Ryan Fernandes and his partner Vik purchased their Edwardian home in Northcote, Melbourne in 2016.
The house had previously undergone a quality renovation by architect Peter Dredge, but the onset of the pandemic forced Ryan to rethink the spaces and how they were being used.
Lockdowns offered a chance to restyle the home, putting Ryan’s newly minted designed training into practice, following a career change from the world of corporate banking. (Ryan now works at the acclaimed Melbourne design studio, Hecker Guthrie, as an interior stylist.)
In transforming his own home, Ryan created compelling compositions across four key rooms, with each space imagined as a different ‘chapter.’
‘The challenge on hand was to repurpose the space by layering furniture, art, lighting, and introducing colour and texture to create something personal and unique,’ Ryan says. ‘I wanted to mix the old and new, and reference our cultural heritage… I wanted to feel both timeless but also a strong personal expression of style.’
Influences of Ryan’s upbringing in Mumbai and Auckland, paired with inspiration from Scandinavia and Italy, are evident across the home.
The open-plan living room showcases a mid-century feel layered with a variety of contrasting textures and colour. 1950s armchairs upholstered in alpaca bouclé wool sit on a patterned rug, with an artwork by Indigenous artist Zaachariaha Fielding introducing both scale and colour.
The dining room scheme is more cinematic and indulgent, featuring rich mustard tones and framed textiles.
The main bedroom takes a softer approach encompassing silk and romantic textiles in keeping with the property’s period detailing.
Last but not least, the ‘whiskey parlour room’ (converted from an existing front room) is a space for evening relaxation and reflection. Ryan describes the room as a ‘cocktail of perfection that channels a Gucci Alessandro Michele, meets English club, meets British Raj, mood’. The result is an intimate cocoon, with sensual materials fused with sentimental artefacts.
Without the pressure of a client deadline, Ryan’s home continues to slowly evolve. ‘Unlike a lot of projects — which often involve rushed deadlines — furnishing a home has been a much slower, more considered endeavour: an ode to curating and collecting,’ he says. ‘The result is certainly not minimal!’