Design Eye

How To Elevate Interiors Using Colour + Texture, With McCluskey Studio

Designers know how a simple pop of colour can make a world of difference. Including McCluskey Studio director Kate McCluskey, who has plenty of experience creating homes that feel refined and functional, without being afraid of colour.

As part of our Design Eye series – where we pick the brains of some talented local designers – Kate shares an inside look at Caulfield House, which was designed to be the ‘ultimate’ family home!

The charming Victorian abode has been beautifully elevated by hints of bold colour amongst its period features, making way for elegant and textured furniture from DOMO.

Christina Karras
Supported by DOMO

Step inside Caulfield House by McCluskey Studio! Photo – Timothy Kaye

The renovated Victorian features a blend of moody feature walls and textured furniture. Ligne Roset Astrée Floor Lamp and Ligne Roset Togo Footstool in Cordoue 2 Aubergine from DOMO. Photo – Timothy Kaye

McCluskey Studio director Kate McCluskey. Photo – Timothy Kaye

Inside the glamorous living room, the Ligne Roset Anda Swivelling Armchair and HC28 Bold Side Table from DOMO highlights the navy and teal tones throughout the house, while the Wittmann Grain Cut Side Table offers a pop of red. Photo – Timothy Kaye

The De Sede DS-1025 Sofa Element, Pulpo Mila Side Table in Rose and Wittmann Oyster Footstool from DOMO bring an injection of colour and texture to the space. Photo – Timothy Kaye

The elegant exterior hides the family home that balances a playful aesthetic with the period features. Photo – Timothy Kaye

Christina Karras
3rd of May 2023

The owners behind this Melbourne home engaged McCluskey Studio with a simple brief: to create ‘the ultimate family home’. The Victorian residence was the perfect canvas for director Kate McCluskey to showcase her studio’s layered yet refined design approach behind its charming facade.

As with all of her projects, she says it was important to create spaces that could reflect the family’s personality in bold ways, without detracting from the property’s historic roots.

‘At Caulfield House, we strove to find the playful balance between considered function and adventurous design,’ Kate adds.

They opted for a sleek and relatively minimalistic backdrop of white walls enhanced by pops of moody colours. Teal hides behind black timber joinery, while navy updates a beautiful bay window. But this also made way for a selection of bolder luxury pieces from DOMO, including the Pulpo Mila Side Table in Rose, the tapered curves of the De Sede DS-1025 Sofa Element and the Ligne Roset Anda Swivelling Armchair upholstered in a rich velvet!

Hear more from Kate about how she used colour and texture throughout the project below.

 Hi Kate – you’ve created a number of stunning residential and commercial design projects across Melbourne. How would you describe your general aesthetic as a design studio?

McCluskey Studio is an interior architecture practice that designs from an architectural perspective. Our studio combines a considered approach with an independent creative spirit, delivering layered yet refined design outcomes that enhance lives and enliven spaces.

Your Caulfield House project is a refined, contemporary update of a heritage home. How did you approach this project?

The brief was simple. Create the ultimate family home.

Caulfield House showcases the bones and charm of its Victorian origins whilst providing spaces that can grow, transform and mature with the young family that call it home. The ornate detailing weaving its way through the home intersects seamlessly with insertions of modern, black steel, while the crisp white canvas allows moments for colour and animation to emerge through various soft and hard furnishings. We aimed to find the balance between a purposeful residence that allows the children to flourish and play whilst seamlessly transforming into an oasis the parents can enjoy once the day is packed away.

You styled this project with a combination of bold colour and lots of texture – what’s your advice for combining colour and texture in a space, while ensuring a cohesive look?

Commit to the bold and think holistically. McC employs a confident approach to colour, form and materiality and are passionate about design that is layered yet always refined. In each space, the colour and texture are informed by the client’s energy.

We especially love the inclusion of the Ligne Roset Anda Swivelling Armchair in Caulfield House. What drew you to this piece, and why does it work so well in this space?

The Anda Swivelling Armchair’s curved shape truly commands the space with its high back and classic form, while the swivel function echoes the playful thread merged throughout the project. Sitting alongside the leather sofa, the deep blue velvet brings a richness to the palette speaking to the blackened timber joinery and stone throughout.

More generally speaking, what features are you drawn to when selecting furniture for your projects?

I’m drawn to the ugly, beautiful. Those oversized, unexpected, and quirky pieces that shouldn’t quite work, but somehow just do. Elevating each space and creating magic when layered and interspersed between the classic and contemporary. Our furniture selections are strong in form and detail and quality of design is paramount.

What’s next for McCluskey Studio?

2023 is shaping up to be a big year for McC. We have several hospitality, commercial and residential projects in construction that are shortly due for completion. We are excited to introduce them alongside our incredible collaborators. Watch this space.

DOMO is Australia’s exclusive stockist of iconic designer furniture, lighting and homewares brands from Europe, and across the globe.

With showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, DOMO offers a curated collection of classic and contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture ranges that last a lifetime.

For more design inspiration, follow DOMO on Instagram here or explore their collections online now.

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