Seven years ago, friends alerted Jake Cassar (travel designer and chef) and Naomi Jankowski (acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner) to a house for sale in Pascoe Vale South. The couple weren’t overly familiar with the area, and the house was pretty run down, dark and slightly creepy (‘It reminded us of a David Lynch film!’ Jake says) but it had plenty of potential, so they decided to go for it. ‘We’ve been thankful every day since!’ Jake says.
This 1950s house is located on a spacious block that feels a little like a beach house, despite being just 10 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD. Rumour has it it was originally owned by one of Melbourne’s football clubs as a party house! ‘We think it was the North Melbourne Football Club, but would love to find out for sure!’ Jake says.
Not long after moving in, Naomi and Jake renovated the kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, deck, and landscaped the backyard. They started landscaping when Naomi with pregnant with their first child, Otis. ‘The classic mistake!’ Jake jokes (kind of). The added pressure of a planned home birth meant that the couple put off the remainder of the renovations until after the baby was born. ‘We’ve done quite a lot of work to the place and it’s really paid off,’ says Jake. ‘We tried to keep with the heritage of the house and go with a vintage Palm Springs feel, which stemmed when we painted the pool influenced by Hockney.’
The property’s garden and new pool (hand painted by Jake’s sister Kayla and architect Murray Barker!) have been especially big hits since the arrival of Otis (now 6) and Sonny (3). ‘We really value all the space and love spending time in the garden with the kids,’ Jake says. ‘Summer nights feel dreamy as well, sitting on the deck with friends and watching the sun set over the pine trees.’
Jake, Naomi, Otis and Sunny’s home really is the epitome of the dream – a character-filled home close to the city that feels like it could be in the country or at the beach. Heaven!