HOUSE DESIGN | Striking the balance between family home and luxury abode

Balancing the practicalities of family life with style and luxury in the home. Pictured below: A powder room with personality. Picture: Damien Kook.
Balancing the practicalities of family life with style and luxury in the home. Pictured below: A powder room with personality. Picture: Damien Kook.

Striking the right balance between luxury and practicality was a key driver for Melbourne couple Todd and Evie when they embarked on a renovation journey to update their family home of more than 20 years.

Project designer Penny del Castillo of In Design International in Melbourne said, aside from giving the home's appearance a makeover, the renovations centred around practicality and how the family had grown.

"We started at the front door and meticulously worked our way through the entire property, mindful of assessing family heirlooms, sentimental possessions, and practical keepsakes to retain as part of the marvellous makeover," Ms del Castillo said.

While most of the home's spaces enjoy the generous proportions suited to an update that sympathised with touches of luxury, it was one of the smallest spaces in the home that demanded the most personality from the makeover.

The brief for the powder room called for it to be both beautiful and functional, even though it was small and simple, its symbolism meant much more.

A powder room with personality. Picture: Damien Kook.

A powder room with personality. Picture: Damien Kook.

"As the clients are members of a large extended family that likes to entertain en masse, and it was important to them, that their family were able to share a bit of luxury when visiting," Penny said.

"Therefore the powder room also had to work within the stylistic parameters of an existing abode - all while having its own personality."

The most remarkable feature of the renovation however, (as many parents may appreciate) was the opportunity to finally upgrade the master bedroom, walk-in robe and ensuite.

Todd and Evie described it as high end hotel luxury - once you step off the hallway, it's like stepping into a five star hotel.

Rich navy blue faux shagreen (shark skin) wallpaper and stunning pendant lights over the bespoke upholstered bedhead create an immediate mood swing from hectic day to relaxing ambiance.

"The ensuite of this parents' retreat is designed to be an oasis of calm during a hectic day," Penny said.

"The constant usage of this space required it to be functional, low maintenance, have a sense of privacy without sacrifice of light, all the while being visually calm and aesthetically pleasing.

"It also needed to aesthetically flow from the other rooms in this parental domain, and to satisfy the ergonomic requirements of the clients, who required low bench heights and easy-to-reach touch points."

As the ensuite was designed without a door, privacy concerns were allayed by using reeded glass for the shower screen, as well as a new nib wall adjacent to the toilet, allowing light to filter through, while maintaining modesty.

The design began with the selection of robust materials that required almost no maintenance.

Large format tiles were coordinated with very hard, natural stone and mould-resistant laminate for easy-cleaning, freeing up more time to spend with family.