When Gwenda, son Dean and daughter-in-law Julie contacted us about listing Beacon House, they were not only looking for a booking agent, but someone that could help them transform their beloved old Edwardian and bring in a new era and level of style and comfort.
Located at the foot of Wombat Hill and only a short walk to The Convent Gallary, Beacon House is a beautiful old Edwardian home that has been in the same family for generations. Ten years ago the family enlisted an architect to extend the property from the back of the original home, out and up towards Wombat hill. The result was a stunning architectural timber extension that houses the living, kitchen and dining areas.
Timber shutters were used to great effect on the Daly street side to open easily for views up to Wombat Hill, and shut down for privacy when the sun goes down. Two outdoor areas coming off the new extension make outdoor entertaining in the beautiful spring, summer and autumn months fun and easy, and the addition of a large wood heater between the dining and lounge creates a cosy and warm environment for winter.
The original part of the home had been given a paint job and ensuites were added to each of the three bedrooms. It was functional and comfortable, however, they wanted to create a more luxurious space. They were looking for someone to help them add colour and soft furnishings that would enhance the charm of the old Edwardian, and the elegance and functionality of the new extension.
We sent some photos to Suzanne Cunningham from One Girl Interiors; after working with Suzanne on many projects in and around the region we knew that her lovely nature and classic yet contemporary approach to interior design would be a perfect fit for Gwenda, Dean, Julie and the rest of the family. Suzanne loved the property and knew immediately that she could add style and grace to the original part of the house and help to connect the old-world charm with the stunning new architectural extension.
The results speak for themselves. Suzanne has managed to work effortlessly with the family to create a space that pays respect to the history of the property by enhancing its great bones and has added soft furnishings that create a comfortable and memorable space for short-term accommodation.
We were interested in the process from Suzanne’s perspective, so we spoke with her to get an insight into the process.
What was the brief for this project?
Gwenda, Dean and Julie were looking for a cosmetic renovation – an update to the overall look and feel of the house, without any major structural work.
Tell us your initial impressions of the property.
My initial thought was that there was a real disconnect between the original, Edwardian part of the house and the contemporary extension. It felt like I was in two completely different houses. My aim was to try and achieve a look that could flow throughout the house, making it feel connected.
What style and feel did you apply?
I was inspired by a botanical theme. There was a large lime green feature wall in the living room that felt dated. I knew that changing that wall would change the feel of the space and I found a custom mural with an archival botanical image from the Natural History Museum in London. That was the starting point for the whole scheme, which I then carried throughout the house.
Did you have to work around existing furniture or were you given a clean slate?
Most of the furniture in the bedrooms was completely replaced. We retained a number of items in the living area and updated them with new cushions and a textural rug. I focused on updating the areas that would give the greatest visual impact.
What fabrics and soft furnishings did you select and why?
I used a natural palette of greens with accents of Steel Blues and Persimmon for freshness.
What is your favourite room of the house and why?
The Master Bedroom at the front of the house is stunning in its proportions and it has beautiful coloured glass detail in the bay window.