STAND BY ME
While handsome and well-dressed now, it wasn’t always so for this stately home in Melbourne’s leafy suburbs. The 1880s property is but one in a heritage-heavy street undergoing beautifully balanced preservations that dutifully honour the past while sensitively bringing functionality and internal aesthetics up to the present. Many have had ad hoc refurbishments and minimal updates (or none at all) so they tend to attract buyers with optimism and foresight as well as respect.
The owners of this residence admit to initial reservations, concerned with a pine-heavy 1980s renovation and seemingly endless coats of paint in an odd assortment of heritage colours. It was, however, beautifully proportioned with robust bones so the brief, says designer Fiona Lynch was, after all, fairly simple: “To make it a really beautiful home to live in”.
With its patinated exterior, weighty front door and stainedglass windows, its features are grand and hardy yet its re- t quietly elegant and well-groomed. It’s a ne balance between the past and present. Aside from widening the hallway, only minimal structural intervention was required so the transformation was swift. Fiona says establishing a unique tonal palette was paramount and that “the client was encouraging of our exploration of colour so we took an evolutionary approach from room to room. Soft, earthy clay in the lounge melds into rusty brown in the adjacent study through to a dining room swathed in striking blue.” In this
room, the most dramatic in the house, tobacco-coloured velvet curtains drape from sky-high ceilings and a spindly vintage pendant hangs over a generous table fringed by Carl Hansen & Son ‘Wishbone’ chairs. Rich and sophisticated, it’s an updated re t of the traditional formal dining room that’s still avidly used by the owners who work in the hospitality industry.
Used on a daily basis is the smaller family dining area out tted with a pink-veined stone dining table and MAP ‘Rib’ chairs. Perched in a light- lled alcove, its pitched roof has been retained, albeit with a fresh update by way of breezy pale curtains and new black window frames looking out onto lush greenery.
Of beautiful value and in wonderful condition, period features such as the original marble replaces and cornices were retained where possible. Modernisation came by way of furniture and art, an important factor in “readying the home for its contemporary chapter”, says Fiona. A work from Howard Arkley’s vivid Suburban Series sits above the newly re ned replace in the casual living area, while Mike Parr’s large red oxide and charcoal piece hangs behind the contrasting white ‘Neowall’ sofa from Living Divani in the sitting room.
Lighting is classic, with pieces like Castiglioni’s 1967 ‘Snoopy’ lamp for Flos, Serge Mouille’s wall-mounted ‘Applique’ lamps and Louis Poulsen’s ‘AJ’ oor lamp peppered throughout. Says Fiona, “Despite their contemporary aesthetic, the intervention of these iconic pieces is in harmony with the home’s historic character, bound by a timeless reverence for materiality and proportion.” #
For more go to onalynch.com.au.
“THE INTERVENTION OF THESE ICONIC PIECES IS AT HARMONY WITH THE HOME’S HISTORIC CHARACTER.”