Alex Hopkins, director of interior design practice Studio Tate has worked on numerous residential projects over career, but never on a house she previously frequented as a babysitter! 

When this family asked Alex to design some bespoke joinery for their 1899 home, the designer decided to go a step further. ‘Upon further discussion, and looking over the floor plans more generally, we found there was an efficient way to extend the life of the home, allowing for the changing needs of the family,’ Alex says. 

The vision was to update the dated interiors (a combination of period features and ‘90s renovations), and better connect the floor plan. 

Studio Tate devised a new glass walkway in response, connecting a former ‘tack room’ (a storage room used for stable gear), turned main dining area, to the rest of the house. This minor addition meant all other works could be completed within the home’s existing footprint, in turn minimising construction and respecting the heritage requirements of the area.

The new dining area is complemented by a more casual seating area around the kitchen island bench for a more low key vibe. 

Distinctive period features were retained throughout the home, such as Victorian period mouldings, picture rails, and parquetry flooring. The entryway’s geometric motif ceiling was also restored, and inspired much of the project’s mirrored symmetry. 

Unexpected furnishings and a bold contemporary artwork provide focal points amid the home’s largely monochromatic palette, whilst luxe textures and details, such as the velvet drapes in shades of plum, dark navy, tan and soft lavender add a colour and texture to the bedrooms with a nod towards the home’s grand origins. 

Alex’s nostalgic attachment to this home gave her a head start in understanding how to approach its update, resulting in a truly excellent renovation!

Highline Pendant by Archier. Bar Stool by Gubi. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The landscaping including the lush arbour was designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture. More recent garden updates were designed by Stephanie Lazar. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Joinery in Dulux Natural White 2pac with 30% Gloss Finish. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Soul Table by Nonn. Laurent 03 pendant by Lambert & Fils via Living Edge. ‘Untitled I’ by Heike Davies. Chair by Fritz Hansen via Cult. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

]Soul Table by Nonn. Laurent 03 pendant by Lambert & Fils via Living Edge. ‘Untitled I’ by Heike Davies. LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. Chair by Fritz Hansen via Cult. Photo – Sharyn Cairns 

Studio Tate devised a new glass walkway connecting the former ‘tack room’ (a storage room used for stable gear), which is now the main dining area, to the remainder of the house. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The Tired Man chair by Lassen. Custom cushions by D&C Design with Unique Fabrics fabric. ‘Passive Aggressive’ by Clinton Naina from Gallery Smith. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The Tired Man chair by Lassen. ‘Passive Aggressive’ by Clinton Naina from Gallery Smith. LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. Indian Moroccan Design rug. LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

LC4 Chaise Longue by Cassina (Le Corbusier) via Cult. ‘Untitled I’ by Heike Davies. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Sculptures from left to right: ‘Guardian Sisters’ 2017 by Tarryn Gill from Sophie Gannon Gallery. ‘Guardian Triplet’ 2017 by Tarryn Gill from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Ceramics on table by Tessy King from Modern Times. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Custom cushions by Recoll Upholstery. Driade Roly Poly Armchair via Hub Furniture. Velvet Drapes by D&C Design. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Medium Idol Vase with Matt White Glaze by Nicolette Johnson via Modern Times. Standing Figure in Ice Blue Stripe with Slippers by Dear Human. Verge Vase 13 by Andrei Davidoff via Modern Times. Vintage lamp. Wall acoustics by Woven Image. S 33 Chair by Thonet. Supertuft Escape Twist carpet in Slap. Velvet drapes by D&C Design. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

‘Musei Reali Torino #1’ by Wayne Fogden from Fox Galleries. Atomium pendant by Lambert & Fils. Velvet drapes by D&C Design. Sheridan bed linen. Supertuft carpet. Atelje Lyktan table lamp from Angelucci 20th Century. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Ro Chair by Fritz Hansen via Cult. Velvet drapes by D&C Design. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Ceramic wall tile by Signorino in Helsinki Matt. Loom Towels towel. Floor Stone Tile by Signorino in Terrazzo Montecarlo 126 Honed. Ceramic by Tessy King via Modern Times. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The restored verandah. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

‘Any day now’ sculpture by Martin Smith from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Monolith Pedestals by MT Studio for Modern Times. Black Head by Hugh Ramage from Otomys Gallery. Hardvark bench via Fred International. ‘More Bang’ 2017 by Nigel Sense & Mike Chavez from Fox Galleries. Milton Moon paint by Dulux. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The heritage protected facade. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

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