Before & After: Twinning Homes in Melbourne Go From Ramshackle to Ravishing

Mairead Murphy of Maike Design renovates two matching houses on the same block in Brunswick East, imbuing each with its own distinct character.

If you had told interior designer Mairead Murphy that she would be buying two houses within a three year span, she wouldn’t have believed it. It began in 2014, when she and her partner, Pete, were looking to buy a home in Melbourne, but the going was tough. "It was getting to the point where we were lined up along the street with 20 or 30 other couples bidding almost a million dollars for something that needed to be knocked down," remembers Mairead. "Melbourne real estate is just mental."

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Melissa Dalton
Dwell Contributor
Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing for Dwell since 2017. Read more of her work about design and architecture at


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