Home of the week
For Miranda and Jeremy Lansell, it was an opportunity too good to resist: taking an old house with a rich architectural and cultural history and transforming it into a vibrant family home. Built around 1910, the home in Melbourne's inner-eastern suburbs was described by a heritage architect as a "true mix of French château, Victorian, Edwardian and baroque styles". In the 1930s it was home to famed arts patrons John and Sunday Reed, and the fanlight over the entrance is referred to in Sunday's biography, The Heart Garden.
"I must admit that from an architectural point of view, I didn't find the mix of styles immediately attractive," Miranda says. "However, the opportunity to celebrate its history, restore the well-proportioned rooms and reinvigorate the interior was very exciting."
As a co-founder of Share Design, an online interior design resource, Miranda had very clear ideas about how to create a refined, modern home for their family of five (the couple have three girls). She retained the original front rooms, restoring the architraves and cornices, then added a bold two-storey glazed structure at the rear that features natural timber boards and cement rendered walls.
It's now an airy, art-filled home in which every space is thoroughly enjoyed by the family. "We made sure every room had a purpose, as I couldn't live in a house that had 'good' rooms," Miranda says. But it is the master bedroom with ensuite that is her favourite. "It has a wonderful, Zen-like calm - and rock-star views of the city."