This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Spectacular, Art-Filled Home In Melbourne's Outer Suburbs

Interiors

When most people think about reimagining an interior, they visualise a layer of decoration over an existing room. But this approach often doesn’t do justice to the architectural subtleties of a space.

Rather than viewing bare rooms as a blank slate, interior designer Chelsea Hing seeks to dissolve the distinction between interior architecture and decoration. She approaches her projects with a sympathetic eye for the building’s existing design, and strives to create complete harmony between architectural structure and interior ambience.

The stunning transformation of this sprawling home in the Melbourne’s North Eastern suburb of Park Orchards exemplifies this approach – enhanced by precise art curation, and some seriously wow-factor furniture!

17th September, 2020

Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Tilting at Space by Alice Wormald
 from Daine Singer. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Edra ‘On The Rocks’ sofa from Space. Propositions by Judith Wright from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Tilting at Space by Alice Wormald
 from Daine Singer. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

The Baxter Tactile Armchair from Criteria Collection. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

B&B Italia’s Tufty Time sofa from Space. Brunswick Heads Main Beach wall sculpture by Ryan Hoffman from Liverpool Street Gallery. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.


Afternoon 7 by Mason Kimber from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Painting by Eunice Napanangka Jack Kuruyultu of Ikuntji Artists. Passage sculpture by Morgan Shimeld. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

B&B Italia’s Tufty Time bed from Space. Midnight Modern Series 11 by Tom Blachford hangs behind the bedhead. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Prefab 5 by John Nicholson from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Sculpture by Pieces of Eight from Hub Furniture. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.


Afternoon 9 by Mason Kimber from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Untitled by Caleb Shea from Lon Gallery. Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Photo – Rhiannon Taylor. Stylist – Beck Simon.

Sasha Gattermayr
Thursday 17th September 2020

‘Having done this a few times, I know I’m onto a good thing when the tradies scratch their heads and say, “Are you sure?”.’ – Chelsea Hing

When the owners of this sprawling home in the Melbourne suburb of Park Orchards engaged Chelsea Hing to complete an interior scheme, she was pleasantly surprised to inherit a great architectural footprint to work within.

‘The layout and scale of the house was fantastic, but the interior was a little lacklustre – white plaster walls, white laminate kitchen,’ she describes. Despite its excellent bones, the building was in need of an injection of colour and personality to really feel like home.

Chelsea had worked with these clients before (remember this amazing house in the Yarra Valley?), so she drew on their good working relationship and previous projects when conceptualising the new design. This house was to be a continuation of the modern Australian aesthetic realised in the Yarra Valley House, but elevated in a contemporary way. In addition to this, there was a desire for the space to be the perfect environment in which to house the client’s growing collection of art. Specially commissioned pieces by local sculptors Caleb Shea and Morgan Shimeld needed a place, alongside new acquisitions from Australian painters Alice Wormald and Judith Wright.

In rooms where art and furniture are largely absent, materials and surfaces become the decorative centrepieces. For example, the emerald cabinetry and green marble island bench in the kitchen (which Chelsea describes as a ‘sucker punch’) give this room a rich, complex character and elevates it from the other communal spaces; while polished plaster ceilings throughout reject all prevailing decorating conventions. These textural partitions also service one of Chelsea’s key design principles: using interior innovations to highlight the architecture.

‘When we took on the project we were excited that the client was on board to introduce polished plaster to all the walls and ceilings, as this would give the house a sense of majesty and solidity it was lacking,’ explains Chelsea. The majority of these textured walls are tinted grey to enhance the contours of the original architecture, and lend some gravitas to the interior spaces.

Beyond these muted communal spaces lie a smattering of jewel-like rooms, completely overtaken by a devotion to a single colour. The kitchen is one, but the most striking of these is the main bedroom, in which all surfaces have been swept with a deep topaz blue. Velvet-like polished plaster again coats the walls and ceiling, this time matching lush carpet in the same sapphire shade, and introduces an unexpected textural and tonal sequence to the space.

‘Having done this a few times, I know I’m onto a good thing when the tradies scratch their heads and say, “Are you sure?”,’ Chelsea laughs. And she is right. This feast of contemporary textures, bold colour and lux details here definitely amounts to a whole lot more than a ‘good’ thing!

See more projects from Chelsea Hing here.

This Week

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Creative People

Turn Your Kids' Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Local textile designer Bindi Howarth transforms kids artworks into custom made tea towels, tote bags, pencil cases and cushion covers - so C...
Sally Tabart
  24 hours ago

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Interiors

An Apartment Renovation That Champions The Arts

An apartment in one of Brisbane's iconic buildings has been thoughtfully updated by interior designer Alicia Holgar, with an emphasis on bes...
Amelia Barnes

Interiors

The Modern Australian Country Home

A secluded residence in the Yarra Valley gets a fresh spin with Chelsea Hing.
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

So What's The Deal With Textured Walls?

Wondering why it seems like all the coolest houses right now look like a Mediterranean villa? Lauren Li schools us on this interior design t...
Lauren Li

This Week

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!

Creative People

Turn Your Kids' Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Local textile designer Bindi Howarth transforms kids artworks into custom made tea towels, tote bags, pencil cases and cushion covers - so C...
Sally Tabart
  24 hours ago

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Similar Stories

Interiors

An Apartment Renovation That Champions The Arts

An apartment in one of Brisbane's iconic buildings has been thoughtfully updated by Alicia Holgar.
Amelia Barnes

Interiors

The Modern Australian Country Home

A secluded residence in the Yarra Valley gets a fresh spin with Chelsea Hing.
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

So What's The Deal With Textured Walls?

Wondering why it seems like all the coolest houses right now look like a Mediterranean villa? Lauren Li schools us on this interior design t...
Lauren Li

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.