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Dark house to modern, bright family home

Skylights, painted ceilings and wall panelling transform a previously dark space into a beautiful home that is filled with light and colour. This iconic Joseph Eichler design becomes a modern, family home.

Cathedral ceilings with added skylights, dark panelled walls and brickwork are painted white to enhance natural light. Skylights offer homeowners the opportunity to up the amount of natural light in a property without making structural changes.

Originally designed by Joseph Eichler, the post-and-beam home was love at first sight for the Finlay family. With four young children, the open-plan design was spacious enough and only a few modifications were required to transform this house into a home. White painted beamed ceilings, with skylights in almost every room, allow plenty of natural light to reflect around the space.

The homeowners decided the house should be even brighter, both to celebrate its disco-era roots and to integrate the brightly coloured kids’ possessions that always seemed to take over, an if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em attitude.

In the open plan kitchen and dining area, uPVC frame windows are installed along one entire wall, facing out into the garden.

Interior design firm, YamaMar Design was commissioned to update the kitchen and baths and to install oak floorboards with radiant heating, among other improvements. Dark panelling was replaced with white painted board, as was the original Eichler tongue-and-groove ceilings.






The fuschia-coloured pendant above the dining table and fuschia stools all bring together the theme of bright colour throughout.

In the family room, concertina doors on either side of the space open up to the outdoors and allow the children ample space for play, while brightening up the area.

Splashes of colour feature throughout the home courtesy of Alison Damonte Design. Whatever options the firm presented, Finlay always chose the most adventurous among them. Once there was a strong fuchsia element, there had to be others in the pink-purple family—an open plan demands continuity, as Damonte points out. . In the kids’ bathroom, the palette changes to admit apple green and sunny yellow. Eichler couldn’t be reached for comment.

The original window frames were replaced with modern uPVC frames to enlarge windows and provide more natural light in the bathrooms.

The guest bathroom features a fuchsia-and-silver wall covering patterned with outlines of rainbows and stars - a very disco-style bathroom designed by Alison Damonte.