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The Journey of building our forever home

The Journey of building our forever home

Contemporary Melbourne | House of the week

This weeks home tour is a contemporary home located in Melbourne. Originally an 1920's art deco home it's been renovated in a classic contemporary style with beautiful high ceilings, loads of natural light and stunning art

Who lives here 

Rebecca (interior consultant - instagram @becshnider ),  Braham (Management Consultant) , Twins Romy & Blake 22, and Berry 12

Style of home and location 

Contemporary style, Melbourne

Timeline of build 

The house was renovated in two stages -  The first renovation which included adding on two bedrooms, ensures, study area and laundry was done 5 years ago and the kitchen and downstairs media room was done 2 years ago.

How would you describe your interior design style and where did you get your inspiration for your beautiful home?

I wouldn’t categorise myself with a particular style, but i love white walls then adding warmth, colour and texture through furnishings and artwork to create a cosy feel.

For inspiration I devour my magazines, instagram and my huge selected of coffee table books that I’ve collected over the years and that’s always being updated. I also get lots of inspiration when I travel

Tell us about your renovation - what did you change?

In the original renovation we added on a teenagers retreat, study area and laundry to accommodate our older twins. We added in some cabinetry throughout the house and painted the house white as it was quite dark.

More recently we added  a new kitchen and 2 skylights as the kitchen is south facing and needed a boost of natural light throughout the day.

Best tips when renovating? 

• Live in the house first to get a feel for it.
• Do as much as you can to add in natural light
• Don’t be afraid to add colour and texture.
• Do your research thoroughly before starting any work as to minimise variations and costly mistakes.

Whats your favourite thing about living here?

Probably our favourite thing is being in a smaller house now while it still has everything we need.  It also quiet in our street and the kids can play out the front with the neighbours every night. Even all our dogs are out there playing together! Its also in great proximity to the city.

Your home features lot's of beautiful artwork - can you recommend some great places to source art? 

NKN gallery, Irving Laffner,Edwina Corlette, Fenton and Fenton and almost every artist now is on Instagram too.

Photography - Derek Swalwell  and Lauren Bamford


A Grand Hamptons | House of the Week

This weeks home tour is a grand Hampton style home located in Sydney.  Oozing sophistication with high end finishes and beautiful family and entertaining spaces.

Who lives here 

George (project manager), Mersina (lawyer), children Erin & Amanda and Bella (the kitten “aka” destroyer of new lounge!)

Style of home and location 

Hampton's inspired home in the South of Sydney 

Timeline of build 

Labour of love….2 years in planning with a 19 month build. 

Tell us a little about your build journey

My husband did the build as “owner builder”. it was a very detailed build with lots of intricacies. For example the panel throughout the house was measured, cut and placed piece by piece. 

We had an amazing foreman “Rory” and a knock out designer “Zoe @ ZC Artique”. 

What do you love about the Hampton's style and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

We love the character and warmth that comes from Hampton's designed homes. It’s timeless and always feels lived in. The inspiration grew on us over time. We were both modern minimalists but found that we wanted a home that wasn’t just for display. There were lots of ideas we took from but mostly from pictures in the US. 

Did you enjoy the process of building and designing your home? Any hiccups along the way or things you would do differently?

The process was relatively seamless. We had hiccups along the way but dealt with them one by one…..we even managed to get away to Europe for 4 weeks in the middle of the build and before lock up. 

I’m not sure I do too much differently. Maybe have gone through council to obtain more height as opposed to a complying development…..that’s about it though. 

Favourite room in your home?

That’s a touch one……I’m not sure I have one. Over the 2 years we’ve been in I’ve learned to love most of the space. 

Is this your forever home or any plans for the future?

Nothing is forever….Home is were my husband and children are. If we move, we’d just build another one. 


A Renovated Coastal/Hamptons Home | House of the week

This weeks home tour is a renovated Coastal/Hampton style.  What was once a standard and very 90's brick home its now been transformed into a beautiful family home

Who lives here 

Sam - 32 Cabinet Maker/ Small Business owner @starlowkitchens, Eliza - 31 Office Manager, Stella - 6, Arlow -2 and Ally the dog 9. 

Style of home and location 

A coastal/Hampton's renovation located in Mount Martha, Victoria

Timeline of build 

Our Renovation has just ticked over the 1 year mark. We planned for a couple of months prior but basically just planned on the go!

The before - a standard brick home
The after - with a new colour scheme and weatherboards the homes transformed

Tell us a little about your build journey

We purchased our home just over a year ago with the hope of completing it within a year. We have retained the layout for the most part but replaced all flooring with Wild River Timber in herringbone pattern, repainted all walls and installed wainscoting in all rooms to add that feature and Hampton's feel. Completely replace kitchen, bathroom and laundry as well as added in some French doors to create a private study. We did a massive overhaul on front exterior changing it from a red brick home to a weatherboard look using James Hardie Scyon Cladding product.  We have just ticked over 1 year and still have ensuite and outdoor alfresco to go.

The before kitchen - very 90's!

The after - what a stunning transformation!

What do you love about the Hampton's style and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

I love that the style is relaxed, timeless and elegant all in one. I really connect with the style and cannot see myself having my home any other way!

Dining before

Dining after with Hampton's style kitchen, herringbone flooring and wainscoting

Did you enjoy the process of building and designing your home? Any hiccups along the way or things you would do differently?

We have absolutely loved renovating our home and it will be bittersweet when its done. We have been pretty lucky and avoided any major problems. Being our second renovation we learnt a lot along the way with our first. We did have the dust vacuum stop working on the concrete grinder when grinding all the floors in preparation for the timber floors leaving a huge amount of dust through the entire house. It took days and days to clean. Just when I thought I had it all, more dust settled. I never want to remove floor tiles again in my life! It was a huge task!
Formal Lounge before

Formal lounge after

Favourite room in your home?

This is a tough one, I love so many rooms. But if I have to pick one... its the kitchen. Its stunning and practical for our family. We spend so much time in it and make so many memories! I loved baking in it with the little ones over Christmas!

Lounge room before

Lounge after

Any further plans scheduled for the future or areas still to complete?

Still have ensuite and outdoor alfresco to go. Alfresco is next, we plan to do a stunning coffin ceiling with lining board roof complete with outdoor kitchen and pizza oven. Maybe a cute little picket fence added to the front yard too!

Master bedroom before

And after

Is this your forever home or do you have plans for the future?

Our forever home, It's perfect for us!

Bathroom before

And after


Coral Art & Feather Art - @driftwoodinteriors
Scyon Cladding - @jameshardie

Transitional Hamptons | House of the Week

This weeks home tour is a stunning transitional Hamptons - a style that mixes traditional Hampton style with contemporary.  Built to exact standards this home is a true masterpiece with strong attention to detail.  It also features beautiful lighting from the couples own lighting company Montauk lighting Co

Who lives here 

Gino Premici and Marie Botsis-Premici

Gino is the General Manager at Australia's largest building and renovating centre - Home Base in Subiaco.

Marie is an experienced commercial lawyer, having advised major property developers on commercial and residential property developments. She now works on the couple's business, recently launched, The Montauk Lighting Co., full time.

Style of home and location 

The home was styled off the traditional Hamptons homes in Long Island, New York. Internally, we took plenty of cues from these same homes and the beautifully layered, transitional interiors of so many of them - where contemporary and classic collide to create a warm, homely feel. 

The home is located in Wembley, a leafy, established suburb located between Perth’s City and the crystal blue beaches of WA's coastline - just under 10 minutes by car either way.

Timeline of build 

We began the owner builder process in November 2013 and the build took just over two years to complete, moving in around February 2016. It was a huge undertaking but very much a rewarding one.

Tell us a little about your build journey

For us, it was all about location.  We were living near Fremantle and wanted to make our way back to inner city Perth.  It took us just over a year to find a house to demolish with no redeeming features and when we found the house, it took us just over a year to get the plans in place and secure planning approval.  The build itself took about 18 months and here we are, almost five years later, living in our home. 

In terms of the style of home, we tried to be as sympathetic as possible to the ‘Californian bungalow’ style of the area.  We didn’t have the heart to build a modern looking home among all of the beautiful character homes on our street.

What do you love about the style of your home and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

The amount of natural light we get in our home is breathtaking at times. That was one of our non-negotiables when it came to the design of the home - we wanted plenty of windows for both natural light and ventilation. 

Another thing we love is the sense of space - high ceilings were a must. Most of the ceilings in the home are around 3 metres high, including a large double-height void in the living room that is around 6 metres high. 

While the house is large from a square meterage perspective, we love the fact that we don't have rooms for the sake of having rooms. No superfluous spaces - just big, workable and functional rooms that are comfortable to move in, relax in, sleep in and entertain in.

Did you enjoy the process of building and designing your home? Any hiccups along the way or things you would do differently?

We absolutely loved the process from beginning to end. Working with our designer, Jo Germano from Germano Designs in Perth WA, was a great experience.  Seeing the vision for our home emerge as we reviewed the plans and chatted about spaces and details, was a lot of fun.

Undertaking the build itself as owner-builders was certainly a daunting experience. Thankfully, Gino's dad has been in the building trade for almost 50 years, so we had some pretty amazing experience and advice to call on throughout the journey. 

Other than long days juggling work and the build, and some serious hard physical labor, there weren't really many hiccups at all. We were really fortunate actually. A few small things popped up along the way but nothing that stopped us in our tracks - all very manageable. We really believe the key to the success of the build came down to the quality of our trades.

We absolutely love our home and wouldn't change a thing. 

Favourite room in your home?

This is a difficult one – love our open-plan kitchen, dining and living space for its functionality, light and outlook over the pool.

If we have to choose however, we really do love the sitting room upstairs just at the top of the staircase - it's a beautiful, sun-filled room in the afternoon – it’s been perfectly finished off with a couple of ‘Madeline’ occasional chairs from Arthur G featuring the stunning Diane Bergeron fabric, Great Jones in Sea Glass.

In the same position but downstairs is our front porch.  We have possibly spent too many evenings there having a drink and watching the sunset and enjoying the friendly neighbourhood banter. 

Is this your forever home or do you have plans for the future?

Hard question. We certainly built the house firmly planning for it to be our forever home, but you never do know.  Working in the industry ourselves, we’re constantly inspired by design and we may just have one more build or renovation in us!  


Photography  - Alana Blowfield Photography

Building Designer: Joe Germano from Germano Designs
(Insta @germanodesigns \ Web www.germanodesigns.com.au)

Kitchen, Scullery, Laundry and Bathrooms: Town & County Designs
(Insta @town_and_country_designs | Web www.townandcountrydesigns.com.au

Built-in cabinetry, wardobes and alfresco: The Kitchen Studio IQ

Bathrooms, laundry and alfresco tops: Caesarstone

Kitchen, ensuite and powder room tops: Bianco Carrara Marble by Bravvo Stone

Lighting: The Montauk Lighting Co.

Dining Table: Orno Interiors

Furniture: Arthur G

Tapware: Perrin & Roweand Phoenix Tapware
Plumbing, sinks and tapware: Parkwood Plumbing
(Insta parkwood.plumbing.centre | Web www.parkwoodplumbing.com.au

Bricks and rooftiles: Midland Brick (a Boral Company)

Windows: Avanti Glass

Cladding: James Hardie

Fireplace, door handles, timber lining: Subiaco Restoration

Outdoor furniture: Alboo
(Insta @alboofurniture | Web  www.alboo.com.au

Landscaping: Country Earth

Pavers: Gaudi-inspired concrete pavers from Roget James

Paint: Exterior - Dulux Flooded Gum and Lexicon Half. Interior - Dulux Lexicon Half