Mornington MEETS MIAMI
Australian House & Garden Magazine|January 2022
Designer Kate Walker allowed her imagination to soar when reinventing this family home, creating the vision of her wildest dreams.
Elizabeth Wilson

Being able to envision and conjure a bold new identity for a 40-year-old property requires imagination and daring. And both were in ample supply when designer Kate Walker reimagined this residence as her own family home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Drawing on her love of what she calls “Caribbean Colonial” homes, she remodelled a well-preserved, unassuming two-storey 1980s dwelling into a glamorous, palm-fringed tropical beauty that would look at home in the Bahamas or Florida Keys.

When Kate bought the property in early 2020, it had been languishing on the market. “People couldn’t see beyond the tired interiors,” she says. As soon as Kate viewed the property, she was buzzing with ideas: “I had an immediate vision for the place. It was electric.” Above all, she could see it as a perfect nest for herself and her “Brady Bunch” – her partner Anthony, her children Charlie, 16, and Jemima, 14, and Anthony’s children Max, 13, and Annika, 11.

Built as a builder’s own home, the house sits on a glorious 2000-square-meter block a few hundred meters from the beach with views of the water and a tennis court on site. “The build quality was outstanding and it was in great condition,” says Kate, founder, and director of design company KWD. She could easily look beyond the salmon-colored carpets and polished black granite but the floor plan felt back to front. “The house was oriented to face the view – which is understandable – but there was no sense of entry at the street frontage. You walked through the front door into a corridor leading to the laundry. The whole floor plan needed articulation.”

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