After stumbling upon a vacant block of land in Elsternwick (formerly, the tennis court of a local school), and designed their home from the ground up. Despite the narrow street frontage (access to the house is along a 33m long and 3m wide driveway – cosy!) the opportunity to build a new home from a ‘clean landscape’ appealed to the couple, who ‘saw an opportunity for creating a hidden home immersed in a secret garden.’
Soon after acquiring the land, Graham immediately had a vision for ‘a layered and transparent home’. He and Dana wanted it to be a calm and reductive space, one that embraced and embedded itself in the landscape. ‘In a sense, we were both clients and both co-creators’ Graham describes of the creative process. In the end, the project took about 3.5 years to design and build. All good things take time!
The house is informed by modernist aesthetics, and particularly references the home of Dana’s grandparents. ‘There are elements of this house that pay homage to that one both aesthetically, in the rectangular form, flat roof excessive windows, and the way the rooms flow into each other’. Dana explains ‘I wanted to feel the same in this house as I did in theirs as a child.’
With its sweeping windows, lush landscaping and internal courtyard, every room within the home is connected to the outdoors, and the eye is constantly drawn outside. Dana describes the interiors as ‘reductive in colour palette and excessive in texture’ – which could equally describe her own design approach. As the founder of boutique fashion label , Dana spends a lot of time working from home, and her surroundings are an endless source of inspiration. ‘I spend a lot of time here, as its where I do a lot of the design work for my brand, and the home really fuels my imagination’ she says.
What is perhaps most distinctive about this home is a sense of quiet confidence. Each with their own discerning tastes, Dana and Graham have worked together to create a home that is highly considered, yet simple and understated. ‘We both very much believe in buying less and choosing well’ Dana reflects. ‘Every element of our home has some sort of significance and meaning’.