A Home Of Timeless Tradition, With A Contemporary Edge

Renovating a historic home can be a daunting task – the heritage qualities that make these homes so appealing often sets an imposing standard for contemporary additions to live up to!

The interiors team at Arque took this seriously in their recent renovation of a grand 1940s Woollahra residence – ‘with great cornices and ceiling decorations comes great interiors expectations!’ they say. Today, Suzanne Green and Emma Rees Raaijmakers of Arque take us on a tour through the beautiful home they’ve created, alongside the team at Luigi Roselli Architects.

Miriam McGarry

Welcome to the Woolahra House. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

A stately entrance for this historic home. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

Arch windows and arch walkways in this home that merges old and new. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

A timeless interiors renovation. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

A black and white and green colour scheme runs through the home. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

A pop of green gives a contemporary take on an Arts and Craft colour scheme. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

Pops of green create a cohesive look through the home. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

The interiors renovation was completed alongside an architectural renovation by Luigi Roselli, which introduced this stunning new staircase. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

Bathroom detail. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

The herringbone pattern of emerald tiles references the original era of the home. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

A timeless renovation. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

The introduction of wallpaper gives a fresh spin on the 1940s past. Photo – Tom Ferguson.

Miriam McGarry
30th of May 2019

This stately historic home in Woollahra, Sydney, is a 1940s arts and craft style home, renovated by interiors team Arque. The timeless and surprising interiors overhaul was completed in tandem with an architectural renovation by Luigi Roselli, who undertook new external work to the house and garden terracing, external door and window design, and introduced a new main internal stair.

Suzanne Green and Emma Rees Raaijmakers from Arque explain how the historic framework of the three-level home presented a guide for how to blend the old and the new. They explain their approach was driven by a desire to ‘touch the structure as lightly as possible – to retain the unique qualities of a heritage home – whilst delivering on a contemporary brief.’ Cornices, skirtings, doors and decorative ceilings were retained and restored, and new materials were introduced that were appropriate to the stately setting. Marble, steel, terazzo, brass, v-jointed wall panelling and wall papers were introduced, ‘all combined and detailed in a contemporary way.’

The designers explains that the client ‘loved the idea of a black and white interior for her new home’ but also had a love of the colour green! The result is playful but restrained, and Suzanne and Emma explain ‘we felt this palette sat comfortably within the Arts and Craft style of the property.’  The emerald green baguette tiles are laid in a herringbone patterns, as a contemporary nod to the historical period.

The Arque team highlight that the success of this home was achieved through a great collaboration with the client and architects, as well as the confidence and expertise of their own team. ‘Our shared knowledge and innate understanding of heritage architecture and interiors, combined with our passion for contemporary design, enabled us to design interiors that are a timeless addition to this gracious family home.’

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