Coming of age

Coming of age


An innovative design fuses the old with the new.

living room designs 

With retirement looming in the years ahead, a Melbourne family took the decision to put in place a lifestyle plan which would provide great benefits to them for their short- and long-term future. An existing holiday home on Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula, with magnificent views across Port Phillip Bay, had served them well over the years, but as the family had grown and grandchildren entered the scene, the original layout became inappropriate for their short-term needs.

Also, due to its wonderful location and close proximity to Melbourne (just over an hour’s drive), this home would eventually become the prime residence, and therefore careful consideration in terms of a renovation/extension was needed to satisfy this very different set of circumstances. Fate delivered them some wonderful opportunities. First the adjoining vacant land to the north of their property was placed on the market and they quickly snapped it up. Then, a dilapidated older-style weekender adjoining their property to the south also came on the market, delivering them a total property which would help shape their future lifestyle “at the beach”.

A chance meeting with designer Graham Jones at a Melbourne home exhibition solved the owners’ long search for a suitable architect or designer for their project. Award-winning practice Graham Jones Design had long been established in Mornington, so it seemed quite logical to utilise their design skills and take advantage of their local knowledge. The client brief demanded the transformation of a low-key weekend “beach shack” into a sophisticated, contemporary family home with an emphasis on indoor and outdoor entertaining. A large extension to the original home would be required, while re-defining a great deal of the internal layout of the existing structure. The result is a total makeover; lines between old and new are blurred, with upper patios and lower decking beautifully shaped, stretching in excess of 30 metres. A 20-metre infinity-edge swimming pool mirrors the shape of the deck as it meanders across the site. A second garage, entry, study, three bedrooms, three bathrooms and two living rooms have been added to the existing four-bedroom home, taking on almost hotel proportions for the needs of this growing family. Zones are well established throughout the design; guests and grandchildren are well catered for in the quieter areas of the home, while the owner’s private master bedroom, study and living rooms can be segregated when necessary, yet integrated when required, into the mainstream of the home.

Well-planned flowing living areas and all principal rooms open to large outdoor entertaining spaces, taking full advantage of the stunning sea views across Port Phillip Bay and to the bushland of Arthurs Seat. The innovative, detailed design required the services of an exceptional craftsman to carry out the difficult task of constructing the home and pulling the whole project together. Construction company Excelcon was selected and the result is quite amazing. Excelcon faced enormous challenges of upgrading the quality of finishes in the original building, to the high standard expected by the client. Interior designer Bianca Jones was also a conduit between builder and client, and working together as a close-knit team resulted in the highest quality of interior design and finishes imaginable. A 15-month build time could often test a client/builder relationship, but not in this case. The focus was not on a timeframe, but on creating a finished product which all parties could be proud of. To achieve this, a closeworking relationship between Excelcon and the client, built on trust and understanding, was necessary, and was established right from the outset. The result speaks for itself and was further backed up by winning the 2009 HIA South East region Home of the Year.

Graham Jones Design
7 Hammel Court, Hallam Victoria 3803 Australia
03 8795 7088