Today’s beautiful contemporary Melbourne apartment highlights the great importance of cultivating a deep sense of trust between interior designer and client. Drawing on their Indian heritage, Eddie Kaul and Richa Pant originally had different ideas for their home, but with the encouragement of Hamish Guthrie and the team at Melbourne interior design firm Hecker Guthrie, they were guided to create an elegant, understated interior which they now couldn’t imagine changing. ‘Our original intent with this house was to add colour and make it match out Indian heritage, but Hecker Guthrie took us on a journey of designing for simplicity and elegance, and layering in the detail in subtle ways’ says Eddie. Though they say it was a little confronting to begin with, the pair welcomed the challenge, and are thrilled with the results.
Eddie and Richa first moved into their much loved apartment in Carlton two year ago, in May 2012. Both are originally from India – Eddie has been living in Melbourne for over 20 years, and Richa joined him in early 1997. Though Richa originally studied interior design in India, she and Eddie both studied business after coming to Australia, and each now work in multinational firms in the CBD. These days, they are super busy professionals who work long hours, love what they do and travel often, and so for them, this inner city home is a cherished sanctuary, and a place to recharge.
Eddie and Richa were the first occupants of their apartment, which was designed by Melbourne architectural firm Woods Bagot, with interiors by Hecker Guthrie. After moving in, they made a few key additions to the existing floorplan. A custom designed wall unit was added in the living room to accommodate books and treasured trinkets, and a number of carefully selected pendant and wall lights were added to inject individuality into the space.
Though both Eddie and Richa have both taken great pride in transforming their apartment into a layered, personalised space, it is Richa who has really blossomed under the guidance of the team at Hecker Guthrie. ‘I should highlight that this project became a near obsession for Richa as she re-learnt her interior design thinking’ says Eddie affectionately, ‘her style evolved radically during the process – she is a dyed in the wool Scandie now!’ With a little encouragement, Richa also gained confidence in choosing artworks by a number of local artists including one of our personal favourites – Emily Ferretti. Picking up from where Hecker Guthrie left off, Richa has continued to layer and enhance the home over the past two years since moving in, filling the space with other artworks by local painters, handblown glassware and handcrafted ceramics.
Aside from it’s meticulously presented interior, a key part of the appeal of this home is its leafy outdoor courtyard, and the plants all around the house. A wonderful addition to this inner city space, this lush plant life is the result of great dedication and a steep learning curve for Richa and Eddie, who previously didn’t have a green thumb between them! For their newfound love of all things green, the pair credit Paul Hyland from Richmond plant nursery Glasshaus, who changed their outlook on living with plants. ‘Paul has taken us on a journey of change, from being people who could barely keep a plant alive, to ones who have a thriving garden’ says Eddie. ‘Our plants love us, and we love them… and they add to the personality of our home’.
What’s clear with Eddie and Richa talk about their apartment is just how much they truly love their home. They talk enthusiastically about the decisions they have made here – from the art they have carefully selected (‘We enjoy the artwork every single day, every piece was chosen with great love and care’) to their dining table, made by local designer Daniel Barbera (‘it’s an elegant, hand crafted piece made with care by a local designer, and it perfectly suits our home’).
One unexpected side effect of this design journey has been Richa’s reignited interest in interior design, and she is now a self confessed ‘Pinterest junkie’, finding and sharing exciting new pieces all the time! ‘While the journey itself has been deeply rewarding and has helped us grow and refine our tastes as well as our interests, the outcome for the home is nothing short of amazing!’ says Eddie. ‘We love our home. The harmony of colours, textures and materials here. All these have the effect of creating a peaceful home which is great for winding down as well as entertaining’.
I’ll finish up with a sweet anecdote, as told by Eddie, that seems to perfectly summarise Eddie and Richa’s deep affection for their home! –
‘When Richa was leaving for work one morning just recently, I said goodbye and got back to reading my emails, but I didn’t hear the door shut as I was expecting. I didn’t realise this for about a minute, but then looked up. I saw Richa standing near the door with a glazed-eyed look… which she was shaken out of when she saw me looking at her in puzzlement. She looked at me sheepishly and said… ‘I was just standing here enjoying our beautiful house!’
Awww such a sweet little story! What better way to describe that toasty, comforting ‘I love my home’ feeling! Huge thanks to Eddie and Richa for sharing their home and story with us today.