A Photographer + Stylist's Vibrant Family Home

Homes

If you spend your life photographing the most spectacular architecture from around the globe, how do you then decide on design of your own home? How do you even begin to sift through ALL of those influences, options and trends bubbling away!?

For , one of Australia’s most respected architectural photographers, and his partner, stylist , designing a dream family home was all about placing trust in the right people. Rather than being overwhelmed by a 20-year career of architectural inspiration, the couple enlisted Melbourne architecture practice to create a bright, personal and playful Elsternwick home they share with daughter Mia.

23rd May, 2018

The bright, breezy Elsternwick home of photographer Swalwell, stylist and their daughter, Mia.  round dining table and pendant lights. stools. Over kitchen island bench are pendant lights. Photo – for Btslive.

The family engaged architects for the addition and interior redesign of the house. Photo – for Btslive.

Ample windows in this cosy family home ushers the outside, inside. . Photo – for Btslive.

The creative couple have a refined yet laid-back sense of interior style. blue planter pot, tray and  macrame hanger. Table from House of Orange. Photo – for Btslive.

It’s just so cosy, and feels solid’, Derek says of the Kennedy Nolan addition. Photographic print in background, ‘Mexico ‘by . Photo – for Btslive.

‘We love the kitchen island and its benchtop… nice and solid, and BIG,’ Derek enthuses! Photo – for Btslive.

, and their daughter Mia in their chic Melbourne home. Photo – for Btslive.

Artwork (top), sketch by Moofus. Artwork (lower) , COAST by Tim Sutherland (). Shelving by String System from . Photo – for Btslive.

Coming from creative careers, both Derek and have acquired many special pieces of art and design objects, including much Derek’s own photography work (he’s kind of famous in the design scene!). Artwork (top left) . Artwork (top right, bottom left) prints from Artwork (bottom right) ‘Las Vegas’ from series. Photo – for Btslive.

Living room detail. ‘Rufus’ sofa and cushion. Photographic print by .  ceramic cups. ‘Sunny’ by  ceiling lighting on tracks. Photo – for Btslive.

Mia’s bedroom, featuring an amazing pendant shade by Family Love Tree. Smaller lamp shades by HK Living (stocked by House of Orange). Bedding and stool from IKEA. Photo – for Btslive.

Bedroom details, which are mostly collected and vintage. Pendant light and drawers from . Photo – for Btslive.

Bath fabricated by and from . Photo – for Btslive.

The tonal master bedroom. Photographic print is ‘Hotel Springs Motel’ from Derek’s series. Bed linen and side table from House of Orange. Ruark radio from . Photo – for Btslive.

Front exterior. Photo – for Btslive.

Office goals! Artwork (top left) A print from Derek’s . Artwork (top centre) Moofus illustration. Artwork (top left) Ben Reynolds. Artwork (on floor) . table. red chair. carpet.  Photo – for Btslive.

Backyard details. Cult green chair. Photo – for Btslive.

Rear exterior. Photo – for Btslive.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd May 2018

‘It’s a representation of us and our tastes – retro, as well as modern, and very functional’ – Derek Swalwell.

With a career spanning 20 years, is one of Australia’s most esteemed photographers. Admired for capturing some of the world’s most spectacular architecturally designed buildings, Derek is fascinated by architecture and the built environment, both in Australia and abroad.

It stands to reason then, that Derek and his wife  would collaborate with recognised Australian architecture firm (and long-term clients)  to renovate their own 1960s bungalow in Elsternwick.

After purchasing the property four years ago, the original ‘orange brick veneer’ house has been updated to reflect the lives and aesthetics of the new owners. Derek explains ‘I guess it’s a representation of us and our tastes – retro, as well as modern, and very functional for our family.’

The renovations included a new concrete slab being poured to extend the footprint of the home, which allowed for the addition of an expansive contemporary kitchen and dining space. With a versatile L-shaped layout, the new floorplan envelops the garden, ensuring leafy views from every room.

The bright openness of this home feels particularly appropriate for a photographer who has been consistently engaged in capturing the quality of light in his work, and Georgia’s styling talents are apparent in every room. The house balances robust, solid materials – bricks, concrete and solid timber – with a playful, bright colour plate. ‘It feels cosy, but solid,’ Derek concludes, which sounds like a perfect family home to us!

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