In a quiet, tree-lined backstreet just a short stroll from est HQ stands a crop of Spanish-Mission style homes. Holding a proud spot among its heritage peers, this Prahran home was as if kept in a time capsule before it fell in the hands of a new, growing clan. Close to the heart of Davina Shinewell, the family of five called upon the designer to reconfigure for light and liveability in every inch – for a home entirely intuitive to its inhabitants.

DESIGN Davina Shinewell | STYLING Rachel Vigor | PHOTOGRAPHY Tom Blachford

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Sharing similar 1930s heritage bones, the home was quite indifferent to the rest – aside from its salmon-pink front facade. Adhering to the heritage overlay, the traditional front and two front rooms have remained intact and past this point, the new unfolds effortlessly in an open plan layout.  Informing this layout was the need to keep the living and bedroom spaces seperate. Davina  banished the poky interior divisions and to close off private areas, took to creating a second storey of sleeping area. In no way was this segmentation mirrored from the indoor to the outdoor, where the decking is a seamless extension onto the open rear space – with plenty of room to stretch the legs.

The interior theme is anchored in concealing and revealing – cleverly keeping in mind the little people inside. Custom-designed wall lining conceal bathrooms, joinery and recessed lighting, towards the internal staircase and bedrooms. The wall lining was left over from the external cladding, making for an even more fluid indoor-outdoor connection. Just as the custom-made joinery in the Melbourne Home by CJH Studio, the dining room integrates television and media equipment from little hands to sit strikingly alongside a fireplace. The kitchen joinery offers an added take on the hidden, with rooms hiding behind the joinery doors – truly an exciting place to be a kid!

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Often practicality reins in the choice of dark materials but the owners and designer alike pursued a warm, light environment for their young brood. The living area is a light-filled canvas of timer flooring and all-white walls that doesn’t compromise in dressing the space with stylish furnishings. The Tufty-Time Sofa is exactly the playful comfort to curl up, and in its element among the artful lamp and ceiling lighting. Bold hints of colour accentuate this light-hearted personality, most pertinently in the paintings – an enviable art collection with an impeccable colour selection. The paintings are tactile elements that add to the home’s tangible sense of soul and just as any child, we can’t help but want to reach out and touch.

Davina has hit the nail on the head when it comes to appreciating the individual needs of both grown-ups and little ones. But this closeness to the clients did not come with the loss of a Melbourne home’s historical charm – rather an equal embrace of new and old comforts and comeliness.

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‘Creating indoor and outdoor relationships from the main living and dining areas draws the eye beyond the home to the beautiful landscaping and swimming pool which the young children can enjoy most of the year – weather dependant!’

— Davina Shinewell Design

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