Sym­phony of liv­ing

Com­posed with a rhyth­mic ap­proach to colour and space, this Mel­bourne home is part de­sign show­room, part fam­ily re­treat

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - News - Words AMY BRAD­FORD Pho­tog­ra­phy SHARYN CAIRNS

Com­posed with a rhyth­mic ap­proach to colour and space, this Mel­bourne home is el­e­gant and har­mo­nious

On sur­vey­ing this calm, el­e­gant home in Mel­bourne’s Toorak Vil­lage, you are struck by the balanced in­ter­play of black, white and grey shades, and by the sub­tle touches of lux­ury in the form of mar­ble and brass ac­cents. The small­est de­tail ap­pears to have been care­fully con­sid­ered, right down to the sym­met­ri­cal pair­ings of ob­jects and fur­ni­ture in the hall­way. This sensitivity to tone is no ac­ci­dent, for Gil­lianne Grif­fiths, the in­te­rior ar­chi­tect be­hind the de­sign, pre­vi­ously en­joyed a ca­reer in the mu­sic world. ‘Like mu­sic, de­sign in­volves com­bin­ing shapes and com­pos­ing rhythms to pro­duce a har­mo­nious out­come,’ she ex­plains.

Gil­lianne’s clients were prop­erty de­vel­op­ers Jonathan Ji and U-fh­ern Chang, who share the four-bed­room home with their one-year-old daugh­ter, Juli­ette. When they bought the house, they needed to strike a bal­ance be­tween for­mal­ity and re­lax­ation, as they in­tended to use their new home for work as well as for fam­ily time. Gil­lianne’s so­lu­tion was a sen­si­tive ren­o­va­tion that con­trasts light, bright com­mu­nal spa­ces with darker, mood­ier pri­vate zones. ‘Jonathan and U-fh­ern en­ter­tain clients reg­u­larly, and they wanted to show off what they can do as prop­erty de­vel­op­ers,’ says Gil­lianne, who cre­ated a for­mal sit­ting room in which to host meet­ings at the op­po­site end of the house from the more re­laxed fam­ily lounge, din­ing area and kitchen. The rooms on pub­lic view are pre­dom­i­nantly white with dark-toned fur­ni­ture, but Gil­lianne turned this bal­ance on its head in the bed­room and study, where inky blue-black walls cre­ate a more co­coon­ing feel. She also laid grey car­pet in the bed­rooms and on the first­floor land­ing, which strikes a dif­fer­ent note to the oak par­quet floor­ing at ground level.

Jonathan and U-fh­ern are de­lighted with their new home, so much so that they are plan­ning to work with Gil­lianne in a pro­fes­sional con­text in the fu­ture. Like a fine mu­si­cal per­for­mance, this de­sign part­ner­ship is too good to be per­formed just once. stu­dio­grif­

Hall­way This area is de­signed as a for­mal, el­e­gant room in its own right. The black-stained oak ‘New York’ side­board is by Aus­tralian brand Grazia & Co, and the ‘Or­bit’ brass and mar­ble ta­ble lamp is by Amer­i­can light­ing com­pany Work­stead (avail­able from An­other Coun­try in the UK). The paint­ing is Blue Lines by Terri Brooks, avail­able from the Flin­ders Lane Gallery in Mel­bourne Stock­ist de­tails on p153 ➤

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