Though it sits on a generous block in one of North Fitzroy’s prettiest leafy streets, Anna and Peter’s home was in need of some love when they first took possession. ‘When we bought the house it was a block-fronted Victorian which had been given the Mediterranean kiss in the 1970’s, and had been a share house for the last 10 years’ explains Peter, who commissioned architects Meacham Nockles McQualter to renovate the house.
‘One of our requests to the architects was for light, light and more light’ says Peter. The resulting design retains the original façade and external walls of the house, the roof, and one front bedroom – everything else was rebuilt. ‘The light in the house now is glorious’ says Peter. ‘The eaves let in maximum winter sun but stop the summer sun from bleaching us all!’
Aside from the incredible natural light pouring into every room, what is really special about this home is the amazing sense of space. ‘Every room is used equally, there is no ‘lost’ space thanks to the architect’s gracious sense of proportion’ says Peter. ‘It’s quiet and comfortable for the three of us, but can easily absorb big family gatherings as well’.
Another standout of course are the surprisingly eclectic flourishes (like the incredible peach-toned bathroom!) which really give this house such a unique character. ‘The house is beautifully detailed but not precious’ says Peter. ‘Don McQualter was always paring back the design and refining things, he was always spot on and we learnt early on to defer to his instincts!’
It’s also a real thrill for Anna to have had the opportunity to design and make most of the light fittings in the home, as well as the door handles – ’it feels very personalised in that respect’ she says. Anna is a talented designer who works with metal and glass, much of her work is seen throughout this home – the light fittings in the master bedroom, dining area and her daughter's room are all her creations, as are the brass door handles.
Another joy for Anna and Peter is their wonderful garden, designed and maintained by Amanda Oliver. ‘The garden is very much part of our living spaces’ says Peter. ‘Amanda has created a soft green oasis in the middle of North Fitzroy for us’. I must say it is SUCH a special outdoor space, I particularly love the way the weeping foliage frames the windows – and what a luxury to have a little pool in the heart of Fitzroy!