Who: Josh and Jenna Densten
What: The new family home of serial renovators Jenna and Josh Densten combines serenity and practicality.
Where: North Melbourne, Victoria
Dynamic couple Josh and Jenna Densten have renovated 10 homes together since the pair were just 18 years old. But their new three-bedroom home in North Melbourne is the one they plan on sticking with for a while.
Tucked inconspicuously behind the couple’s former home – a tiny single-fronted worker’s cottage on a narrow five-metre-wide site – its scale and sweeping ceilings are totally unexpected.
The house is a completely new free-standing dwelling, separated from the original house by a courtyard. It was designed by Foomann Architects, with the aim of providing more space for Josh and Jenna’s young daughters, Fred and Story. The original weatherboard dwelling on the site, which sits at a mere 32 square metres, has since been converted into self-contained guests’ quarters.
“The rear dwelling was pulled toward the back of the block so it would become north-facing onto the courtyard,” Josh says. “The home also has a small courtyard in the centre, and another at the rear, off the kids’ bedrooms, which has become a private, shaded play retreat.”
Inside this new home, you’ll find the same calming interior aesthetic that former the Block contestants have become known for. “We love soft lines, textures, timber, neutral colours, and creating a calming, cohesive atmosphere,” Jenna says. All of this is reflected in the serene, airy space.
“We love how uncomplicated the home is. We love the combination of large windows, curves, internal courtyards and timber,” Josh says. “It’s the perfect balance for us – straightforward design, but still enough space for us to showcase our collection of art, records and ceramics.”
Of particular importance to Jenna has been curating the home’s furniture and decor. “We had to be patient and always on the lookout for the perfect ceramic or armchair. Lots of mood boarding!” Josh says.
It’s been a labour of love, but now that the house is finally finished, Josh and Jenna have set their sights on a new (slightly more modest) project – renovating an old RV. They just can’t kick the renovating bug.
How to keep a family home clean and clutter-free
We all know that one person whose house is always spick and span. The good news is, home organisation is a skill, and with a little discipline, you too can accomplish next-level neat-and-tidiness.
- When it comes to keeping kids’ clutter under control, it’s all about storage and categorisation. Ensure you have designated toy storage in every room, and label each basket or tub for a particular activity or toy.
- In the kitchen and bathroom, labelled airtight containers are a must. Invest in containers and labels, and be disciplined about using them consistently.
- Keep your cleaning equipment within easy reach. And spot-clean frequently, rather than letting it pile up.
- A house without adequate storage is impossible to keep tidy, so always be looking for ways to maximise storage at home. Seek out plastic tubs, crates and boxes with lids.
- It’s a great idea to do an audit regularly, to be clear how you’re using the spaces in your home. Ask yourself: am I using this space as intended?