Tasked with unifying a prized Edwardian property that suffered from flawed contemporary intervention, Elsternwick Residence by Chelsea Hing tells the story of two halves becoming whole.
Grounded by respect for Edwardian classicism and a desire to honour the home’s heritage, the project started as a minor kitchen renovation but soon enveloped the entire property. While the original residence retained many of its charming features, it was disconnected from the modern extension to the rear. To establish a seamless transition, solid oak timber flooring was introduced throughout, carrying the eye from the front door to the rear-established garden.
Elsewhere, the original character was celebrated; notable examples include the pressed-metal ceiling, enhanced in a new high-gloss finish, and striking curved windows renewed in finishes and furnishings that allow the view to become hero.
Guided by the client’s strong desire for a neutral base, and the need to unify the disparate interior and exterior, fresh white paint was employed both inside and out. From this blank canvas came an opportunity for design and decoration to be fully explored, evident in jewellery-like signatures such as tumbled brass door hardware and linished brass joinery detailing. A similar contradiction of material finishes can be seen in the use of Elba marble, honed for the kitchen benchtops, while sandblasted in the bathrooms for textural delight.
Kitchen and bathroom joinery, designed with deliberate restraint in white-coated American oak timber veneer, was offset from the walls to allow the home’s original bones to breathe. A mix of finishes from dark to light provides visual relief and delineates between informal and formal spaces.
Elements of surprise, such as the powder room dramatically swathed in Kelly Wearstler wallpaper, ensure this highly functional home is also an expression of personality and warmth. And finally, a careful curation of furniture and art bring individual personality and reflect the client’s desire for a Melbourne base that complements their nomadic lifestyle.