Caulfield North

It’s one of life’s best-known journeys: parents bid farewell to kids, sell the family home, and pursue a new style of living. The proud owners of this contemporary townhouse in Caulfield North sought this path and now have a beautiful space suited for two. Call it the celebration of a new chapter.

I’ve worked with these clients before and we have a great relationship, so when I suggested a complete interior redesign – new pieces for every room in the house – they handed me their trust gladly. I proposed an overhaul of the study, family room, kitchen, sitting room, dining room, outdoor entertaining areas, master bedroom and two other bedrooms.

The foundation: American oak floors. It’s hard to find a better base for a contemporary interior. Beautiful, understated, and laid throughout the home’s ground floor. Instant personality.

Beginning in the study, I filled with space with a custom-made rug and an entire wall of bookshelves. To complete the space, a custom-sized sofa bed for overnight guests.

In the family room I made slight alterations to the joinery unit and laid a custom-designed rug. The rug is exquisite. I was inspired by a recent trip to Casa Batllo in Barcelona and I think its character captures the modernist spirit perfectly. Of course, changing the floor tile pattern to suit the rug was the only option. Custom modular furniture, an ottoman, swivel chair and footstool – custom-made and placed. Last: tables and lights, sourced locally.

In the kitchen I made alterations to the fit-out in the butler’s pantry and placed four very comfortable, very chic bar stools. Nearby and outside in the courtyard, I imported an outdoor table and eight complementary chairs.

Ready for entertaining.

The dining room cried out for a touch of glamour. I designed a round rug inspired by the pattern of a cathedral dome ceiling using colours I would ultimately use in all the interior furniture. Atop the rug I placed a custom-designed round dining table and 10 custom upholstered chairs. Above the table I fitted a crystal ring chandelier. Consummate style.

For the sitting room I designed a glass cabinet to house a silver collection, a new three-seater sofa, two armchairs, a pair of travertine-topped side tables with brass and glass lamps. In front of the sofa I placed two clear glass coffee tables. Another custom rug beneath; an anchor, centralising and balancing the lustre of the room.

For the rear courtyard – reached via the sitting room’s bi-fold doors – I purchased outdoor armchairs and side tables. Balmy weather, and the courtyard is now a seamless extension of the sitting room.

The master bedroom upstairs had beacon-white walls and ceilings 3.5 metres high. Uninviting, to say the least, so I added blue Japanese grass wallpaper to the entire room. I imported a scalloped pendant light to give the space volume, and to add scale, I designed a shaped 2.3 metre-high patterned bedhead.

I designed bedside tables and imported table lamps; added an upholstered bedstool; hung silk blockout curtains; and placed a three metre-long chest of drawers. To make better use of the space, I demolished and redesigned the existing dressing room fit-out.

Both guest rooms were furnished as well, ready for visiting grandchildren. To complete the project, I designed a front fence for the property.

Thus, a blank canvas became a modern, fresh, liveable space.

Location: Caulfield North, Melbourne
Photographer: Martina Gemmola