This week in Open House we take a tour through a beautifully thought out and sophisticatedly styled family home on the edge of Malvern, in Melbourne's leafy inner south east. Sitting on what was once a tennis court for the estate the next door, this stately home has clearly been well loved and cared for over the years. With the family now all grown, the owners have made the decision to pass on the batten and hand over the house and its keys to a new family looking to create their own memories - living a lifestyle that just can't help but to be enjoyed.
Who lives here?
A family of 4, including two university students who although have moved out, keep threatening to move home! And Max the charismatic french bulldog.
What do you love about your home and the area you live in?
This house is in a wonderful location. It has the Glenferrie and Toorak Road trams at the doorstep and is a 5 minute walk to Kooyong train station.
How would you describe your home’s style?
The house was built in the seventies with generous rooms and free flowing living spaces capturing the light all through the day. Originally the structure of the house was added to about 15 years ago. We added a new kitchen and dining area with laundry, powder room and rear hall with easy access to the garage for getting the shopping into the house.
What room do you love most at this time of the year?
The cosy sitting room is lovely in winter when you can benefit from the northerly aspect and the open fireplace.
What recent improvements have you made?
What’s the best thing about living here?
We love using the bike and walking tracks along the Yarra river and Merri creek. This house is in a wonderful location. It has the Glenferrie and Toorak Road trams at the doorstep and is a 5 minute walk to Kooyong train station. Robert Menzies Park is at the end of the street and we are a short walk to the home of the Malvern Gladiators at Kooyong park. (Go Gladiators!! – ed.)
Where do you go for a coffee and breakfast in the area?
James Laski at 30 Mill has THE best coffee and is located just outside the Tooronga railway station. An easy 7 minute walk in the morning with the dog, and just around the corner on Malvern Road is Sissi & Co for the best salads!
Can you share with us some of your favourite pieces?
I love the David Larwill painting of Benito the Pirate that hangs at the end of the dining table, and the yellow Vitra Softshell dining chairs from Space. I also love the painting by Jason Benjamin in the cozy sitting room that is lovely in winter when you can benefit from the northerly aspect and the open fireplace. The coffee table from Cameriche and Twiggy Floor Lamp by Foscarini from Space Furniture.
This house has so many beautiful living spaces, can you name some of your favourite rooms?
The tv room benefits from the late afternoon westerly light, and the kids can sit at the bench and do their homework if I am busy in the kitchen. The man of the house loves relaxing in the Eames Lounge Chair whilst watching the news, and the Jardan Leila sofa is comfy and large enough for everyone to watch a movie together.
The main sitting room doesn't get a lot of use. The kids flop there to read where it's quiet, and it's handy when a few friends come over for a drink and we want to sit down and relax. The Nook Sofa is also from Jardan, and the large marble coffee table is from Cameriche. The painting by Ann Howie over the fireplace is a piece I also really enjoy.
Having lived in this home and raised a family, what can you name as being the most successful element of the design for your family?
The kids have had many parties and sleep-overs in the pool house, which is a perfect place for them as it's an easy house to control with the only access being through the front gate - so security has never been an issue. The north-facing courtyard is perfect for alfresco dining. Opening the French windows on a warm day allows for the inside to immediately open up to the garden.
Are there any additional features of the home that people might not know about at first glance that you can share with us?
When we first moved in we had 5 chickens and the fence and hen house are still there. We use the hen house as a garden shed now, but its great fun for the kids to have the hens as they make wonderful pets - not to mention the benefits of fresh free range eggs.
PHOTOGRAPHY Tara Pearce | PRODUCTION & STYLING Sian MacPherson | STYLING ASSISTANT Chanelle McAuliffe