Modernising A Mid-Century Stunner

Lucy Jeffries established her own design studio in 2015, after honing her skills working with award winning residential architectural practices Vokes and Peters and Shaun Lockyer.

The St Lucia House in Brisbane was one of Jeffries Studio’s first projects – where Lucy worked with the clients to refresh and renew a beautiful mid-century home. As with so many mid century renovations, this project was all about paring back, and returning the home to its essential form – with a few carefully considered contemporary updates!

Lucy Feagins

Louis Poulsen PH pendant  lights from Cult Design sit over the dining table. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The Danish lounge suite was a family heirloom, brought out from storage and recovered in chartreuse velvet. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Original flooring brings a warmth to the space. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The clients  dug out the old blueprints from the UQ architecture library, so Lucy had all the original drawings and details from architect Vitaly Gzell, in feet and inches. Lucy was able to see the original intention of some elements that had been changed over the years. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The big sliding door out to the deck is a new addition, but designed to work with the existing windows. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The house renovations were designed to highlight the owners art collection. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Porcelain bench top and splash backs from Artedomus. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Kitchen detail. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Thonet chairs and Jardan table in the sun room. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Photo – Cathy Schusler.

New brick work ties in with the pre-exisiting materials in the home. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Bathroom detail. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Bright white interiors. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Lucy Feagins
29th of January 2019

Interior architect Lucy Jeffries came to the profession after a childhood spent drawing house plans and flipping longingly through her Mum’s decorating magazines. After (briefly) dabbling in a science degree, Lucy completed a Masters of Architecture, and worked in architecture practices for almost a decade, before establishing her own interiors studio in 2015. She wryly explains ‘I haven’t regretted it for more than a few hours at a time.’

Lucy established her practice while living remotely in regional western Queensland, and credits this ‘incognito’ phase as instrumental to the success of her business, in providing a low-pressure ‘soft start.’ Though she’s now based back in Brisbane, it was during Lucy’s rural sojourn that she worked on the spectacular St Lucia house.

The clients presented Lucy with a ‘fairly clear vision of restoring this mid-century house to its former glory.’ The couple had built houses before, and had strong ideas on the kind of space they liked to live in. Lucy describes her role as distilling all of their magazine clippings and screenshots of reference material into a ‘scheme that is cohesive and tasteful, and isn’t going to scream ‘2018’ in a few years time.’

The restored home has a timeless but characterful quality, achieved through reconsidering the layout, including updating ‘out of date’ elements such as the maids’ room. This is no Downton Abbey! Lucy highlights that the clients also contributed some great design ideas, including the outdoor breeze blocks and crazy pavers. They also introduced Lucy to their favourite builders, M2 Construct, who the clients lovingly refer to as ‘the builders to the stars!’

Observing this serene and harmonious home now, it was hard to believe that the renovation required countless skip bins to remove aluminum shutters, garage doors, and other out-of-character additions from previous owners. Lucy explains, ‘I guess the key was to strike a balance between warmth and personality while keeping it simple, quiet and sensitive to the mid-century context.’

The resulting refurbishment returns the home to its essential form, ‘welcomes in the abundant Queensland sunlight, and accentuates the beautiful spatial quality of the architecture.’ The introduction of bespoke cabinetry provides an understated contemporary update, and is the perfect backdrop for the owners’ expansive collection of mid century furniture and Australian art.

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