Who lives here: Photographer Derek Swalwell; partner Georgia Young (pictured), a food stylist; their daughter Mia, 9; and Lilie the cat. Style of home: A compact 1950s clinker-brick house, painted stark white and renovated with bold accents and strong lines, in a modernist garden setting. After seven months of design and planning, the build took around six months. The renovation and extension $$$$ cost around $380k.
TEAPOT AND CUPS (ON TABLE), AND CUPS AND PLATES (ON BENCH), HOUSE OF ORANGE, HOUSEOFORANGE. COM.AU. TIMBER BOWL (ON BACK BENCH) JARDAN, JARDAN.COM.AU. HANGING PLANTER (OPPOSITE), THE FAMILY LOVE TREE, THEFAMILYLOVETREE.COM.AU. PLANT, ELWOOD FLOWERS, ELWOODFLOWERS.COM.AU. BUTTERFLY CHAIR, EBAY, EBAY.COM.AU. GREEN CHAIR, CULT, CULTDESIGN.COM.AU
A photographer and a stylist turn to an architect to give their Melbourne home modernist appeal with a bit of ’80s fun WORDS CARLI PHILIPS STYLING RACHEL VIGOR PHOTOGRAPHY DEREK SWALWELL
KITCHEN Georgia and Derek’s home features an interesting interplay of modernist lines and surfaces. OUTDOORS (opposite) The pitched roof adds to the striking appeal of the house. In summer, dappled sunlight pours in through the screen to the kitchen and dining area. Shiplap cladding is a timeless feature, used on the exterior of the home – try ‘Scyon Axon’ cladding from James Hardie for a similar look.
72 / Inside Out
Georgia Young, coming off second best in a bidding war at auction proved to be the win of a lifetime. “The man who owned the house next door saw we had missed out and approached us to say he was thinking about selling,” says Derek. “He asked whether we wanted to come and have a look at his place, so we did – and ended up buying it. At a much better price, too!” Despite the property being a huge uninhabited mess, with a lawnmower in the bathroom and fishing gear in the shower, it was structurally solid. With the help of Georgia’s dad, a retired carpenter, the couple did a cosmetic refresh that involved installing a flat-pack kitchen, painting, stripping the carpet and taming the garden. A prolific architectural photographer, Derek met and befriended the principals of Kennedy Nolan, Patrick Kennedy and Rachel Nolan, 15 years ago when he first started shooting their work. Engaging the pair was a no-brainer. “Their work is quite kid-friendly and robust,” says Derek. They made a financial agreement to draw up the plans in exchange for Derek photographing their designs. Builder Marcus Hamilton of Mark Projects was brought on independently and Derek was on site almost every day. “It’s rare that we don’t do a full service,” says Rachel of the renovation, which she documented but didn’t contract out or run on-site. “I don’t do what we did for Georgia and Derek for many people. We have a close relationship with them though, and designed it so it could be managed and delivered without us there. We weren’t going to be running it so the building had to be a tough little thing to come out the other end intact.” In addition to maximising space, Derek and Georgia wanted big windows, a modern kitchen, a lot of white brick and better zoning. The existing front door was screened off and a new entry established at the side so it was no longer necessary to walk past the bedrooms to access the living areas. A sliding door was installed to separate the living space from the private area where the bedrooms are, and plans for a third bedroom were shelved in favour of a study. Conscious of not disrupting the existing roofline, Rachel designed a split level so that the new extension sat lower than the ground-floor living area. Lined in warm cedar, the soaring kitchen ceiling adds drama but also welcomes in sunlight. While the kitchen and dining area has a Scandi look, the carpeted living zone channels a modernist-style rumpus room with its cosy olive-green carpet. Rachel says she kept her “economical, rational hat on, careful to make things effective and affordable.” This meant avoiding difficult junctions that would have been expensive, and leaving Georgia and Derek to make decisions on details like the tapware. The bathroom was reconfigured a few times because of its awkward size, but the result is a generous space lined in blue tiles lit up by a new skylight. From the fun oversized hole in the brickwork at the entry to the cupboard handles, circles are a Kennedy Nolan signature and are used throughout the home. Together with the pitched roof, they add to the geometric interplay of the house says Rachel. “We’ve worked within the constraints to ensure every part of the site has been used and it’s now transformed into a better version of itself.” For more on Derek’s and Georgia’s work, visit derekswalwell.com and georgiayoung.com.au. For details on Kennedy Nolan and Mark Projects, visit kennedynolan.com.au and markprojects.com.au.
74 / Inside Out
ARTWORK: (TOP LEFT) JEREMY GEDDES, DEREK SWALWELL (TOP CENTRE, BOTTOM CENTRE & BOTTOM LEFT), MOOFUS (FAR RIGHT), KATE BANAZI (SECOND FROM RIGHT). SHEEPSKIN & TWO-TONED CENTRE CUSHION, HOUSE OF ORANGE, HOUSEOFORANGE.COM.AU. TILE CUSHIONS, LUKE FURNITURE, LUKE.COM.AU
or photographer Derek Swalwell and food stylist
Our brief was modernist with 1980s style. Our architects’ work is quite kid-friendly and robust DEREK SWALWELL, OWNER
LIVING AREA A carpeted step forms the transition from the concrete-floored kitchen and dining area to this contemporary living space with touches of retro appeal. The bold combination of colour and texture makes the space an inviting nook to be in, as seen with the couple’s daughter Mia playing with Lilie the cat. A rich electric blue ‘Andy’ velvet sofa is teamed with a leather ottoman and a plush peach armchair, all from Jardan. White walls balance the colour mix with Derek’s photographs featuring prominently in this art display.
DINING AREA (above left & right) The dining table is from House Of Orange and complements the brickwork, concrete and timber scheme of the home. ENTRY (below left) Circles are a signature of Kennedy Nolan Architects – this feature adds a point of difference to the entry. KITCHEN (above left & right) Sunny yellow gloss cabinets are matched by the Astra Walker tap and HK Living pendant light. STUDY (opposite) A sliding door means that this space can be closed off. The desk is from Mark Tuckey while the Hay red chair is from Cult.
ARTWORK: (IN STUDY, TOP SHELF, FROM LEFT) MOOFUS AND TIM SUTHERLAND; PHOTOGRAPH (ON FLOOR) JACK SHELTON. (ON LIVING AREA WALL, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) JEREMY GEDDES, DEREK SWALWELL (X3). CUPS & PLATES (THIS PAGE) AND CUSHION & SIDE TABLE (ON CHAIR), ALL HOUSE OF ORANGE, HOUSEOFORANGE.COM.AU. TIMBER BOWL, JARDAN, JARDAN.COM.AU. TABLE LAMP, CULT, CULTDESIGN.COM.AU. PLANT, ELWOOD FLOWERS, ELWOODFLOWERS. COM.AU. CUSHION, LUKE FURNITURE, LUKE.COM.AU. ADDITIONAL PRODUCT SOURCING: NATALIE JOHNSON. PAINT COLOUR MAY VARY ON APPLICATION
key kitchen details This personality-packed cooking zone shines with hard-wearing surfaces and bright finishing touches THE TILE SPLASHBACK ‘Lumen Series’ tiles, $69/ sqm, Classic Ceramics, classicceramics.com.au.
THE BENCHTOP Quantum Quartz ‘Reflections’ engineered stone, from $385/sqm, WK-Quantum Quartz, wk.com.au.
THE TAP Try ‘KV1’ tap in Yellow 08, $1406.90, Vola, en.vola.com.
THE CABINET COLOUR Try ‘Wash&Wear’ interior paint in Golden Marguerite, $91.40/4L, Dulux, 132 525.
Inside Out / 77
DEREK SWALWELL, OWNER
e went with plantation W shutters as we liked the look for the facade
LESSONS LEARNT “THE ONLY THING I WOULD’VE WANTED WAS A CARPORT BUT I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT UNTIL LATER”
BRIGHT IDEA Bringing a new dimension to a bathroom is as simple as picking an interesting tile format. Laying the wall tiles this way works to enhance the height of the space, while bold blue floor tiles ground the look.
“Our architect Rachel said no because of aesthetics – and she’s probably right!” Biggest mistake? “It was generally smooth sailing, but there was a rare communication breakdown and a beautiful cherry blossom tree that I had fallen in love with was accidentally cut down,” says Georgia. “Our builder was terrific and Kennedy Nolan were on the same page as us so we had the same objectives,” adds Derek. Any challenges? “It was found and overcome quickly, but there was an unforeseen council easement down the side that couldn’t be built over,” says Georgia.
CUSHION & OTTOMAN (OPPOSITE), HOUSE OF ORANGE, HOUSEOFORANGE.COM.AU. TOWEL (THIS PAGE), COTTON ON, COTTONON.COM.
DEREK SWALWELL, OWNER
LIVING AREA (opposite) A modern classic, the String system from Great Dane is an ideal display storage unit for assorted ceramic pieces from Luke Furniture. A Pierre + Charlotte ‘MI5’ lounge chair offers another comfy seat while the Muuto ‘Unfold’ pendant light is a bright touch. BATHROOM The encaustic tiles in Light Oasis Blue from Aeria County Floors pack a punch in the minimalistic black-and-white bathroom.
Inside Out / 79
INSIDE homes MIA’S ROOM (bottom) A soft blue wall dotted with gold spots forms a fun backdrop to the bed and bedlinen from The Family Love Tree. A ‘Lacey’ light shade, also from The Family Love Tree, brings a retro-fun touch to the space. MASTER BEDROOM (opposite) The tones of a photograph by Derek from his ‘West’ exhibition work beautifully with the soft green feature wall. Bedlinen and a throw from House Of Orange create relaxed layers of comfort on the bed. The washed grey side table is also from House Of Orange.
FEEL-GOOD COLOUR The use of tones in this home brings character and creates a welcoming vibe while the variety of textures adds interest
5 GREAT FINDS
Muuto ‘Unfold’ pendant light, $298, Living Edge, living edge.com.au.
Encaustic tiles in Light Oasis Blue, $105/sqm, Aeria Country Floors, aeria.com.au.
‘Escape Velour’ wool carpet in Tease, $119/sqm (including installation), Supertuft, supertuft.com.au.
Muuto ‘Tile’ cushion, $200, Living Edge, as before.
‘Andy’ sofa in ‘Elk Lake’ velvet, $7226, Jardan, jardan.com.au.
80 / Inside Out
A few different garden zones surround the home – down the side path, along the west side and at the rear. Pebbles and succulents at the entry channel a mid-century vibe.
9 ADDITIONAL PRODUCT SOURCING: NATALIE JOHNSON. PAINT COLOUR MAY VARY ON APPLICATION. ARTWORK: (BOTTOM) FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH BY DEREK SWALWELL
1. Entry 2. Dining area 3. Kitchen 4. Living area 5. Study
6. Laundry 7. Bathroom 8. Master bedroom 9. Mia’s bedroom
Derek and Georgia chose to create this feature wall as a point of difference and to also offset the bedlinen. ‘Wash&Wear’ interior paint in Sage Green, $46.90/1L, Dulux, dulux.com.au.