Moving into a new home comes with its challenges, whether you’re downsizing to a smaller house or starting fresh with more space than you and your loved ones are used to. For this Australian family of five, it was the latter. Having fallen in love with the Victorian-style house by the Bayside suburb of Brighton in Australia, they soon embarked on the process of making the home feel more like their own. They later discovered that their great aunt once owned the house, encouraging them to retain the home’s architectural details. With their growing kids in mind, the couple set out to look for a designer that could help turn their home into child-friendly abode with an elegant atmosphere.
Designer Simone Haag, whom they commissioned to assist with styling the interiors, speaks to us about the home, and her journey with the family. Known for her expertise in styling contemporary interiors, she was given a simple brief: design a family-friendly space with a unique character that complemented the history of the home.
The entryway boasts an exciting blend of textures, with a deep blue rug that sets the tone for the home’s sophisticated look. The focus was to make the entryway feel like a room on its own rather than just a space to walk past when entering the home. The walls are decorated with statement shelves, and a round mirror that adds depth to the entryway.
While a daybed is usually situated in the living room, Haag strategically places it by the front door. The modern piece serves as a spot for the family to remove their coats and shoes, before settling into the living room.
Haag describes herself as a matchmaker, where she combines a variety of beautiful decor and furniture that work well with each other. She starts with key pieces and works her way to adding items that match the rest of the room. Here, for instance, the gentle gray armchair lends to the room’s neutral palette, while the bronze side table gives off a warm contrast.
“I definitely look at the house as a whole, I imagine every single furniture piece I’m going to help the client specify in one room. And if they all look good in the room together, it’s harmonious and it feels good, then that’s what I strive for. It doesn’t mean that everything has to match perfectly, but there has to be a sense of harmony, a certain rhythm to it.” — Simone Haag
The living room has a mid-century modern flair to it, which complements the texture of the white brick walls. She pairs a cozy leather sectional sofa with a laid-back Moroccan rug and a sleek black coffee table.
What used to be a blank wall, now features a picture perfect wooden wall shelf with a curation of unique home accessories. The light wooden shelves are filled with a lovely vignette of pottery, books and fresh potted plants.
The family was eager to incorporate investment pieces into their space, such as this white Italian marble table in the dining room. Meanwhile, the dining chairs are iconic Australian designs, reissues of a 1960 design by Grant Featherston.
According to Haag, designing the formal dining area proved to be a challenge. With classical bi-fold doors intended to divide the room, the dark dining table had to be custom made to provide versatility depending on use. Part of the table can be pushed together to create a long regal dining table, or pulled apart for individual use. The result is a graceful dining space framed by matching hanging pendant lamps on either end.
Although a majority of the interiors are clad in white brick walls, the master bedroom and dressing room sport a vibrant shade of blue. Much of the family’s cherished memories are displayed in the dressing room, where a statement ceiling lamp hangs above a sophisticated brown ottoman.
As a whole, the Australian family home is a contemporary dwelling, fit for a growing family with energetic kids. In the eight months of working with the family, Haag explains that the project was a collaborative process built on trust. And the Victorian house was a fresh canvas brought to life by a blend of beautiful furnishings and functional spaces created especially for the family.
What do you think of this Victorian-style home? Tell us about it in the comments below!
For similar stories like this, read about this Australian family home made out of two pavilions. If you enjoy exploring homes around the world and learning more about good home design, join our growing community by signing up to our newsletter so you can stay up-to-date with our latest content.