Adding colour to a home without it being overwhelming is a challenge. but, with an expert touch, it can bring an old house back to life.
Behind the heavy lead door of this classic Melbourne house, a world of colour awaits. Bold and beautiful, this is a home basking in light and space – a calm but playful haven for a young family. It’s hard to imagine that, when the current owners purchased the house, it didn’t exactly reflect their love of high-impact style.
‘It was more an ode to all things brown,’ says Lauren Li of Sisällä Interior Design, the designer on the project. ‘There wasn’t a room in the house that didn’t feature the colour,’ she adds. ‘But the property still had great style and beautiful bones, and the previous owners had added a really lovely extension with a new kitchen, living area and upstairs kids’ zone. We knew that there was a lot we could do.’
Happily, from a somewhat subdued start, the brightest of makeovers was conceived. Testament to the transformative power of colour, the home showcases the potency of deeper, moodier shades in some rooms and lighter, invigorating tones in others. There is dusty blue creating a sense of calm in the master bedroom; glorious splashes of pale turquoise in the crisp, white kitchen; and soft, pastel furnishings setting a warm, inviting tone in the living room. Graphic wallpaper is also used to dramatic effect.
As the owner says: ‘These colours seem to have the power to energise or soothe us, according to our mood.’ Throughout the house, the use of blue brings a sense of cohesion, while tactile finishes (such as soft leather paired with timber, stone and concrete) complete the look. ‘We wanted our home to reflect our combined Nordic and Australian heritage,’ the owner says.
‘I trusted Lauren’s vision and it paid off.’
While most changes were cosmetic, there was some structural work carried out, and period features that had been stripped away were reinstated. The result is a gorgeous and functional home loved by all members of the family.