In Focus

Behind The Build: Modern family living

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Teleisha Thomas

Teleisha Thomas

October 2023

A mid-century modernist home in Melbourne's bayside transformed for modern family living.

This year, Jellis Craig Bayside is proud to represent House 5, from the much-anticipated 2023 season of The Block. Contestants and sisters from Melbourne, Eliza and Liberty, were new to the world of building and design before they arrived to the site 12 weeks ago.

At 22 Charming Street, Hampton East, Eliza and Liberty managed to capture the essence of mid-century architecture whilst embracing contemporary living, resulting in the creation of a breathtaking family home.

We sat down with the sisters to talk about what inspired their build and some of the biggest lessons they learnt during the process.

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6 house5 Eliza Liberty

The home features bold moments of colour throughout. Why are you drawn to colour and how have you employed colour throughout the home?

When conducting research for our ‘Block mood board’ prior to the show, we were always drawn to house designs which incorporated colour utilised in a classy way. We noticed interior design trends shifting away from cream/beige colour schemes, to pops of colour and pattern so we did our own interpretations of this throughout the home. We kept the base framework of the house fairly neutral, with white walls, light grey kitchen cabinetry, oak floorboards and cream carpets. Coloured accents were then incorporated through non-permanent fixtures like furniture, artwork, wallpaper, accessories, and décor, so the new home owner can interchange these easily if they wish.

Describe your personal style—are there particular designs you are drawn to?

‘Contemporary and bright’ probably best describes our overall chosen aesthetic. Given we were lacking renovation experience, we were keen to utilise a neutral base, and build on that with the occasional bold statement piece. This then gives the buyer the opportunity to put their own spin on the property as desired.

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What elements of the home are inspired by the original mid-century design?

We really wanted to pay homage to the home’s original mid-century design and there were a lot of elements already in our plans that did just this. Minimalist design was embraced during the 1950’s, so we kept true to this in the architecture and permanent fixtures by keeping the base quite neutral. Bright colours were also prominent during that era, so we added our own contemporary style and pops of colour to non-permanent fixtures like artwork and appliances.

What materials or architectural elements did you employ to stay true to the architectural period of the original home?

Open-plan living was a non-negotiable for our home design and a key attribute of mid-century design. This is most evident in our kitchen/living/dining space, which encourages easy flow of people and conversation and great indoor-outdoor connections. Our front facade features bricks from the original home and has become one our favourite features. To be able to keep some of the elements and character of the 1950’s build was important to us in maintaining its history whilst showcasing our own unique flavour.

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Your winning kitchen is perfect for entertaining and everyday cooking. How important was the kitchen to your build?

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home and a space we feel is one of the most important to get right. We wanted to do justice to our amazing floor plan by keeping it open, spacious and functional, but also aesthetically beautiful. We chose our kitchen design in Week 2 of The Block and then used our choices as inspiration for the rest of the house. In order to maximise the open-plan design, we removed a wall from the original plans between the kitchen and living area, extended the length of the island bench and removed a nib wall to create a self-contained bar, creating a kitchen which truly has everything!

What materials and fixtures did you use that make this kitchen perfect for family entertaining?

There are so many incredible features and fixtures in our kitchen which make it the perfect space for entertaining, whilst maintaining ultimate functionality. Our favourite feature is the 4m long island bench made of Dekton stone from Cosetino, which is heat, stain and scratch resistant, making it almost indestructible. We kept it free of a sink or cooktop, making it purely for entertaining and enjoying quality time with family and friends. We have an abundance of below and above-bench storage in the form of cutlery and crockery drawers, large cupboards for pots and pans, a self-contained bar station with glassware racks, built-in food storage and a butler’s pantry for food preparation and housing appliances. The dishwasher, fridge and bins are integrated, making for a seamless design and the proximity of appliances to each other is practical and well thought-out.

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Tell us about the choice of tile, stone, and other materials for the beautiful bathrooms.

We were delighted with the end product of all of our bathrooms, and we love the fact they all have continuity but are also very distinct from one another. In the master ensuite and guest bathroom, we tiled floor to ceiling and kept the palette quite neutral. We incorporated a combination of different shapes and textures by using large square tiles in a matte finish and smaller finger tiles in a gloss finish. The famous moss wall provided a pop of colour and interest in the guest bathroom, and the master ensuite was sophisticated and luxurious, with a black fronted timber vanity, double shower, mood lighting and gold hardware. We kept the powder room very simple, just tiling the floor but we added a pop of colour with a burgundy Nood Co basin. We amped up the fun and colour in the kids bathroom, opting for a multicoloured terrazzo tile on the floor, an emerald gloss tile on the walls and textured mint basins.

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Where are some of your favourite places in the home that were designed to relax and recharge?

There is an abundance of spaces within the home for everyone to kick back, relax and recharge. The living room has a huge, comfortable eight-seater couch for everyone to gather and watch TV or feel the warmth of the 360-degree fireplace. The north-facing backyard is calm and charming, with several zones including a casual lounge area and firepit which is the ideal relaxation space in all seasons. The rumpus room upstairs on the landing is a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of the main entertaining area downstairs and the studio retreat out the back is the perfect sanctuary to escape to, while overlooking the pool.

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Tell us your favourite room in the house and why.

The kitchen is by far our favourite room in the house. It is the centrepiece of our home and the space we drew inspiration for the entire house. We put so much time and thought into the architecture, flow and design of this room and we wouldn’t change a thing about the outcome. It is spacious, functional, and luxurious. It is a dream kitchen for the cook, the entertainer and the family who want to hang out and eat with each other or with friends. It is everything you could want in a kitchen, and it ties every room in the home together.

The Block is a demanding 12 weeks. What helped inspire your creativity each week?

We went into The Block vibing an industrial theme, but after receiving Julian Brenchley’s façade design, we became inspired by the timber accents of the home. We also wanted to celebrate the grandeur of the floorplan we were allocated, by remaining focused on keeping everything light and open. Seeing what all the amazing Block sponsor stores had to offer helped to ignite different ideas too. We matured stylistically as time went on, so we became more and more confident to explore different avenues as well.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned during your time on The Block?

The biggest thing we discovered was how much determination and resilience we have. Having survived the ups, downs and extreme sleep deprivation of The Block, we now feel like we’re capable of achieving anything. This experience also taught us that kindness, respect and hard work will get you everywhere in life. Building a house in 12 weeks is really hard…. that’s another thing we learned!

Do you have any aspirations to continue your building journey?

We’d love to win enough money to take on our own renovation project one day… with the help of builders, a professional project manager and a lengthier timeframe!

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A note from the agent

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Hampton East has been the ‘flavour of the month’ for some time now with buyers recognising the suburb that has it all. You’ve got shops and public transport within walking distance of the home as well as being surrounded by some of the best private schools in Victoria. There’s been a steady increase in Hampton East prices over the years which will continue as time goes on. With the calibre of properties in the area, it’s a fantastic suburb to invest or raise a family. The location is central with both the beach & Nepean Hwy all within easy access.

The home is the complete package. Not only is it a brand new build, it also has the self-contained unit at the back which can be used for multiple purposes such has granny-flat, home office or extra bedroom. The home is a rare find in the Bayside market.

Our experience of ‘The Block’ so far has been incredible and a fantastic opportunity which we’re very grateful for. Eliza and Liberty have been great to work with from the start and to see their vision coming to life has been a delight to watch. As the weeks go by you can really see their confidence building with the quality of rooms and spaces they are delivering. Their attention to detail and execution really is impressive. We’re getting some great momentum from buyers now so we’re looking forward to seeing the end result on Auction day and getting a great result for the girls.

Nick Renna | Director, Jellis Craig Bayside

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22 Charming Street, Hampton East is available to purchase through Jellis Craig Brighton. 

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Contact Nick Renna for more information.

0411 551 190

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