Vos Architecture + Design published in Home Beautiful
Located in the heart of Melbourne, this light-bathed home marries timeless style with contemporary ease
Story -Jackie Brygel
Styling -Beck Simon
Photography -Shania Shegedyn
Kathy and Peter bought what would one day be reborn as their ultimate family home, they knew they had struck auction gold. The Victorian abode may have been dark and a little dilapidated, but decades of neglect couldn’t detract from the
appeal of its soaring ceilings and graceful arches, generous pocket of land and fabulous inner-city location. Even the couple’s then-four- year-old daughter Alexia couldn’t contain her enthusiasm during the auction’s heart-pounding proceedings. “She kept putting up her hand to bid and we had to try and stop her!” says Kathy.
The same level of excitement, however, wasn’t quite shared by everyone. “At that time, we were living nearby in a home we’d also renovated. When Peter’s mum first saw this house, she started crying and said, ‘What have you done? You’re moving from a beautifully renovated house to this?’” recalls Kathy, a lawyer. “It wasn’t flash, and it was a freezing home with no heating. It had an outdoor kitchen in an old lean-to. I would cook with my puffer jacket on the whole time because it was so cold!”
Yet the family – Kathy, Peter, Alexia, now nine, six-year-old James and spoodle Alfie – lived in the house in its original form for a year while engaging the services of John Vos, of Vos Architecture + Design, and construction company Degg Building. “John was the architect we used for our last renovation, so we have a lovely history with him,” says Kathy. “And Peter is a trained engineer, so he’s also very good with spatial planning and is all about function, while I took more interest in sourcing some of the interiors and the lighting.” Given the scale of the project, the family moved out for a year during the renovation, which included the construction of an open- plan living and dining space directly linked to a sun-soaked alfresco area and garden, as well as an upstairs children’s wing. Unsurprisingly, when the family settled back into their reimagined home, they found themselves declaring they would never leave – a sentiment that endures. “I don’t think we’ll ever move from here,” affirms Kathy.
Transformed both inside and out, the original rooms at the front have been restored to reveal gracious period features, including marble fireplaces and exquisite ceiling roses. The warm yet polished extension is infused with light, space and texture. Riotous hues are not for the couple, who favour a calming base palette and timeless interiors that help invite warmth into these contemporary spaces.
It’s an elegant look that was created thanks to a team effort. “I enjoyed the process, but it was quite stressful at times,” remembers Kathy. “You can really love something in the showroom, but then bring it into the home and think, ‘Oh, it’s not so great here after all!’ So, there is a bit of trial and error involved.” Adds Peter: “We discovered it’s always important to check the return policy carefully before buying! You do need to do your research.” And how does Peter’s mum feel now about the home? “She absolutely loves it,” he says with a smile. As does the entire family.