Extensive home renovations often include an addition, but House Fin by CJH Studio is a testament to what can be done within a property’s existing footprint.
Prior to the recent makeover, CJH director Cassie James-Herrick described the family home in Melbourne’s south east as a ‘rabbit warren’ of rooms. ‘They had little connection to their backyard and felt the spaces were poorly used,’ she says.
Taking into account what the family most valued in the home, select walls were sacrificed to create fewer but more open spaces throughout. ‘The client was happy to reduce the kitchen size to prioritise a more open-plan living space that would harness more natural light and connection to the rear garden,’ explains Cassie.
The former enclosed kitchen became a study to support working from home, while the main bedroom was moved from the back of the house to a larger area at the front.
The updated interior aesthetic is sympathetic to the Edwardian home’s origins, alongside contemporary insertions including large steel windows. Responding to the existing linear form, CJH introduced curves and arches to soften and bring warmth to the interiors.
Aesthetically, Cassie was looking to create a refined, cohesive, textural and sculptural home. Although this exhibits a minimal calming overview, ‘the addition and chaos of young family life residing here brings it to even greater life and personality,’ she says.
The material palette is therefore similarly restrained, with only a singular, hero material typically highlighted per room. For example, white kit kat tiles were used sparingly on a freestanding bath to form a sculpture centrepiece, while other rooms prominently feature hardy natural granite appropriate for the young family.
Perhaps the most cohesive theme throughout this home is the use of matte black fixtures and fittings, including taps from Phoenix Tapware’s Vivid Slimline collection (Vivid Slimline Wall Basin Outlet 180mm Curved; Vivid Slimline Up Shower/Wall Mixer; and Vivid Slimline Hob Sink Outlet 220mm Gooseneck) and shower fittings from the Vivid collection (Vivid Shower Rose 230mm Round; and Vivid Shower Arm 400mm Round). ‘[The tapware] was quite strong against the rest of the palette so it was intentionally used sparingly and mixed with white steel and hardware elements,’ says Cassie.
This uniform use of tapware ties in with the home’s statement lighting scheme, which also features matte black elements. Task lighting has been installed only where required, alongside custom-made and internationally sourced pieces that are as sculptural and interesting as they are practical.
From the outside this home appears almost exactly as it did in the early 1900s, but step inside and you’ll find a more generous, practical home to truly unwind in.