The Colourful Life

While she may not profess to be an interior designer, Melanie Duzel-Zammit obviously has a great sense of style, as is testament in the renovation of her stunning Essendon home.

Words: Pip Miller  /  Photography: Martina Gemmola  /  Styling: Jessica Frazer  / Interior design: Melanie Duzel-Zammit

One look at this glorious Melbourne home and you’d be forgiven for thinking it had been created by an experienced interior designer. But Melanie Duzel-Zammit just happens to have an innate sense of style and a passion for beautiful interiors. The result is one stunning family home renovation. 

The home, which Melanie says is quite modest in size, is the domain of herself, her husband Jay and two primary school aged children, Kristen (11) and Lucas (eight). 

“We only have the one living area in our home, so we had to make it functional,” she says. “Most of our time is spent in the kitchen and lounge which sit side by side. The long, 3.7 metre kitchen bench has turned out to be the hub of our home. It’s where all the fun stuff happens – family meals, after-school chats, homework, games and socialising. And three steps away is the large comfy couch, where you can chill out but still be part of the action.”

“To create a space that was warm, happy, comfortable and inviting was very important to me. I wanted to wake up every day, walk out into the living area and feel like I was on a holiday in my own home.”

According to Melanie, her interest in design and interiors is new-found and has become an addiction purely as a result of renovating their home. 

Melanie is drawn to light, bright, and open spaces. “To create a space that was warm, happy, comfortable and inviting was very important to me. I wanted to wake up every day, walk out into the living area and feel like I was on a holiday in my own home.”

Melanie definitely nailed her own brief and puts her success down to starting with a neutral base. “For me, a white kitchen is always a good idea, and coupled with the warm tones of light floorboards and Tasmanian oak furniture, that light bright feel I was looking for was achieved. To inject some personality into the spaces, I used beautiful, bright, and colourful artworks by my favourite Australian artists. I also have to mention the coloured dining chairs. It was a risky thing to do, but I adore the look. Ambient lighting was also a must in my home. Right throughout, I relied on using lots of different lighting options including down lights, lamps and pendants – some of which shine on their own as statement pieces.”

Melanie is a firm believer in classic style. “When investing money on big furniture items, you don’t want them to date too quickly. Classic pieces are the way to go. With young children they also need to be durable, so spending a little more on quality items that will actually go the distance is also important.”

While Melanie advocates quality and spending a little more on big ticket items, she is also a fan of budget accessories and soft furnishings – items that can be regularly replaced and update a look without the high price tag. 

At the moment Melanie’s favourite room is the master bedroom, which has recently received a complete overhaul. “It has the same light bright feel as the rest of my home and I love it. I could stay in there all day. As for my favourite piece, it is without doubt the Rachel Castle original artwork. I describe it as pure happiness. I always joke that if my house goes up in flames, that is what I will be saving first.”

Melanie gives kudos to interior magazines and Instagram which she says is “a glorious place I look to for inspiration.”

“It has the same light bright feel as the rest of my home and I love it. I could stay in there all day.”

COFFEE TABLE  /  PENDANT LIGHT  /  PRINT  /  TOWEL SET  /  CHAIR  /  CUSHION


 

Want to see this home in print? You’ll find the full home tour in our Annual edition, available through our online shop. Click here to buy.