A Happy Modern Renovated Melbourne Home

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Happy Modern Renovated Melbourne Home

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Sara, Damien, Vincent (7) and Lawrence (5)
Location: Bentleigh East — Melbourne, Australia
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

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Sara and Damien purchased their home in Bentleigh East three years ago, and it’s been a great first family home for the couple and their two children. In fact, the process of renovating the house actually sparked Sara’s interest in interior design — so much so that after completing the reno she embarked on a “back to school” journey! She has also recently started up her own small interior decoration and design business, Sedia Studio.

Sara has learned a great deal since finishing their renovation (and her design style is constantly evolving) but she still loves what they have done to this house. “It still makes me happy every time I walk in the front door each day. When we purchased it, it had lemon yellow walls, a dated bathroom, a red fireplace and horribly stained floors and a purple kitchen!”

The family was lucky enough to be able to live with Sara’s parents during the renovation, and this afforded them the opportunity to complete a lot of remodeling work on the home. They put in a new bathroom and kitchen, sanded back the floors to their original color, put wool carpet in the bedrooms, opened up the old wardrobes with new custom built-ins, and freshened up the walls with white paint. They also added in plenty of their own personality with furniture, décor, lighting and lots of art. “If you are in Melbourne and want to support local established and upcoming artists, The Stockroom is a great source; most of the art on our walls comes from there,” Sara says.

Since finishing their home, Sara and Damien have caught the renovating bug — they actually said goodbye to this house and recently bought a new house to start the process all over again.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I don’t think we have a specific style…Our home style is a mix of things that we have loved and purchased over the years and influenced by our number of different pieces of art.

Inspiration: Our growing art collection is probably the biggest inspiration to our home style. We love building on our collection and have also incorporated this into our children’s room; they have their own little collection going, with pieces that will take them well into their teen years.

Favorite Element: My favourite element of our house would be the door we got painted for the kids’ room by local artist russkid. It adds such a great pop of colour to the hallway and to the inside of their room.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was opening up the old 1970s wardrobes; we wanted to open the cavity right up to the roof for more storage, and it took a fair bit of knocking out old ones, recreating cavities, and plastering to create the space for new joinery and sliding doors. The result was well worth it.

What Friends Say: Our friends and family all love what we have done to the house, especially the ones that saw it in its original state. We have a lot of windows so the natural light is amazing; it’s probably the thing most people comment about.

Proudest DIY: The bricks of the mantel piece were a horrible rusty red colour and with a red stained top; it took a while to sand the wood back to its natural colour and I painted the bricks with Dulux Domino. Came up a treat!

Biggest Indulgence: Our home is pretty humble; we don’t have any exceptionally expensive furniture, but I would say that we splurged on window treatments (especially the sheer S fold curtains in the main room and living area), stone benchtops, cabinetry handles. And the feature tiles in both kitchen and bathroom are all of high quality.

Best Advice: Don’t try to replace any old doors unless you have to! This was the most time, money, and labour consuming thing we did. We replaced old doors with new, thinking it would freshen things up…well it did but they could have easily been sanded back and painted. The work it takes to fit a new door to an old home is probably not worth the labour costs.

Dream Sources: Space Furniture, Living Edge, Angelucci, Hub Furniture, Great Dane Furniture, I could go on forever 😉


Dulux Vivid White (Trim)
Dulux Natural White (Walls)

Hay Design Strap Mirror — Hayshop.com.au
Hallstand — Ikea

Artwork by Lucy Lucy – Bid on at charity event and won
Vintage armchairs — Ebay purchase and reupholstered in Warwick Fabrics
Vintage Drinks Trolley — Ebay
Eileen Gray E1027 Side Table — 1st Dibs
Sheer S Fold Curtains in Warwick Fabric

Table and Chairs — Curious Grace
Buffet — Click On
Photographic Print (Iceland Glacier) — Marija Ivkovic

Stools — Curious Grace
Splashback Tiles — Elegance Tiles
Caesarstone Raw Concrete — Creative Stone
Jardan Stool/Side Table — Jardan

Ruben Ireland Print — Society6
Bed Linen — Kip & Co
Plumen Pendant Lights — Surrounding Australia
Vexta Print— The Stockroom
Sheer S Fold Curtains in Warwick Fabric

Tapware — Methven
Tiles — Beaumont
Missoni Towels — from Safari Living

Doona Covers — Jardan
Cat Rabbit Creatures — The Stockroom
Velveteen Rabbit Artwork by 23rdKey — The Stock Room
Lachlan Hamilton Print — The Stockroom
Jess Southey Star Wars Illustrations — The Stockroom

Thanks, Sara and Damien!

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