In Melbourne’s inner suburb of Windsor, is an urban oasis of calm and liveable sophistication. Beyond an unassuming, solid brick façade is an interior that combines classic European design with contemporary living, adorned with modern luxuries. A world removed from the outside hustle and bustle of vibrant markets, apartments and commercial buildings, the Stylesmiths™ were able to produce a charming, centric escape for our downsizing clients and their small pooch, Gus.
Architecturally designed and built in 2009, the building features Georgian style symmetry and rooms of sumptuous dimensions that circulate around a central courtyard. With vantage points from the ground and first floor, the classically curated sunspot showcases a pair of brass dancing brolgas perched upon a water fountain, the flowing stream of water offering a peaceful soundtrack that calms busy minds. Although in need of a rigorous update, the home had good bones that lent itself to being the perfect foundation for a transcontinental home layered with ubiquitous Italian, Parisian and Turkish references.
The original heavy drapes and deeply coloured wallpaper created an overwhelming darkness that bordered on uncomfortable for our clients. To remedy this, the Stylesmiths™ unlocked an interior design that honours the past whilst bringing a lighter, fresher and more liveable quality to the private haven via an elegant composition of rich textures and quality furnishings that read as one with the surrounding architecture and joinery. Weaving in our clients’ passion for travel, antique furniture and family time, our residential design team took on a holistic approach that encompassed the entire four-levelled home to ensure all spaces foster the couple’s lifestyle. Seeking elements that offered a sense of cohesion, we replaced what existed with silk custom-made Mokum curtains and linen sheer fabrics along every window, plus new chevron laid timber flooring in the formal spaces and lush, custom carpet in the bedrooms.
Occupants are welcomed into a reception foyer that reveals glimpses of the formal sitting room, central courtyard and gallery hall that leads to the informal living and rear garden. Next to the front door is a double height staircase which is one of two ways to navigate throughout the home; there is also an elevator that travels from four-car garage, past formal and informal living quarters, a lavishly appointed accommodation zone, to entertaining retreat complete with steam room, BBQ and heated rooftop pool that looks out over Melbourne city skyline.
High pile rugs, indulgent upholstery, marble tables and brass accents make the front end of the home feel luxuriously relaxed, balanced with modern artworks by Kerry Armstrong, Sue Beyer, Jean Paul Mangin and Frank Boyl that marry past with present. The formal spaces feature the James Said pillow sofa, aptly named with its many soft cushions, married with elegant pendant from LightCo. A Calacatta marble kitchen adjoins to this space, separating the front and rear. Professionally appointed, the kitchen design features an assemblage of in-built appliances, including coffee maker, steamer, teppanyaki plate and three ovens, perfect for any enthusiastic home cook.
Contrasting the atmospheric opulence of soft whites and greys, is an eclectic mix of bolder, earthy hues used to distinguish the informal lounge and dining, introducing the balanced living our clients desired. Fabric and furniture selections considered the couple’s practical requirements that revolve around pets and grandchildren, landing on a pair of green velvet Fanuli sofas and a burnt orange rug from The Rug Collection. This colourway forges a thoughtful connection to the tranquil Parisian Garden accessed via French doors. Surrounded by vine covered walls and four grand peristyles, one is truly transported from a lively Australian metropolis to the peaceful European countryside.
On the first floor is the master bedroom suites comprising custom robe joinery and personalised his/her ensuites. Laced in Carrara marble slabs that overlay the black marble which used to make the space feel tight and unwelcoming, both bathroom designs include floor heating systems and heated towel rails. Her ensuite features a romantic combination of herringbone wall tiles, custom vanity in navy and brass detailing that brings a feminine warmth. This pairs nicely with the spacious master bedroom that’s formal yet supple, infused with sumptuous blue elements custom made to create our client’s dream bedroom sanctuary, quiet and composed.
Across the hall and through the home office, tonal hues and black accents make for a more relaxed, masculine atmosphere for His master. Overlooking the back garden, this bedroom is cosy but not crowded dressed in linens, plush carpet and a custom bed head that extends the length of the wall behind the bed, softly hugging the space. Extended wardrobe joinery and a carrara marble ensuite with dark timber vanity achieves an understated elegance fitting for such a decadent home.
This home design project also included furnishing the top floor terrace with plush seating options in rich textures, fit for comfortable entertaining alongside BBQ and pool. Tailored for the grandchildren aged 3 and 5 that come to stay weekly with Nan and Pop, the third bedroom has been fitted with whitewash joinery, colourful artwork and custom bedheads in red and blue pattern.
On the basement level there is a sizeable wine cellar next door to an intimate cinema room, making use of what was a blank canvas. Well-loved for its full surround sound system, acoustic natural timber panelled walls, adjustable mood lighting, heating and cooling system, as well as the thoughtful addition of a well-stocked self-serve mini bar. This media room is fit for every movie viewing or important sports match.
The contemporary revival of this inner-city townhouse celebrates the unity of bilateral worlds, where classical European design meets modern luxuries. A collaborative project that pulled together different design aesthetics, the Stylesmiths™ deft touch combined quality with comfort in a way that welcomes the grandchildren and any social setting with its touches of glamour and ambience.