Stunning internal transformation of an historic Edwardian home using soft palette of greys and of whites

Stunning internal transformation of an historic Edwardian home using soft palette of greys and of whites

Architects: MIM Design
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Year: 2017
Photo courtesy: Sharyn Cairns

“The revival of an Elsternwick residence has allowed award-winning Melbourne practice Mim Design to create a stunning internal transformation of an historic Edwardian home. The owners of DRF Residence, a young family of four, wanted to turn their home, which was dark with cramped unusable spaces, into a modern sanctuary that paid homage to the era’s architectural styling. Mim Design principal Miriam Fanning and her team were called on to implement a comprehensive plan covering the interior architectural framework, styling and soft furnishings, which resulted in an entirely new look. “The clients wanted a more effective way to use their space. They felt their home lacked flow, the floorplan was poorly executed and spaces were not utilised to their full potential,” Ms Fanning said.

They wanted a home that was light, bright and efficient. It also needed to be functional, a place that brought them joy and somewhere they could entertain guests and cater for weekly dinner parties with friends and family. “Our goal was to create a family home that met the client’s needs aesthetically but also created a practical family home where each room and space served a purpose.” The existing kitchen was in an oversized space, and the dining room was too small. The living area was dark and cramped while the master bedroom lacked an ensuite or walk-in robe.

By studying how the family lived, their demand on space, storage and passion for entertaining, Mim Design’s team reimagined the entire floorplan, gutting the home and creating an entire new interior without adding to the footprint. The eight-month internal renovation to the ground floor and partial first floor incorporated a new front entrance, master bedroom, walk-in robe, ensuite, front parents living retreat, kitchen, laundry, pantry, dining room, living room, children’s play room, powder room, sauna and children’s bathroom. Ms Fanning said the plan to switch rooms – swapping the kitchen with the dining room – created what felt like an entirely new home where each space felt connected and flowed seamlessly from one to the next. Raising the ceiling at the rear, to marry the height with the front of the house, bought in extra light, connected the dining and living spaces and created a more open and visually larger area.

The layering of materials, a soft palette of greys and off whites with accents of black added a timeless brilliance to the interior, respecting the Edwardian architecture. The bathrooms featured new black steel window frames and doors, custom light fittings, a sculptural fireplace and Buster + Punch handles, all of which came together to introduce “old school glamour” and a softness into the home. The kitchen has been fitted with high quality Sub-Zero and Wolf products, integral to the client’s passion for entertaining and desire for a contemporary finish.

The products complement the beautiful soft grey and milky undertones of the marble super white benchtops, the paneling of the 2-pac joinery and the white-oiled oak floors. “Having been in the home when there were heavy finishes, we were inspired to lighten up the whole space, so that when you walked in it felt like a load was lifted from your shoulders,” Ms Fanning said. “The design has meant there is a more illuminated feel throughout. The best thing is the clients love living there now, it’s like a breath of fresh air.”

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