Aug 28, 2019
Best known as influential blogger Dot Pop, interior stylist Eve Gunson is also developing a reputation as a serial renovator. Together with partner Matt Benetti (@thealbertparkbuilder) she has just completed her fourth renovation all coinciding with the birth of their first child Patterson. In this exclusive interview Eve, a long-term GlobeWest customer shares insights on her creative process and invites us in for a sneak peek of her most recent renovation The Albert Park Project. Plus watch the latest episode below.
You and Matt have completed several renovations now, what’s your process when it comes to deciding on the design?
When embarking on a new project we design the building and building layout, before starting on the interiors. We both strongly believe that the building’s facade plays a major role when it comes to designing the interiors.
Choosing materials, colours and finishes that complete the story and create a cohesive design from inside to out is very important. Designing something new and different is a challenge that we love embarking upon, designing with new colours, materials and products is always so much fun.
Pictured: Matt & Eve at their third renovation - Port Melbourne House | Photography by Hannah Blackmore for Adore Home | Product: Linea Barstools
Pictured: Eve's third renovation - Port Melbourne House | Photography by Hannah Blackmore for Adore Home | Product: Taj Rectangular Marble Coffee Table
Tell us about your renovation journey with your partner Matt?
Matt is a registered builder with over 18 years experience, so when it comes to building and building design he is extremely knowledgeable (he also has a great eye for interiors, but we won’t tell him that!).
Our latest renovation the Albert Park project was our third single fronted Victorian together, therefore we used our prior experience to our advantage when designing the building on the long and narrow site.
The major challenges when designing a home on land with site constraints such as the above is ensuring that you use every single piece of land to your advantage. Every millimetre counts in these houses, so smart and functional design choices are so important!
Equally important is making sure that there is as much natural light as possible. We are extremely happy as we are on a corner block this time around, which meant windows along the boundary wall was a game changer in terms of flooding the house with natural light. The entire build took just over 1 year, including a gap when Patterson arrived into the world of course!
Pictured: Matt & Eve with baby Paddy | Photography by Simon Shiff
How did you go living in a building site? Any tips for those that do the same?
I’m not sure if it’s a good thing but I am a veteran of living on site. However this time around I was pregnant, so we rented while we built the garage/studio and moved into that which turned out to be lovely and cosy, albeit a little small!
Pictured: The Albert Park Project - main living room | Photography by Simon Shiff | Product: Linea Tri Base Coffee Table
Can you tell us about the space and layout?
The house is a single fronted Victorian which was originally built in the 1880’s and over the years had a shop front added. Before purchasing the property we had extensive discussions with the City of Port Phillip Council planning and heritage advisors to ensure that we were permitted to demolish the shop front (due to it’s heritage overlay) and restore the house back to it’s original heritage glory.
Pictured: The facade of the Albert Park Project
In keeping with the heritage regulations we have restored the facade and returned the front bedroom and hallway back to it’s original heritage state. We then demolished the rest of the property and built a new modern extension, courtyard and garage/studio.
Pictured: The facade of the Albert Park Project | Product: Granada Butterfly Occasional Chair
The main house has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, kitchen, lounge and dining in an open plan area, as well as a laundry and kids play room (study). There is a central courtyard which connects the house with the garage, which is also two stories and has a 2 car garage with combined kitchenette/laundry, with the second story housing 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.
How would you describe your interior style?
Both Matt and I love minimal contemporary interiors. We believe that less is more when designing and styling our own home. The intention is to create a house that is aesthetically pleasing, has great bones, is refined and one in which the furniture, art and decor are complementary to the interior design scheme.
We design our own homes to have a pared-back interior aesthetic which highlights and compliments the use of natural materials such as timber and stone which we favour throughout the build. I would like to think that our styling is timeless, contemporary and reflects us and our family.
Pictured: The Albert Park Project kitchen interior | Photography by Simon Shiff | Product: Linea Barstools
Contemporary | Modern | Classic | Retreat | Eclectic
Pictured: Eve's Guest Bedroom in The Albert Park Project | Product: Siena Bedside
What’s your favourite room of the home?
I would have to say the master bedroom/ ensuite/ WIR. It’s in the original heritage part of the house, it’s grand, detailed and it hero’s the heritage features such as the ceiling rose, intricate cornices, skirting and architraves. It’s beautiful, calming and grand all at once.
Pictured: Eve's master bedroom in her previous renovation, Port Melbourne House | Product: Siena Bedside
What did you set out to achieve with your furniture and homewares choices for your home?
Our home is filled with things we love, a collection of items that show us who we are, tells our story and is aesthetically pleasing. We built a home that we love and that is 100% us through and through.
Pictured: Eve's Master Bedroom in The Albert Park Project | Product: Ethnicraft Spindle Bedside
What’s your favourite GlobeWest piece in the home?
That’s a tough one… I chose each piece with a lot of thought for that specific space. I love the Huxley Linear Dining table, the oak is the perfect shade to compliment our interior palette and it has a lovely feeling of lightness in the space, even though it seats 8 people. Secondly the beautiful Ethnicraft Spindle bedside tables, they are the perfect oak tone, have beautiful soft curves and the glass top adds a touch of luxury.
What would be your advice to other people setting out on their renovation & interior journey?
My top tips for others planning on renovating would be:
1 - Research and Planning. Try and find out as much as possible about what you are planning to undertake before starting. Look into trades, get quotes, ask questions. Lock in your fixtures, fittings and materials as early as possible so you have all the information when your trades ask you for it. Write out a basic timeline so you can stick to it and always keep on top of what’s coming next.
2 - Know your style. Don’t become overwhelmed with Instagram and Pinterest and the trends you see on there. Be true to your self and your style, don’t pick something just because someone else is.
3 - Budget. Make a budget and try to stick to it, it will allow you to work out where you can save, where you can splurge and where you can pull some funds from if any unforeseen circumstances arise.
4 - And Enjoy!
Pictured: The Albert Park Project kitchen | Photography by Simon Shiff | Product: Linea Barstools
Pictured: The Albert Park Project bathroom | Photography by Simon Shiff | Product: Woodland Lip Stool
What's next for Dot Pop?
What's next? That exact question is always floating around in Matt's head! For now we are so happy here, this is where we brought Patterson home from hospital, where he will learn to sit, crawl, walk... so for now, this is home. I am sure we will get the itch to go again (I'm sure Matt's already itching!) but there definitely isn't a hurry to leave. Living in and enjoying the home that we worked so hard to create is a lovely thing to do, and something we have rarely done in the past as we were always moving onto the next project. So come summer, we will be enjoying our home, the garden, the sunshine, the walk to the beach and then we might start considering our next move.
Watch the episodes featuring GlobeWest below
Episode 1 - Living
Episode 2 - Kitchen
Episode 4 - Master Bedroom
Episode 5 - Exterior
Episode 6 - Finale
GET THE LOOK
Browse Eve's selections for the Albert Park Project
|Huxley Linea Dining Table
||Etta Arm Chair
|Ethnicraft Spindle Bedside
||Woodland Lip Stool
|Cancun Ali 3 Seater Sofa
||Cancun Ali Coffee Table
HOW TO BUY
Find a design professional or locate a GlobeWest retail stockist to help you harness your home's individuality to complement your personal style.
GlobeWest Collections 2020 is out now! Including 28 brand new Collections, overarching design and product development influences include a desire for human connection, the wonders of nature and the increasing need for stillness and balance. Read the press release now.
For more home tours, interviews and style tips visit the blog.