Located in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick, this house is home to Pilates teacher and first-time renovator Steph Hegerty, her husband, two young children and beloved dog. “My husband and I had always wanted to renovate a Victorian or Edwardian home and when we saw this house, it was hard to see its Victorian features, but we saw the potential,” she says, of the circa 1910 home.
“We wanted to create a modern home that had the warmth and charm of a period home. Modern homes can sometimes feel a bit soulless, so we didn’t want to shy away from things like large skirting boards and architraves, ceiling roses and cornices, because we knew these features would forever make the house feel like it had history, and stories to tell,” says Steph.
“The house was built in 1910, but it was very hard to see that it actually was a Victorian home because it had been badly butchered in the 1970’s, and all charm (with the exception of the hallway arch and pressed metal ceilings) had been stripped out,” says Steph who reinstated large profile skirting boards, arches, cornices and ceiling roses to the front part of the home. The outside of the home underwent a massive overhaul too. “We added features to the exterior facade including a bullnose veranda, lacework, window mouldings and timber sash windows.”
“Coincidentally, the supplier for all of our ornamental plasterwork had the very same profile as our original hallway arch. It turned out they would have made our original one over 100 years ago, as no supplier has exactly the same profile,” says Steph who removed the pressed metal in the original home as part of the renovation.
“It was a hard decision to take out the pressed metal ceilings, but since not every room in the original part of the house had one, and they needed some repair work done, we removed them. I also had my heart set on lovely big cornices and ceiling roses, so I’m very happy with the end result.”
In contrast to the period features up front, the rear extension is an exercise in modern monochrome with plenty of gorgeous pops of blue. “The overall colour palette for the home is quite monochromatic, so we injected quite a lot of blue to soften it, like a blue front door, walk-in robe cabinetry and furniture. The blue adds a nice pop of colour, without being something we’d get sick of. It’s a calming colour by nature, which fit the brief for what we wanted our home to represent,” says Steph.
The rear extension is bright and airy and filled with natural light which is not always the case in a period home. “Being south facing, natural light was a huge consideration. We incorporated a raked ceiling in the living room, and a four metre highlight window at the top of it, so the living area and kitchen is always drenched in sunlight.”
Photographer: Dylan Lark @Aspect11
Steph’s home is listed on which is a new property platform that allows homeowners to dip their toes in the property market before committing to market. If a buyer is interested in the home, they can electronically ‘nokk’ and offer a price for it after which the vendor can decide to sell or not. It’s a great way to check out a hidden market of properties you will not see anywhere else.