Inside designer Lou Prentice’s home

This elegant family home is brimming with warmth and personality.

Lou with Lenny in the lobby. “The whole house was carpeted, but we opted to sand down the original jarrah planks and stain them black,” says Lou. The table is by Moooi from Space Furniture and the rug is by Gan.Credit:Armelle Habib

The House

A four-bedroom, two-storey brick house, built circa 1912, in south-east Melbourne. It has high ornate ceilings, a formal living and dining room, and a swimming pool.

Who lives here

Lou Prentice, interior designer and decorator, her husband Sam, an investment banker, their daughters Coco, 19, and Polly, 17, her son Henry, 15, and Lenny the cavoodle.

What we have done

“We renovated in three stages,” says Lou. “Before moving in, we did a six-week makeover: painting, carpeting and waxing the floors. Then we landscaped the garden, restored the verandas and reworked the rear living room, adding
a new kitchen and new bathrooms.

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my favorite room

“It’s hard to beat sitting in the kitchen in the summer, with all the doors and shutters opening directly onto the Boston ivy-covered pergola,” says Lou.

The hood

“We love being so close to the beach, where I walk almost every morning,” says Lou.

Future plans

“I really love seeing the garden come to life in the spring and can’t wait to open the doors and play outside again.”

best advice

“To immediately bring a feeling of warmth and comfort to a newly completed home, be sure to allocate funds for furniture and soft furnishings in your renovation budget.”

In one corner of the formal dining room, a Faye Toogood chair

In one corner of the formal dining room, a Faye Toogood “Roly-Poly” chair sits next to a large oil on Plexiglas work by Melbourne artist Camille HannahCredit:Armelle Habib

“The kitchen is always busy because I love to cook,” says Lou. “The cabinetry was designed by Templeton Architecture and the mobile island bench is a good service.”Credit:Armelle Habib

“This Zuster coffee table is one of the first pieces we bought, many years ago,” says Lou. “It hosts my stacks of books on design, art and interiors.”Credit:Armelle Habib

“The mirror was left by the previous owners;  it weighs a ton and is a nice nod to the past,” says Lou.  The Riot Cop ceramic sculptures are by Melbourne artist David Ray.

“The mirror was left by the previous owners; it weighs a ton and is a nice nod to the past,” says Lou. The Riot Cop ceramic sculptures are by Melbourne artist David Ray.Credit:Armelle Habib

“The dining room's high ceilings allowed it to tolerate a darker color, so we chose Dulux 'Champignon' for its warmth,” says Lou.  The library is from MDF Italia.

“The dining room’s high ceilings allowed it to tolerate a darker color, so we chose Dulux ‘Champignon’ for its warmth,” says Lou. The library is from MDF Italia.Credit: Armelle Habib

In the master bedroom, a custom-built paneled wall serves as both a headboard and a disguise for the wardrobe behind.  Wall color is Dulux

In the master bedroom, a custom-built paneled wall serves as both a headboard and a disguise for the wardrobe behind. The wall color is Dulux “Mushroom” in half intensity.Credit:Armelle Habib

The informal dining area features floor tiles by Jatana Interiors and a pendant light

The informal dining area features floor tiles by Jatana Interiors and a “Cloud” pendant lamp by Apparatus Studio. The table and chairs are from Zuster.Credit:Armelle Habib

“I love reading here with the morning sun streaming through the leaded window,” says Lou. The chair is by Jardan and the acrylic sculpture by Carmen Greenough.Credit:Armelle Habib

“The house has many beautiful verandas which we restored to their original condition and then added shutters to create outdoor rooms,” says Lou. The “Banjooli” chairs are from Moroso.Credit:Armelle Habib

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