Like its heritage counterparts, this double-storey home in Malvern East had an elegant architectural legacy. But on the inside its legacy had turned dark and outdated, in need of a collaborative force to bring back its stately status. With a shared appreciation for the appeasing facade and foundations, together Penny Kinsella Architects, Mirabuild and interior designer Made by Cohen intervened. Thanks to some tried and true teamwork, a bold and contemporary interior now lies behind the red brickwork, built on the simplicity of layout and the subtlety of light.
To turn over a new leaf, the 1930s abode needed to better align with its family of six. In a bid to better serve the family’s longterm needs, the living zones needed to be optimised, while providing plenty of room for retreat. For this, a large open plan kitchen, family living area and formal room/study was introduced, in addition to a power room, cellar and master bedroom retreat. All of these spaces now enjoy a vibrant vista of the manicured garden, tennis court, pool and pool house, allowing light to penetrate the dim interior.
From the very seed of the project, the client wanted to preserve the home’s existing features. This passion was shared by the design team, as lead Architect Penny Kinsella says, “even though the house was dark and it need of renovation, it had extraordinary charm about it”. Collectively, designer, builder and architect worked to restore and retain the historic charisma of the existing archways, simple leadlight window details, stairway, balustrade and the timber ceiling details.
The narrative between old and new is underpinned by honest materials, clean lines and well-executed details. Solid oak timber flooring and joinery prevails, with a special mention going to the sandblasted oak bench seat joinery. Belgium linen curtains and Tiento soft pink cement tiles in the powder room add to this air of quality. Entering through the solid oak arch doors, you are greeted by a print by celebrated Australian photographer Polly Borland, setting a vibrant and exciting tone for the new. Sculptural lighting by Luke Furniture and objects from Cult further accentuate this playful and daring mood. Susie Cohen has ensured the fun doesn’t stop outside, curating a comfortable outdoor setting from Cosh Living and Angelucci.
Good design takes both time and good teamwork. In uniting the two successfully, the Malvern East home is a success story for the family within, while also attracting award nominations with the clever collaborators recognised for their work in both the 2018 Australian Interior Design and Dulux Colour Awards.
“We embraced sustainable practices by recycling materials wherever possible, using double glazed glass on all the northern windows, introducing hydronic heating and solar power, as well as only specifying materials that had sound environmental properties.”
— Susie Cohen, Made by Cohen
Introducing the bold to the beautiful details of a heritage home.