Urban Road

Visit the Grove: The contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation

Known for their period features, many Australian Californian bungalows are getting contemporary makeovers for modern living. And one home that’s been give the most stunning transformation is The Grove. Built by award-winning residential builder Construct Melbourne, they worked collaboratively with the designers and architects to reimagine this Bentleigh property

The result is a polished home favouring a sophisticated flair and a touch of opulence for a young expecting couple — designed to serve their growing needs and lifestyle. So read on as we explore this contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation with Construct Melbourne Managing Director Rhyse Mazza.

Related article: A Californian bungalow in Melbourne gets an impressive exterior home makeover
Related article: Statement lighting steals the show in this Californian bungalow renovation

Californian Bungalow hallway design _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
Californian Bungalow kitchen _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation

The existing Bentleigh property has been reimagined to create a layered country aesthetic, balanced with a contemporary European feel.

“The existing labyrinth-like flow of the home was redesigned to ensure enhanced functionality,” explains Rhyse.

“Palettes of blues, soft greys, and whites were chosen. The intention was to keep the rooms light and fresh, paying homage to the heritage of the property while also serving the future.

“I think the colour combined with the hand-glazed tiles and finer details make the whole project really complement the heritage nature of the home.”

The couple previously living in the UK wanted to return to their antipodean roots and embrace the natural light they had missed in London and make it the heart of the home

Interior Designer Ryan Fernandes
pink couch styling
round dining room table styling

The Grove features a refined palette and layered balance of heritage and contemporary detailing.

“Moments of calm surrounded by light and flora saturate the living area during the day,” says Rhyse.

“The home morphs into a homely retreat with gas log fireplace and wall sconces at night.

“In the bathroom, rich blue tiles inject warmth and softness to the space while maintaining a timeless sophistication with freestanding Victorian claw bath.”

living room design
blue subway tile feature wall _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation

The final design of this home respects and preserves its historical features, but there were some issues.

“There were some financial discrepancies between when we originally quoted to when we commenced the build. This is due to supply shortages and increased costs of raw materials across the construction industry.

“Further, upon commencing the build, we quickly realised the subfloor was in terrible condition and needed to be completely replaced.

“One of the most significant challenges were the lengthy lead times on selections. The Falcon Classic oven alone had an estimated lead time of 10 months. The oven was a must for the homeowners. We really had to think outside of the box to make this feature piece a reality.” 

navy blue bedroom
light pink girls room design

The young couple favoured clean lines however desired a relaxed classical feel with a twist.

“I love that the clients have been bold with the colour selections.

“In the kitchen, handmade Moroccan tiling reflects a naturally iridescent hue across the splashback, complementing shaker-style joinery in whisper white, contrasting with the classic black range cooker.

Unlike a dark grey, the central island takes on a much softer hue as light moves through the space. It appears a dark inky blue in less light and much softer in bright light.

Interior Designer Ryan Fernandes
hidden bar _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
black oven with green dutch oven _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation

With such an interesting project under his belt, we couldn’t help but ask Rhyse for his tips on renovating a heritage property.

“When renovating a heritage property, it’s important to avoid replicating — especially to the front façade. Always aim to complement the timeline rather than imitating the heritage design. That way you have a clear depiction between historic elements and the new.

“Try to keep as many original features as possible. Replica is available but original is always best. Restoring is typically more costly but invaluable to the feel of the home — original, heritage beauty with timeless character.

“Something that many might be unaware of is that traditional leadlight windows can be triple glazed to retain the beauty while bringing up to a modern standard.”

Build — Construct Melbourne
Interior Design and styling — Ryan Fernandes
Architect — Angela Prince
Photographer — Elise Scott
Central kitchen island colour — Dulux Oolong

We’d like to thank Rhyse and Ryan for sharing the details of this project with us. To find more from Rhyse and Construct Melbourne, you can check out the Construct Melbourne website or follow them on Instagram.

So what were you thoughts on this contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation? Did any rooms or design details particularly inspire you? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this home in the comment section below!

Find more home tours here

blue bathroom design _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
blue subway tile wall _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
blue subway tile with a grey vanity _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
Arch hallway _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
butlers sink in modern kitchen contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
butlers sink _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
grey bathroom vanity _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
grey front door _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
home bar design _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
kids room design _ contemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
kitchen bench styling
livingroom windows
modern artwork
navy blue kitchen bench in white kitchen
Navy blue kitchen bench
office desk
blue bathroom feature wall _ ontemporary Californian Bungalow renovation
pink living room couch
red dining chair
white kitchen bench with black oven
white kitchen design
white living room
white pantry design
white square tiles
Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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