Located in the Melbourne suburb of Albert Park, this minimalist, monochrome renovation is the work of interior designer Eve Gunson (of Dot + Pop) and her builder husband, Matt Benetti, from New Living Constructions. Originally built in the 1880s and transformed into a corner store in the 1950s, the couple’s updated abode now boasts five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a second storey and studio – the build ideally timed for the arrival of their first child.
The monochrome palette combines white walls with black accents and pops of greenery for interest. “We chose neutral tones, natural materials and sleek finishes, with an overall feeling of ‘less is more’,” says Eve. A standout space, the kitchen exemplifies this approach – it is all black save for a stunning marble splash back and bench top.
“Over the years, the shop has housed a number of businesses, including a hairdresser, real estate agency and fruit shop. It was running as a bookshop when we first purchased it,” says Eve. With the shopfront a later addition, the couple sought planning approval to remove it and restore the front of the home to its original Victorian glory.
All that is left of the old home is the front bedroom and hallway and a new extension sits to the rear. Notable too is the addition of a rear garage complete with a studio above – this sits at the back of the home beyond a light-filled courtyard.
As for any renovation stumbling blocks, the home’s unique corner location was one of the more challenging aspects of the project. Not only does the full length of the boundary wall run down a public street, but the front of the home faces a road with a tram. As you can imagine, minimising noise was a chief concern and this was achieved with CSR Gyprock Superchek plasterboard together with acoustic insulation and double-glazed windows.
And having just welcomed their first child, you could say the completion of the home was perfectly timed. “We built this house as our ‘forever for now’ home, because forever is a long time when you love building and designing homes.”
Photography: Simon Shiff