Last year was an amazing year for KWD. We worked on such a wide range of residential and commercial projects across Melbourne and interstate, incorporating a broad selection of design aesthetics from ultra-modern to British Colonial and from Industrial to Boat House style.
One of the projects most dear to our hearts was very local, a property owned by the Romanin family.
Says Hannah, “We moved to Mt Martha about eight years ago from Brighton. We gradually found our way down the coast back to where I had always enjoyed a holiday home. It was a stereotypical sea change scenario really. We visited the area on a quintessential Mt Martha day when the water was a deep blue-green and the boats were out on the bay. We just fell in love with it. We bought a house in Mt Martha which we renovated and then we bought another and did the same, and then we found the land where we now have our new family home.”
“This was the dream house that we always wanted to build. I grew up in a Victorian house, so while that style isn’t really suited to the area we really wanted to build a classic home with wrap around verandas and a Hamptons feel. We love the modern elements within the house, but we wanted the style of home that would stand the test of time. As soon as we saw the land, which was part of a subdivided block, we instantly loved it. We wanted to be near the beach and the shops, and the fact that it was a corner block as well was amazing. It’s so private, we’re surrounded by trees and we’ve got sea views. The location is perfect.”
For Hannah and Carlo and their four children (aged 15, 13, 12 and 9) finding this special block of land proved to best serendipitous. Explains Hannah, “The land came with plans for a house for a family the same size as ours, with the same tastes – it’s all very weird really. The dwelling already had all the permits. We just added our own stamp to the plans with our drafts man. It was so meant to be, it was designed for four children with four bedrooms upstairs and a games room, and with our own adults area downstairs. As a result the whole process with quite quick and very smooth, taking only around 12 months in total because we had all the permits in place, which was such a gift in itself.”
“We decided to engage KWD to help us with all the hard finishes,” says Hannah. “That was such a good decision. There were so many positives about the experience. I knew Kate, and I had always loved her taste, so we met and I told her what I loved and she turned my vision into reality. With four children she knew we didn’t want a designer home. We wanted it to be practical, like having timber floors that wouldn’t show up dust and were easy to maintain. Kate also made me brave. I’m very into neutrals but she introduced navy into the colour scheme and it was the best decision ever. It’s beautiful and it’s so warm and so homely. When people walk in that’s the first thing they say, it feels like such a home.”
Says Kate, “Working with Hannah and Carlo and their four beautiful children was such a privilege. We loved bringing their vision to life. We really wanted to create Hamptons-style living which reflected the beachside location, and we wanted to make it easy-to-care-for and functional for a permanent family home with four growing children. Practical surfaces were selected with engineered oak flooring and solution-dyed carpet for easy cleaning, and timeless materials like subway tiles with grey stone-inspired floor tiles. We added a pop of colour with a navy island bench and navy tiles in the powder room, and texture with dry wall cladding on the fireplace. The whole design came together beautifully, with a genuine warmth that reflects the heart of the family.”
“We’ve moved nine times in 15 years,” explains Hannah, “and this is the first time we have felt settled. I love the main room, where we have the kitchen, dining and lounge space. And I love how our bedroom is so private from the rest of the house. I also really love our balcony. I adore every element of it really. The kids love having their own space too, and we always have our kid’s friends here and it works so well. The layout is so comfortable and the whole house works beautifully in winter and summer – the veranda is so good at moderating the temperature inside. All of our landscaping is coming together, and a pool is on the agenda too, just off the veranda. The property is surrounded by mature trees outside the block, so we feel like we’ve been here for a long time. And we will be here for a long time, it’s our forever home.”
“Working on our new home with Kate and her team proved to be an invaluable, inspirational and positive experience. Kate encouraged us to step outside the square with our colours and finishes, while still maintaining the classic, timeless style that we love. Her impeccable taste and ability to visualise the finished product, helped us to create a home that still takes our breath away every time we walk through the front door. Kate and her team eliminated all the stress that can come with fitting out a new home, they were available for a chat whenever we needed them and, most importantly, they listened to our needs. We could not recommend the KWD team more highly.”
Hannah & Carlo Romanin