I was recently asked by ‘Inside Out magazine’ to join them on a tour of a family home in Geelong, Victoria, as part of their ‘Open for Inspection’ series. (#ioopenforinspection) It was great to attend my second event of this concept, and what a great morning we had. In collaboration with Bugaboo; we were invited into the home of Lauren and Matthew Wilson. ‘Bugaboo’ is a brand synonymous with detail, style and design….as was this amazing home.
‘The Wilson’s’ have renovated a number of homes in recent years and they sure do it well. Matthew is a builder by trade and his business ‘Built by Wilson’, specialises in building custom architectural homes. Together with his wife Lauren, a Lawyer, with an impeccable eye for design and style, they saw a huge potential for an un-renovated 1930’s Californian bungalow located in Newtown. So, off they embarked on the 7 month renovation, turning it into a stunning family home to share with their young family; Teddy 4yrs, Henry 3yrs and Jimmy 8 months….not forgetting Elvis the gorgeous kelpie.
Lauren warmly welcomed us with open arms. I was lucky enough to also be in the company of Claire Bradley, Editor-in-chief & Market Editor, Joseph Gardner, both from Inside Out Magazine, together with Rebecca Judd, who ‘walked and talked’ us through the home.
Upon entering the front door, the first thing I noticed was the ‘light and bright’ feel of this family home. An extra wide central hallway, with 3 MT high ceilings and painted white, gave the home a great sense of space. Beautifully framed art on the walls and stunning pendant lights lined the central hallway, as we made our way down to the open plan rear of the home.
The kitchen design and layout, in my opinion was absolutely perfect! Natural light, space, greenery and an abundance of storage….I was in kitchen heaven! With a 20 year background in the builing industry myself, I found it hard to fault this area.
To maximise light into this area, a glass window has been used as their splashback, looking directly onto the outside garden. A Jamie Durie ‘Vertical Garden wall’ has been installed outside this window, showcasing the most stunning lush garden wall I have seen in a long time.
American oak cabinetry also frames this window beautifully. There were two separate benchtops; one made from Carrara marble and the island bench made from Boss Architectural ‘Ciment’ … an almost indestructible product, colour matched perfect for family living. Copper ‘Godfrey’ pendant lights from ‘lightly’ feature above the island bench bringing it all together.
European appliances were used in the kitchen and were a major cost in the kitchen renovation. I also loved the generous 1.5 mt space between the island and rear benchtops, giving you plenty of space to move around.
One of the biggest features of this area I think was the overhead skylight, which was the same length of the benchtops below. It was located nearly directly above the rear marble benchtop….stunning! I’d be surprised if lights would ever be turned on in this kitchen during the day. I have since re-visited my own kitchen design, for my new home, to include such a feature.
THE DINING AREA
I think there are not one, but two hero pieces in this zone.
The scene is set by the Ubabub ‘Sundae’ abstract framed print from Mark Tuckey, which fits perfectly within its own unique ‘framed space’, with the wall set back slightly, to really make the artwork ‘pop’. Now, you all know I love ‘bespoke’, and it doesn’t get more bespoke that designing and making your own American oak dining table. Matthew made it from left over floorboards, what a great idea, and it’s amazing! It’s large enough to seat family and friends comfortably and sits proud dividing the kitchen and living areas. Dining chairs of choice were the curved-back ‘170’ timber chair by Takahashi Asako from Feelgood Designs.
THE LIVING AREA
The living and dining areas are separated by a custom leather designed sofa from Bankisia Lounges, Geelong. Artwork also draws your into the separate zones. Vignettes with a copper detail were beautifully placed on the marble topped ‘scamp’ coffee table from Blu Dot.
In the corner of the room sits proudly, a pastel curved back ‘RO’ feature reading chair by Jamie Hayon. Copper pendants hanging above this area; cleverly create the perfect reading nook.
Alongside this area, was the most incredible custom shelving unit, framed by an oversized, top hung, sliding glass door. When the door was open, the vignettes on the shelving appeared like ‘framed pieces of art’. When closed, it cleverly separated the living area with the kid’s playroom….such a smart design feature Lauren said she first saw on ‘Pinterest’.
THE KIDS PLAYROOM
This was such a perfect space……storage, style and very practical! This room was situated off the main living room at the rear of the home; close enough, but far enough away to keep an eye on the little ones.
On the floor were the ‘Bolon’ carpet tiles available from ‘The Andrews Group’, tough enough to handle 3 busy boys. Lauren loved them, and said “They’re made of vinyl, so you can vacuum or mop them. The kids eat in there and it doesn’t matter if they spill food.”
The room also featured another huge day bed, framed by a large window, the perfect place to chill, or also a great spot to read with the kids. Art in form of ‘Elroyink’ prints featured along with a favourite of mine…the most divine Green Cathedral ‘Babanees’ table setting to, turn it into the perfect little kid-zone.
THE OUTDOOR AREA
What a fabulous entertaining area they have at the rear of their home. The family uses their outdoor entertaining area all throughout the year.
The deck is made from spotted gum, and the addition of outdoor heat lamps enables them to use the areas during all seasons. Having young children myself, I love having an outdoor BBQ dinner, especially when the house is clean inside….less mess from the little people! A small table sits beside a relaxed seating area, with stunning outdoor cushions for added comfort. The marble benchtop from the kitchen extends outside, giving a seamless look from inside – out.
The addition of skylights inset into the panelled ceiling was another great feature. Also a stunning day timber day bed features in the rear yard, somewhere for the adults to sit while watching the kids play in the fantastic rear yard.
Stay tuned for ‘Part 2’ of my tour of the ‘Inside Out Open for Inspection’ house tour of The Wilson’s family home, where I share with you the stunning bedrooms & bathroom style of this Geelong home.
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