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A Nostalgic Renovation To A Grand Heritage Home

Interiors

When renovating a grand, heritage home, in many cases the best results can be achieved with a light touch.

Interior design practice Studio Tate adopted this approach when working on an 1899 house in Armadale, Victoria, choosing simply to improve and rework the original footprint, rather than add an extension. 

The already magnificent home now truly reflects the lifestyle and individual taste of the young family who live here, who Studio Tate director Alex Hopkins has known for over 10 years!

1st December, 2020

The landscaping including the lush arbour was designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture. More recent garden updates were designed by Stephanie Lazar. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Joinery in Dulux Natural White 2pac with 30% Gloss Finish. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

]Soul Table by Nonn. Laurent 03 pendant by Lambert & Fils via Living Edge. ‘Untitled I’ by Heike Davies. LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. Chair by Fritz Hansen via Cult. Photo – Sharyn Cairns 

Studio Tate devised a new glass walkway connecting the former ‘tack room’ (a storage room used for stable gear), which is now the main dining area, to the remainder of the house. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The Tired Man chair by Lassen. Custom cushions by D&C Design with Unique Fabrics fabric. ‘Passive Aggressive’ by Clinton Naina from Gallery SmithPhoto – Sharyn Cairns

The Tired Man chair by Lassen. ‘Passive Aggressive’ by Clinton Naina from Gallery Smith. LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. Indian Moroccan Design rug. LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. ‘Untitled I’ by Heike Davies. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Sculptures from left to right: ‘Guardian Sisters’ 2017 by Tarryn Gill from Sophie Gannon Gallery. ‘Guardian Triplet’ 2017 by Tarryn Gill from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Ceramics on table by Tessy King from Modern Times. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Medium Idol Vase with Matt White Glaze by Nicolette Johnson via Modern Times. Standing Figure in Ice Blue Stripe with Slippers by Dear Human. Verge Vase 13 by Andrei Davidoff via Modern Times. Vintage lamp. Wall acoustics by Woven Image. S 33 Chair by Thonet. Supertuft Escape Twist carpet in Slap. Velvet drapes by D&C Design. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Ceramic wall tile by Signorino in Helsinki Matt. Loom Towels towel. Floor Stone Tile by Signorino in Terrazzo Montecarlo 126 Honed. Ceramic by Tessy King via Modern Times. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The restored verandah. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The heritage protected facade. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Amelia Barnes
Tuesday 1st December 2020

‘Looking over the floor plans more generally, we found there was an efficient way to extend the life of the home.’ – Alex Hopkins

Alex Hopkins, director of interior design practice Studio Tate has worked on numerous residential projects over career, but never on a house she previously frequented as a babysitter! 

When this family asked Alex to design some bespoke joinery for their 1899 home, the designer decided to go a step further. ‘Upon further discussion, and looking over the floor plans more generally, we found there was an efficient way to extend the life of the home, allowing for the changing needs of the family,’ Alex says. 

The vision was to update the dated interiors (a combination of period features and ‘90s renovations), and better connect the floor plan. 

Studio Tate devised a new glass walkway in response, connecting a former ‘tack room’ (a storage room used for stable gear), turned main dining area, to the rest of the house. This minor addition meant all other works could be completed within the home’s existing footprint, in turn minimising construction and respecting the heritage requirements of the area.

The new dining area is complemented by a more casual seating area around the kitchen island bench for a more low key vibe. 

Distinctive period features were retained throughout the home, such as Victorian period mouldings, picture rails, and parquetry flooring. The entryway’s geometric motif ceiling was also restored, and inspired much of the project’s mirrored symmetry. 

Unexpected furnishings and a bold contemporary artwork provide focal points amid the home’s largely monochromatic palette, whilst luxe textures and details, such as the velvet drapes in shades of plum, dark navy, tan and soft lavender add a colour and texture to the bedrooms with a nod towards the home’s grand origins. 

Alex’s nostalgic attachment to this home gave her a head start in understanding how to approach its update, resulting in a truly excellent renovation!

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