Elizabeth St, Malvern

Elizabeth St, Malvern

Reminiscent of resort-style living in Palm Springs, this light-filled spacious home has been extensively renovated in recent years. In a joint collaboration between Doherty Design Studios, Ari Alexander Design Group and North Building Group, the house has been modernised while still remaining true to its 1980s heritage. The original house was designed by renowned Australian architect Peter McIntyre, and the savvy property developer owners were keen to honour the home's architectural past.

The vast all-white façade combines contrasting materials to striking effect, including steel mesh gates, a pebbled driveway, and powder-coated aluminium battens across the front garage. Carefully selected plants by landscape architect Ben Scott add to the Palm Springs inspiration.

The skeleton of the building has been retained, with a central pitched glass atrium running the entire length of the home. This double-height triangular glass atrium dominates the ground floor. It creates an abundance of natural light, and enhances the sense of space that is a key feature of this home. The lighting design throughout the house carefully balances and interplays with this profusion of natural light.

As you step into the expansive entrance hall, you will notice the stylish custom terrazzo flooring with brass inlay. In this space you'll also have your first glimpse of an impressive art collection curated by Georgie Bruce Consulting that flows throughout the house.

To your immediate right is a powder room, with stunning three-dimensional wall tiles. Beside the powder room is a large peach coloured sliding door with a circular brass knob, which reveals a cosy sunken living room. Here, Indigenous artwork contrasts beautifully with the vivid peacock-green carpet and walls – a nod to the bold use of colour used in 1980s design. A full-length panelled mirror wall adds glamour and a play of light, reflecting the art placed around the room.

Across the back of the home you'll find the updated open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas, all with views of the pool area and the parkland beyond.

The kitchen is both beautiful and functional, featuring a vast 3.5 metre Cote D'Azur marble bench, soft deep-blue 2-pac cabinetry, and eye-catching tiles on the splashback and curved rangehood. A large butler's pantry creates a practical working area. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors allow easy flow to the outdoors, which includes a dining space, a sunken conversation/fire pit, swimming pool, lush tropical plantings and forest-like bamboo foliage.

Conveniently located between the kitchen, living and dining spaces is a striking cocktail bar – an essential element in 1980s interiors. This feature was strategically customised to disguise a structural column that was cost prohibitive to relocate.

A timber staircase leads to the second storey, which has been remodelled to provide additional accommodation. The original bridge connecting the two wings of the home has been retained and enhanced with custom balustrading. West-facing balconies were filled in to create extra bedrooms and bathrooms.

The first floor now includes four generously proportioned bedrooms, each with its own spacious walk-in-robe and hotel-quality ensuite. The expansive main bedroom features floor-to-ceiling windows and uninterrupted views over Sir Robert Menzies Reserve. Faithful to the 1980s aesthetic, the bedroom includes a built-in bed head and floating bedside tables.

Drawing from the building's architectural heritage, the designers have crafted an impressive contemporary version of the 1980s vernacular, filtered through a modernist glamour lens. The new design is a shrine to light, art and family life – and is now ready for its next chapter.