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Art Deco Curves Meet Clean Lines In This Sleek Melbourne Home

Architecture

This art deco home in St Kilda East has been a beloved home for the owners for 25 years, but when their adult children moved out, it was time to reconsider how they used the space.

Luke Fry Architecture and Interior Design connect the past and the present, and marry art deco curves with new clean lines.

6th November, 2019

The newly updated art deco house in St Kilda by Luke Fry Architecture and Interior Design, Oxley Construction and Blac Design. Photo – Derek Swalwell, styling – Bek Sheppard.

The approach for the renovations was to gently integrate the old and the new. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

The 1935 home is at the end of a cul-de-sac in St Kilda East. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

Old meets new! Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

The original timber inspired the colour and materials for the new fit out. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

No art deco house is complete without a few arches! Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

The original timber! Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

Original timber, new sleek light fittings! Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

A fresh take on art deco. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

The renovations welcome light and movement into the home. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

Rich tones!  Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard. 

Bedroom details. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

Natural stone tiles lines the bathroom. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

Bathroom details. Photo – Derek Swalwell styling – Bek Sheppard.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 6th November 2019

This free-standing double storey Art Deco house in St Kilda East was originally built in 1935, and the characteristics of this era still shine through. The curving bay windows and blackwood timber panelling are classic art deco elements, but so too were the dark and dysfunctional interior spaces. The owners had lived in the home for 25 years, and when their children had grown up and moved out, it was time to reconfigure the space to reflect a new stage in their life.

Architect Luke Fry  considered how to transform the solid brick home at the end of a cul-de-sac in a way that respected the exceptional condition it was in, and the art deco character. Luke explains the connection between old and new was important. ‘In some cases it is best to create a clearly defined line between old and new, however, in this particular case the line is very blurred’ he outlines. The result is a gentle update to the ground floor kitchen, dining and laundry spaces, an additional bathroom, and the creation of a better entertaining spaces both indoor and outdoor.

The renovations draw on the past, to create spaces that feel like they always should have been here! The original blackwood timber panelling provided a reference point for the rich colour palette used in the renovation, with the addition of sirius black natural stone, Japanese tiles and grey natural stone. Brushed brass tapware and lighting adds a refined flair.

Outside, the newly developed outdoor living space takes a more modern approach, as the bold steel lines extend from the house out into the garden. Luke explains ‘the steel structure is contemporary, but it takes a number of cues from the original details of the home’.

This art deco gem is now perfectly placed to work for a new era of family life. And the critics agree – the project won 5 awards in 2018, including best renovation in Australia between $350,000 – $800,000 (National Association of Building Designers).

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net