Tucked away in a cul-de-sac in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Maxwell House is a high-tech eco family home for a young family of 5, plus their dog Otto, a miniature schnauzer. The Maxwell Residence rethinks traditional suburban homes by allowing the occupants to connect with nature from multiple courtyards and large windows, to benefit the families’ health and well-being.
A collaborative effort between architectural practice Melbourne Design Studios, the clients and The Stylesmiths™, the house is of modern design, split over 2 levels consisting of 4 bedrooms, 2 internal courtyards, pool, fireplace and large living areas.
The Stylesmiths™ were handed a blank canvas to create an interior that worked in harmony from where the architects left off. By respecting the original values and balancing robust materials such as polished concrete floors, American oak paneling, large windows and slate, we were able to build on the original brief – to create a family home that inspires, relaxes and calms busy minds, with beautifully crafted spaces, natural materials and endless dialogue with nature.
Each space offers intimate views and engagement with natural surroundings and vegetation, be it from courtyards, gardens, green roofs, or planters. Natural light, ventilation and direct sunlight gives a profound sense of seasonal rhythms, blurring the reality of the suburban setting. With that, The Stylesmiths were set to embark on an interior design journey that was centred around “wellbeing”. Timber warms the spaces throughout creating contrasts against the dark stone, terrazzo, brickwork, marble and glazing. Texture played a vital role in enhancing the interior material palette.
Through the use of soft furnishings, textures were selected based on their tactility – boucle fabrics, hand woven rugs, felt folded cushions, chunky weaves and wallpaper. Tactility helped form an emotional response to each room throughout the home. Our clients were open to exploring new ideas and were particularly keen to support local home-grown design, so many of the pieces throughout the home are sourced and manufactured locally.
Our lead designer for this project believes that the use of colour which has been applied in every room is key to creating calming spaces that are warm and inviting. The colour palette continues to develop as you move throughout the home, allowing for unexpected surprises in every room.