A Totally Transformed Modern Home in Melbourne

A Totally Transformed Modern Home in Melbourne

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Natalie Jeffcott
Oct 3, 2016

Location: Inner North of Melbourne, Australia
Size: 190 square meters internally
Years lived in: Owned, almost 3 years

Dan and Bianca bought their home almost three years ago when it was a completely different house. I used to live next door — so I have watched them tirelessly transform their home over the last two and a half years, with not one but then two small children in tow! Their perseverance deserves a serious round of applause.

What started as four rooms at the front with pokey kitchen and bathroom additions has become a modern, spacious two-level family home (a double-fronted Victorian weatherboard, to be precise). With the help of an architect — Wesley from Rara Architecture — Dan and Bianca designed their home and lived in it with their small children throughout the whole renovation project, from the partial demolition at the rear, to the re-build and then the fit out...with both Dan and Bianca doing much of the work themselves!

After years in the construction and creative arts industries respectively, Dan and Bianca are now channeling their skills and knowledge to a new venture called mila jarvis design. This home was their second renovation project, and it seems they will be moving on to transform another house soon. You can follow them on Instagram too.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We are constantly striving towards minimalism, but find it very difficult to pass by a country antiques shop… Also, as a creative person I find it very hard to get rid of random things that might just be useful in a future project. Is vintage minimalist a style?!

Inspiration: I love so many things! Parisian apartments with their timber floors and intricate mouldings; mid-century modernism for its elevation of structural materials; Japanese ingenuity and aesthetics.

Favorite Element: There is a beautiful connection from the old house to the new through a series of large picture windows and a courtyard. I can be in the studio and keep an eye on the kids in the living room, courtyard and backyard. I have to thank our architect Wesley (from Rara Architecture) for this!

Biggest Challenge: Getting through the renovation! When we bought the house it was in a pretty sad state. We lived here during the entire process and it meant constantly shuffling people and furniture from room to room. When the rear of the house was knocked down we spent 15 weeks without a kitchen! Needless to say, when the new kitchen was finally up and running I almost cried.

What Friends Say: "Wow!" Then, "Where did you get that from?"

Biggest Embarrassment: Having people round during the renovation and them having to sit on the floor, or use our ensuite that was also the temporary laundry. Actually, having people round before the renovation and being embarrassed by just about everything!

Proudest DIY: At the moment we are both pretty pleased with the dining room setting. The chair frames are vintage cinema chairs from the Abbotsford Convent which we bought for a song from a builder's yard about 10 years ago. I finally re-sprayed and re-upholstered them a few weeks ago after Dan finished building the table.

Biggest Indulgence: The Gaggenau oven stack and Dekton [counters] in the kitchen. Anything that makes life easier is totally worth every cent!

Best Advice: Figure out what is most important to you and prioritise that. Spend money where it will make the most difference to you.

Dream Sources: If I had a limitless budget?! Roger Seller, Agape bathware, Gaggenau, oh, and I would get custom-made steel windows…

Thanks, Dan, Bianca, Finn and Wren!


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