Homes to Love
Australian interior designer Carole Whiting enjoys a project. While she’s often employed to put her talent to the test with clients, it’s a welcome change for her to create a home for herself and her family, which includes two teenage daughters.
Since moving to Melbourne in the mid-90s, Carole’s lived in and around the inner-city Albert Park area — on the doorstep of the city and close to a beach, lake, bike tracks, restaurants, and her workplace. “The blocks aren’t large, but I prefer quality over quantity,” she said.
Carole had walked past this Edwardian double-fronted house — two blocks from her previous home — many times over the years and was intrigued, as it was hidden behind poorly maintained hedges. It was a wide house with two front bedrooms.
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When it was listed for auction about two years ago — after being in the one family for 80 years — Carole seized the opportunity and became the successful bidder for the house.
While Carole focused on the interiors, her partner at Whiting Architects, Steven, designed the building. They also teamed up with JNC Precision Building and landscape architect Sybille Bruns from SB Garden Design.
The family continued to live in their existing home in Red Hill while they made their new property habitable. This involved a lot of clearing out, painting walls (in Dulux “Lexicon” quarter strength), and repairing the floorboards. A loft bedroom and ensuite bathroom were installed during this phase so that it could be a functional house once the family moved in.
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The dining room served as a living and kitchen space while the rear of the house was constructed. The family took up residence in March 2014, and over the next 18 months, the house evolved at a slower pace while planning approval was sought.
Carole took the time to consider her vision for the interiors. “I like the Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics, but I don’t follow trends,” she says. “Most of my projects have a lot of white and timber — I like fresh spaces that don’t yell at you.” She wanted to make her own home feel fresh and peaceful, fuss-free, and comfortable, while experimenting with layout and design.
“The house is all about volume and spaces that are lower or narrower in some areas, then more expansive in others. It’s about a process of discovery — things reveal themselves as you travel through the house and experience the space. I don’t like it when everything is immediately visible and on display.”
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She has carefully furnished the home with pieces that have a story. “I like to mix a bit of old and a bit of new — and there are some pieces I’ve had for over 20 years that I’ll love forever,” she commented. “It really feels like ‘my’ house.”
This post was written by the editors of Homes to Love. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.
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