This Rare Robin Boyd Original Makes An Extraordinary Family Home

Homes

A chance encounter while idly browsing online led , and her furniture-making husband, , to embark on their fourth home renovation!

Set amongst sprawling bush on the edge of the Yarra River in Warrandyte, this spectacular 1963 Robin Boyd home has been given a new lease of life, transforming it back to its former glory, and persuading the creative couple, with their children Archer (7) and Jethro (5), to consider this their ‘forever home’.

8th May, 2019

This original Robin Boyd-designed house in Warrandyte is now the family home of writer, strategist and podcast host Emma Clark Grattan, furniture maker Lee Grattan, and their children Archer and Jethro. The original house on the block burned down in 1962, and the owners commissioned Robin Boyd to design this new house in 1963. The house is clad with steel, which is quite unusual for the celebrated architect, but part of the brief was that the house was fire-resistant. Landscaping by Emma and Lee. Photo – . Styling – .

The couple updated the original kitchen, but kept the same custom handles as Robin Boyd used. ‘I soaked them in vinegar and put them back all new in the kitchen’, Emma explains. Drinks cabinet, bench seats, mirror and table made by Lee. Kilim runner from Gumtree. Hunter Pendant Lampshade. Photo – . Styling – .

Original wall light and Tasmanian Oak flooring. The couple painted the pantry door to break up the timber in the house. Baskets collected over the years now hide the kids’ sports and winter clothing. Artwork next to the fridge was a gift from friends and Sam George. Steel and timber stools made by Lee. Photo – . Styling – .

The family photo wall. ‘We started sticking up a few photos when we first moved in, but now they’ve taken over the whole kitchen wall!’ Emma says. The house is built so every room has a view of the treetops on the Yarra. Photo – . Styling – .

The living room. Guitars and Victorian ash sideboard built by Lee, weaving by Emma. Leather couch from . Coffee table and green chairs found on the side of the road and restored by Lee. Galah print by . Ice cream planter from . Original chrome wall scones. Photo – . Styling – .

Timber guitars made by Lee. Plush guitar on bottom left made by Emma for Lee’s birthday a few years ago. Photo – . Styling – .

‘Lee got the desk from Great Dane, but it was broken and in pieces so they were going to throw it out. He managed to restore it and we’ve dragged it from house to house’. Lamp is an original Planet lamp bought for a dollar from a church sale in Warrandyte. Clock from IKEA. Geo dresser made by Lee. Photo – . Styling – .

Original bookshelves. Couch from Grandfather’s Axe. The narrow windows face south-west and capture the sunset. Photo – . Styling – .

Cane outdoor setting bought for $50 on Gumtree. Table and kid’s chairs built by Lee. Photo – . Styling – .

Emma, Lee, Jethro and Archie. ‘Warrandyte is a wonderful place to live with kids. It’s got a community and village feel. We literally have the Yarra Valley behind us and the city in the other direction’, Emma tells. Photo – . Styling – .

Emma and Lee added the ensuite on, and managed to fit in a walk in wardrobe too! Lee built all the cabinetry and Emma tiled the floor. Photo – . Styling – .

Details on the family photo wall. Photo – . Styling – .

Left: A mobile made from banana leaves, bought 10 years ago by Emma at a market in Tanzania. Right: The original owners had four kids and all the walls were painted with limewash, which was stained from years of Blue-tack and nail holes. Emma and Lee painted the bedrooms pale grey, but the colour changes depending on the colour of the sky. Mirror built by Lee. Weaving by Emma. An assortment of pictures and artworks made by the couple or gifted by creative friends like , Sam George and . Bedding from . Rug by Arro Home. Cane chair belongs to Emma’s mum. Photo – . Styling – .

The kids’ room. Original orange plastic lampshade. Emma and Lee bought the bunks in a weekend from bits of wood in the shed. Photo – . Styling – .

Lee’s brother made the A&J banner for the boys’ birthday a few years ago. Lee made the drawers. Rainbow from . Photo – . Styling – .

Fiona Killackey
Wednesday 8th May 2019

‘I feel like we’re never moving again. This is it’. – Emma Clark Gratton.

Author John Ed Pearce once suggested that, ‘home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to’. Despite not quite being ‘old’, for many parents of young children, the suburbs they grew up in begin to seem infinitely more desirable as they long for a similar upbringing for their own kids.

For , content strategist, writer and co-host of  (alongside ), the idea of returning to the suburb she grew up in was initially daunting. ‘I grew up here’ says Emma Clark Gratton, ‘And I was like, we’re never moving back to Warrandyte! But we had the kids when we were in our last house in the inner north. It was a terrace and the backyard was tiny; the kids used to just run in circles. It wasn’t a good way to live.’ Emma’s husband, Lee (founder of ) grew up on a farm in Queensland. ‘He was like, ‘we need space!’ so we knew at some point we might move’.

But the ‘some point’ happened a lot sooner than they had expected. ‘Lee was on a bike riding trip for a fortnight, and I was busy getting Archie into a nearby school and then I was looking online one day and saw this ‘Yarra Yarra’ house come up on . I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Warrandyte! I came out and looked at it and made an offer. Then I texted Lee and said, ‘We’re going to buy a house’ and he was like, ‘Sorry, what?’

Despite Lee only seeing the house on the day of the auction, he instantly joined Emma in appreciation of the hilltop views, riverside location and the idea of living in a Robin Boyd original. After securing the four-bedroom home at auction from its original owners, The Arnold family, the couple set to work restoring it, carefully adhering to the heritage restrictions of the property. This included re-doing the kitchen which was ‘just really low and narrow’, with new cabinetry and tiling, renovating the master bedroom and adding a walk-in wardrobe, fixing the ceilings ‘which hung down a bit’ and adding solar panels, amongst many other small tweaks. The spectacular views, seen through floor to ceiling windows in every room, take centre stage alongside a beautifully designed interior full of Gratton furniture, retro finds and a muted colour palette.

Outside, the couple landscaped, with help from Emma’s brother, and added a separate workspace for Lee to design and create for his business (in addition to his larger workshop in Blackburn). While Emma says there’s still some work to do – ‘There’s a fourth bedroom downstairs which we want to make into more of a guest room’ – Yarra Yarra is well on its way to being this family’s forever home. ‘I feel like we’re never moving again. This is it’.

Similar Stories

Homes

The Timeless Beachside Home Of A Magazine Industry Legend

The beautiful beach cottage of Real Living's former Editor-In-Chief, Deb Bibby.

Homes

Casa Warrandyte

A tour of Stace Burt and Kenny Pomare's family home in the leafy Melbourne suburb. Drenched in natural light and offering beautiful bush vis...
Fiona Killackey

Homes

A Mid-Century Wonder In Warrandyte

A lovingly renovated mid-century gem in Melbourne's East, filled with art and eclectic details.

This Week

News

Humans Landed On The Moon Today!

Geelong Gallery is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘mankind’s giant leap’ with a captivating exhibition, bringing together...
Elle Murrell

In Print

Take A Gander At Australia's Iconic Art Deco Pubs

A new book, documenting how a nation’s love of a cold beer, led to an architectural phenomenon!
Elle Murrell
2:22

We, The Brave

Turning A Passion For Photography Into A Career, With Eve Wilson

Eve Wilson shares her courageous career journey, from photographer’s assistant, to leading lifestyle photographer. In partnership with MYO...

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.

Creative People

When Art Meets Music - 15 Stand-Out Album Covers Featuring Australian Art

From Ken Done to Brett Whiteley, Stephen Baker to Luke Sciberras, discover the Australian artists behind some iconic album art!
Elle Murrell

Architecture

A Stacked Home In St Kilda For Every Family Member

Matt Gibson Architecture and Design team up with clients DDB Design on a long-term living solution for multiple generations!

News

Sunday Life Drawing Classes In Seriously Lush Surrounds

Fitzroy-based creatives Ladies of Leisure team up with artist Lani Mitchell for a dreamy life drawing series in July!
Miriam McGarry

News

Moments From Nature Captured In Exquisite Detail

Following a devastating diagnosis two years ago, graphic designer Shelley Heaney embarked upon a new project encouraging us to connect to th...

Architecture

The Best Of The Island – Here Are The 2019 Tasmanian Architecture Award Winners!

Our southernmost state may be small, but it packs a big architectural punch.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

An Experiment In ‘Unfinishing’ A Home

An always evolving family home in Bondi Junction, by Alexander & Co.

Art

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

News

Time Travel To The Quintessential 1970s Motel In Melbourne

Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst bring their hilarious, nostalgia-infused live show to a classic Melbourne motel next month.

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Architect Penelope Seidler

This national icon reflects on her early life, working with her husband Harry in the 60s/70s, and her proudest achievement to date!

Studio Visit

The Seafaring Painter Pushing The Boundaries Of Maritime Art

A sail and studio visit with one-of-a-kind artist Gemma Rasdall, as her new body of work is unveiled in Sydney.
Elle Murrell

Similar Stories

Homes

The Timeless Beachside Home Of A Magazine Industry Legend

The beautiful beach cottage of Real Living's former Editor-In-Chief, Deb Bibby.

Homes

Casa Warrandyte

A tour of Stace Burt and Kenny Pomare's family home/bush retreat in the leafy Melbourne suburb, designed by revered architect Alistair Knox....
Fiona Killackey

Homes

A Mid-Century Wonder In Warrandyte

A lovingly renovated mid-century gem in Melbourne's East, filled with art and eclectic details.
220km.net

tsoydesign.com.ua/interiors/interer-restoranov/

http://agroxy.com