabinetry and a striking marble benchtop featuring electric gold veining. But atypical to a traditional Victorian terrace, the kitchen leads down into a sunken dining room complete with built-in leather booth seating and an elegant bar — all opening to a landscaped outdoor area with built-in seating.

Dan explains how the custom built-in furniture throughout the home fits like ‘puzzle pieces’ to maximise the entire footprint and ensure no wasted space.

Though the downstairs areas are well suited for entertaining, the upstairs space provides a place of solitude. A light-filled study nook and reading den with views of the opposing parkland join the main bedroom and ensuite here, connecting to an open rooftop terrace — perfect for a sunset cocktail!

The magic truly does lie in the details of this family home, marking the beginning of a new chapter for Dan who recently welcomed designer Lewis Marash as a director of the rebranded studio.

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