MEL­BOURNE

Home to the own­ers for 30 years this house was com­pletely reimag­ined for the fu­ture.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Pho­to­graphs BROOKE HOLM Styling MAR­SHA GOLEMAC Words CARLI PHILIPS

Home to these own­ers for more than 30 years, this house has been given a whole new iden­tity to take it into the fu­ture.

This page A pair of Moroso ‘Re­dondo’ arm­chairs and an Ob­jekto ‘Paulis­tano’ chair from Hub in the study. Michele De Luc­chi ‘First’ chair in the cor­ner. ‘Margo’ mir­ror tray in Black by AYTM from Resident GP. Len­tic­u­lar 2015 sculp­ture by Phillip Low from Pieces of Eight. Vi­tra ‘Cone’ clock by Ge­orge Nel­son from Space on the man­tel­piece. Michael Anas­tas­si­ades ‘Tube’ chan­de­lier from Hub. Art­work is The Keeper by Heidi Yard­ley from Art­house Gallery. Rug from Hal­cyon Lake. Op­po­site page ‘Blue Moon’ gran­ite with an ex­fo­li­ated ‡nish from CDK Stone was laid in the en­trance.

This page Wicker chairs and ta­ble bought in the 80s were re­stored. ‘Block’ vel­vet cush­ions in Pine from South­ward Home. Serge Mouille lighttting from Cult. Op­po­site page Tan built-in bench in ‘Verona’ leather from InStyle Con­tem­po­rary Leathers. Sculp­ture by Peter D Cole from Franque. Art­work is The Third Door by Rick Amor from Ni­a­gara Gal­leries. Pa­tri­cia Urquiola ‘Bend’ sofa from Space. One Dances by Ju­dith Wright from So­phie Gan­non Gallery. Glass ves­sels by Peta Kruger from Pieces of Eight. Un­ti­tled #07 cop­per sculp­ture by Blake­bor­ough + King from Cri­te­ria Col­lec­tion. On ta­ble, Krista McRae sculp­ture, and ‘Breath’ alu­minium and brass sculp­ture by Bri­die Lunney, both from Pieces of Eight.

It’s hard to be­lieve that not long ago this mock Ge­or­gian house was a puz­zle of dec­o­ra­tive ar­chi­traves, dated grey-blue doors and de­tailed mould­ings. While it had served its own­ers well for more than 30 years, the Mel­bourne res­i­dence was in need of an up­date. While ar­chi­tects Kathryn Rob­son and Chris Rak of Rob­son Rak Ar­chi­tects & In­te­rior De­sign­ers ac­knowl­edged the build­ing’s strong concrete struc­ture, they sought to “rein­vent it and give it a new iden­tity for now, bring­ing it into 2016”.

While the clients en­ter­tained the idea of down­siz­ing or even tear­ing the house down al­to­gether, Rob­son Rak em­braced the chal­lenge of an en­tire re­fur­bish­ment. Aided by Kron­gold Builders, it in­volved “in­sert­ing a new in­te­rior into the ex­ist­ing build­ing”, says Kathryn. The brief was to “cor­rect and omit the over-the-top faux styling of the 80s, mod­ernise where nec­es­sary, and cre­ate a func­tional, dy­namic home to see the clients well into the fu­ture”.

Ex­ist­ing adorn­ments were peeled back to the bare bones and re­placed with durable xtures and crisp, moody nishes with core ma­te­ri­als com­pris­ing steel, gran­ite and tim­ber. “The limited pal­ette cre­ates a har­mo­nious ow from room to room, and lets the new steel win­dows and doors cre­ate the tex­ture and pat­tern­ing to the in­te­rior fab­ric, sim­i­lar to a Scot­tish tar­tan,” says Kathryn.

Doors and win­dows were re­moved, and the tiled Car­rara mar­ble en­try­way stripped and re­placed with ‘Blue Moon’ gran­ite with an ex­fo­li­ated nish from CDK Stone. The same stone has been used in dif­fer­ent for­mats through­out the house. “On the oor it has been used in a amed nish which is rough, and on the kitchen bench­tops and bath­room van­i­ties it has been used in a honed nish. The dy­namic ma­nip­u­la­tion of the same ma­te­rial used with dif­fer­ent nishes main­tains a holis­tic pal­ette, yet adds depth and char­ac­ter,” says Kathryn of the home’s “lay­ered el­e­gance”.

The kitchen was en­tirely re­designed, a cus­tom is­land bench re-ori­ented to face the eat­ing area with new, ex­pan­sive, oor-to-ceil­ing steel-framed glass pivot doors over­look­ing a garden land­scaped by Jack Merlo. Flour­ish­ing with herbs, a lus­cious g tree, sea­sonal pomegranates and fresh fruits, the or­chard­like out­doors is a feast of home­grown earthly de­lights. Avid cooks, the clients’ new La­canche oven from Manor­house is now in reg­u­lar use.

A built-in tan leather bench pro­vides extra seat­ing and a rec­tan­gu­lar din­ing ta­ble has been re­placed by a more ca­sual round, tim­ber-legged set­ting, an

ex­ist­ing piece the own­ers had re-stained. While new, big-ticket items were pur­chased, much pre-loved Euro­pean fur­ni­ture was given a new lease on life. There were un­likely – yet sal­vagable – pieces. “They [the clients] didn’t have a lot, but what they did have was ex­cep­tional. Things pur­chased in the past decade went, but the 80s pieces were re-thought,” says Kathryn. Old wicker fur­ni­ture in the sit­ting room, bought more than two decades ago, was painted and re­uphol­stered, while a bed­room chaise from the same pe­riod was re-cov­ered in white tex­tured wool. In the same way the for­mal din­ing ta­ble, very glossy be­fore the deft hands of Chris and Kathryn reached it, was stripped of its thick resin coat­ing and honed to re­veal el­e­gant, muted multi-mar­ble.

The en­try­way is dra­matic both for its ex­pan­sive void and sculp­tural stair­case which Chris calls his pride and joy. To the left of the foyer, two liv­ing rooms were orig­i­nally separated by a study. Kathryn and Chris con­verted the three rooms into one large liv­ing area and a self-con­tained study dec­o­rated with dusty blue vel­vet Moroso ‘Re­dondo’ arm­chairs and a smoky-hued rug from Hal­cyon Lake. “By open­ing up large ex­panses the in­te­rior spa­ces ow seam­lessly from one to another, aided by steel doors and sim­ple de­sign and dec­o­ra­tion,” says Kathryn. Tran­si­tion­ing to Hak­wood Euro­pean oak oor­ing, both rooms are bathed in light from the dou­ble-height glass doors. Be­fore the ren­o­va­tion, the prop­erty was ex­posed to the street, but the in­stal­la­tion of a fence en­abled a more ex­pan­sive use of glass with­out for­sak­ing pri­vacy.

To the right of the foyer is the for­mal din­ing room which Chris and Kathryn gave a new open­ing to pro­vide di­rect ac­cess to the kitchen and the new wing with a laun­dry, but­ler’s pantry, three-car garage and lift straight into the mas­ter bed­room. Up­stairs, another four gue­strooms reg­u­larly host a bevy of grand­chil­dren. De­spite the ad­di­tion and in­ter­nal changes, this house “is not vast for the sake of it”, says Chris. “The pro­por­tions are gen­er­ous with­out it be­ing a palace.” With its ma­ture shell and reimag­ined core, this house is an old soul with a new heart. Just the per­fect bal­ance.

This page The mar­ble din­ing ta­ble was the own­ers’ orig­i­nal piece that the ar­chi­tects re­stored. Mu­uto ‘Cover’ chairs from Liv­ing Edge. Striped vase by An­gela Brennan from Ni­a­gara Gal­leries. Brass sculp­ture by Anna Varen­dor from Hub. Vanessa Lu­cas vase from Potier. Op­po­site page, clock­wise from top le The round ta­ble in the fam­ily din­ing area was an ex­ist­ing piece that was re-stained. ‘NBC’ chairs by Apato. Art­work is The Third Door by Rick Amor. Peter D Cole sculp­ture from Franque. Zen Garden 9 by Kevin Lin­coln from Ni­a­gara Gal­leries hangs above the din­ing room ‰re­place. A Jerey Smart paint­ing above the La­canche stove in the kitchen. Ap­pa­ra­tus ‘Shift’ vase from Cri­te­ria Col­lec­tion. B&B Italia ‘Lys’ can­dle­hold­ers from Space. “THE DY­NAMIC MANIPUL ATIO N OF THE SAME MATER IAL USED I N DIFF ER E NT F INI S H E S ... A DDS D EP T H A N D CHAR AC TER.”

MUCH PRE LOVED EUROPE AN FUR­NI­TURE WAS GIVEN A NE W LE A SE ON L I F E . “ T H E

C L I E N T S D I D N’ T HAVE A L OT, B U T WHAT THE Y DID HAVE WA S E XCEP TI ON A L.” This page A Camie Lyons sculp­ture from Scott Livesey Gal­leries sits on a cab­i­net bought in the 80s in the en­try­way. Op­po­site page Vin­tage 70s chaise and ot­toman were re-cov­ered in tex­tured wool. ‘Kraft’  oor lamp from Nice Home. Linen cur­tains from In Vogue Blinds. Bai­ley bed­li­nen and throw.

SPEED READ

» Af­ter toy­ing with the idea of down­siz­ing or de­mol­ish­ing their home of 30 years, these own­ers de­cided on a di er­ent tack – com­plete re­fur­bish­ment, with the as­sis­tance of ar­chi­tects Rob­son Rak. » The ar­chi­tects es­sen­tially in­serted a new home into the old shell, eras­ing all the faux nishes of the 80s. » Doors and win­dows were re­placed with new steel ver­sions, Euro­pean oak ­oor­ing laid, and some ex­ist­ing fur­ni­ture re­vamped as well as a range of new pieces cho­sen. » Now the ­ow is im­proved be­tween rooms and in­doors and out, and the limited ma­te­ri­als pal­ette cre­ates har­mony. » Keen cooks, the own­ers are rel­ish­ing the ready ac­cess to their newly land­scaped garden with its abun­dance of herbs and fruit trees.

For more go to rob­son­rak.com.au.

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