Sitting on the client’s side of the desk was a new experience for Jed Nicolle, who has worked at his father’s company, Outset Design since 2015.
It was 2018 and Jed and his fiancée Kate had just purchased a 1910s sandstone villa at 76 Swaine Avenue, Toorak Gardens.
They were excited to experience first-hand the adventure of designing and constructing a home of their own – something Jed helps people do every day at work.
“Kate and I went through the process and were treated like any other client, so it was nice to feel the emotions I know our clients feel when creating their homes,” Jed says.
“My father started the business 33 years ago and the premise of the company has always been around design and construction – bridging the gap between architect and builder.
“I would say about 60 per cent of our work is extensions on old villas, which is exactly what we had planned for this property.”
The home boasted a beautiful, sandstone façade, but had an old lean-to on the back and needed a lot of work.
Before moving in, the couple renovated the bedroom, crafting a luxurious master suite with a walk-in-robe and en suite in what had previously been a bedroom and sitting room.
“While we did the master suite, we started designing the grand plan for the home’s extension and renovation,” Jed says. “We had to wait a few years before we began construction so we could save up some money and get the project done properly.
“The design took us about 10 months to do given all the architectural documentation, engineering and interior design along with the pool, and the construction took another ten months on top of that.”
The extension was completed in 2022, emerging from the original villa with a contemporary design that boasts open-plan living and a seamless connection between indoors and outdoors.
“The extension was based on mid-century architecture as we have a real love of its clean, simple lines,” Jed says.
The heart of the home is the statement kitchen that is primely positioned next to a glass-fronted wine room – perfect for entertaining.
“Kate always wanted a black kitchen, so we needed to find a way to contrast against what is a stark colour.
“We made the doors black timber and installed oak floors that, in contrast to the black, provided a warmth to the home.”
Glass surrounds the living space, which is anchored by an oversized fireplace decorated with white linear bricks that wrap around the chimney both inside and outside the home.
Double-glazed doors open to the outdoor pavilion which features an integrated barbecue and a skylight that drenches the delicate Japanese maple with sunshine alongside the heated swimming pool.
“We entertain a lot – particularly in the summertime. When we have friends over, we open the doors and it enables a real indoor-outdoor living environment.”
The home’s trophy feature is the swimming pool which was named the 2022 Best Small Pool in Australia by the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Australia.
“One of our design philosophies around pools is that we always put them close to the house,” Jed says.
“Pools are a big-ticket item and very expensive, so we like to orientate them near the home because then, even when they aren’t in use, you get the benefit of seeing them and enjoying the water’s tranquillity.”
After a long journey making this house perfect, Jed and Kate aren’t ready to stop yet and have found a new project to keep them busy.
“An old villa was presented to us and, although there were many tears, we decided to sell this house to take on the new project,” Jed says. “Looking back, we thoroughly enjoyed the design and build process and want to do it again.
“We believe we have created a beautiful home for someone to just step into and enjoy. It has been amazing for us the past five years and I think what we have created is something quite special.”
The sale is being handled by Sally Cameron of TOOP+TOOP.