Alice in Wonderland evokes magic, whimsy, and childlike wonder. Discover how to create this look from Shaynna Blaze as seen in the Footscray House makeover.
Things aren’t always what they seem or what you expect, and down the rabbit hole is a totally different world. With the chance to let imaginations run riot, creating a fantasyland is a designer’s dream.
Max and Kirby are looking at this home long term as a family home, but they want it to speak to their individual natures. They share a love of the quirky, but while Max loves facts and logic, Kirby prefers elegant fantasy. Mixing things up to suit the both of them is a real challenge. But they both want an element of surprise to the house, and as it has lots of twists and turns to the floorplan, allowing the home to take on a different personality for every room.
Max and Kirby have been waiting to use this large formal dining room for entertaining, rather than as a makeshift spare bedroom. Romance and glamour is the centre of the design, with the shimmering curtains adding depth and intrigue, highlighted by the chandeliers (which have been moved from the lounge). The curtaining also serves to hide Max’s eco-friendly but unsightly split cycle system.
Lining the walls and ceiling from the fireplace anchors the dining table as the central focus of the large room. The gorgeous fireplace is sealed up, so instead a modern free-standing fire unit will heat up the room and add another shimmering focal point. The bespoke side tables are a work of art by themselves with the walnut timber and metal inserts. Together they take on a puzzle shape and when pulled apart they are functional tables for serving at dinnertime or side tables to move around the room.
Removing the solid panels to expose the original features was the perfect way to make sense of the mirrored panels at the front of the hallway. By painting the entry panels charcoal it makes the mirrors blend in more with the wall and allows them to reflect the fabric of the curtain in the dining, bringing a new colour to the hallway.
Reducing the size of the walk-in robe and master ensuite created enough space to turn the junk room into a much-needed guest bedroom. The entrance to the kitchen was sealed off for privacy, and a daybed was added in to keep the space tidy and flexible when not in use.
The master bathroom had the incredible eyesore of a tinted techno shower, which had to go. Shaynna built the design of the bathroom around a beautiful Moroccan-style basin as a statement piece. To enhance the feeling of space, metallic glossy surfaces were introduced for the walls. A splash of green tiles in the shower reflects the green gloss of the ceiling. The metal on the custom storage cabinet, vanity and shaving cabinet give a modern element to play against the Moroccan basin, and the cut crystal feature lights say ‘high-end luxury’.
The kitchen has hidden quirks, much like Kirby and Max’s personality. There are splashes of colour inside random cupboards for a sense of fun. On the floor tiling, Shaynna has introduced a pop of colour around the border of Max’s chosen Escher-style geometrics.
The kitchen layout has been completely flipped to make better use of the space. Now the laundry and pantry are hidden inside behind a sliding panel, which allowed Shaynna to open up the back of the house onto the garden through French doors.
The backyard was an untapped jewel waiting to be exposed. Once the laundry and toilet were removed it opened up the area as a new entertaining space. By moving the back door to the kitchen, the interior flows onto the artificial lawn (perfect for eco-conscious Max), dolled up with surprise toadstools and elaborate wired furniture for a whimsical look. Kirby’s dad is an artist with a love of Dali, so Shaynna has given him a scope of a les trompei arbour design to interpret how he wants.
So many old houses have new extensions, and Kirby and Max’s place is no exception. As the newer part of the house, the kitchen can have a modern fit-out without compromising the feel of the home. Shaynna opted for a simple, clean colour scheme on the exteriors, so as to hide colour inside the drawers and cupboards. If the colour had been on the outside, it might have been too bold. It would also mean Shaynna would have needed to remove the coloured border from the floor tiles, or the room would be overwhelming. Compromise is key!