This Chippendale renovation is a true family project, overseen by owners Richard Munao, founder and managing director of Cult, and his wife Lisa Munao, an interior designer. The family purchased the 1870’s terrace two years ago, and immediately set out redesigning the site. Incredibly, Richard describes how they were able to complete the project in ‘six months, including council approvals.’ Now THAT is no mean feat!
This mammoth effort was largely achieved by drawing on the immense skill set within their own family network. Richard explains, ‘we had a furniture importer and manufacturer, architect, interior designer, builder and accountant’ all ready to lend a hand. Richard’s brother owns iBuild, and their team were able to start the building and demolition work at rapid speed, following Lisa and her father (architect Richard Dinham) submitting the development application to council.
This whirlwind of activity drew upon a vast network of expertise, and has resulted in a truly stunning outcome! The resulting home is a combination of ‘old and new’ which celebrates the original terrace, with a fresh and contemporary update. For Richard, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and a ‘perfect design solution for a narrow space.’ Running the length of the living and dining spaces is a custom-built-in kitchen bench that graduates to a dining table, anchoring the space and providing a key social point.
The eye-catching glass pivot door is also a major feature of the home, which performs as both a picture window and portal into the courtyard. Richard enthuses, ‘when it is closed you feel equally connected to the garden.’ The urban answer to indoor/outdoor living!
This is an elegant and understated home, and unsurprisingly, the Munao’s epic furniture collection is the star of the show! Boasting a number of pieces from Cult, alongside other classics, Richard explains how he and Lisa worked together to develop a design strategy which combined ‘all the great brands we represent’. Particularly special pieces are the limited edition Fritz Hansen Swan chair (Richard’s prized possession!) and the limited edition Carl Hansen Wishbone chairs.
Despite the enviable furniture collection, there’s a surprising lack of fuss or pretence here. At its heart, this is a home that conveys a deep appreciation for classic, timeless design – a passion that transcends both home life and work life, for one of Australia’s most respected furniture retailers.