A Melbourne Midcentury Gets a Palm Springs-Inspired Revival

Built in 1964 and originally designed by architect Harry Ernest, a worn-down home undergoes an overhaul that embraces the spirit of the original.

Led by interior designer Miriam Fanning of Mim Design, the team included architect Ben Robertson and builder Project Friday, all striving to get the renovation details for this Melbourne home just right. Fanning travelled to Palm Springs, California, for midcentury design inspiration. "Before starting work on this project, I went on a pilgrimage to Palm Springs and realized that the simplicity of this type of home is what makes them great," she told Design Anthology magazine. "I wanted to reflect a sense of ease in the property." 

To that end, the floor plan was redesigned to better connect the interior spaces, then the design team wove in references to the home's midcentury past—sometimes via reinterpretation, sometimes via rehabilitation. "It was midway between a renovation and a restoration, so wherever possible we tried to keep the feeling of the 1960s," the homeowner told Belle magazine. 

For instance, the original terrazzo floors at the entry were kept, and the mod steel entry gate and fence refurbished, while new interior finishes and fittings, such as the custom-designed walnut joinery, provide a more contemporary take on the house's era. The result is a midcentury home given new life.

Project Credits:

-Design: Mim Design

-Architect: Ben Robertson

-Builder/General Contractor: Project Friday

-Structural Engineer: La Porta Consulting Engineers

-Landscape Design: Ben Scott Garden Design

-Photographer: Sharyn Cairns


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