On first glance, you may not believe this secluded home is set high in Sydney’s leafy eastern suburb of Bellevue Hill – but then again that’s the talent of CM Studio. This exotic abode is the result of a close collaboration between Chris and Megan at CM Studio and their creative client, fusing together a rich and rustic history with its classic french-style build.
Tucked away behind swaying palm trees, the Bellevue Hill House is an idyllic setting for slow living. Inside the louvered shutters and french doors, the interior is like no other beachside style home CM Studio has previously designed. With the client Romi Weinberg doubling as a source of unique design objects and details, the home’s brief had a clear intention: to move away from anything sterile and artificial and fill the family home with a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere.
Structurally, little changes have been made to the home, aside from a reworking of the kitchen layout. To open up a connection with the rest of the house, the kitchen was enlarged, now boasting a large walk-in scullery, enclosed by antique shutters. We are particularly drawn to the neutral entertaining area, where smooth stone detail and stripped-back timber joinery make for an alluring indoor-outdoor culinary experience.
CM Studio have a signature way with creating a coastal aura in all of their projects and the Bellevue Hill House is no exception. Even better, they shared the affinity with Weinberg to create an exotic beachside feel that dabbles in different influences from around the globe, such as the use of the moulded plaster effect called tadelakt in the kitchen and each of the four bathrooms. As part of the home’s bespoke renovation process, the surface was applied to each room individually by hand, to create the smooth curved and undulating finish. But don’t be fooled, the interior is filled with plenty of locally sourced elements too, such as the thatched lighting.
At est, we know that a place of zen works with the surrounding landscape and not against it. With this in mind, CM Studio have privileged the au naturel to strike a perfect balance between organic materials, forms and palette. CM Studio specifically chose to use recycled timber, to capture history and evoke a sense of place. Each carefully curated space eases into the other, out of a layering of natural materials and white on white: white washed timber and exposed brick flooring, cane, wicker and woven rugs. These raw elements feel at peace, especially in the company of the established gardens. In being conscious of the parklike holdings, the home transitions seamlessly from interior to exterior — the living space extending out beyond the glass sliding doors, to a resort-like outdoor space, or rather, a restoration destination.
Well-designed homes are diverse, as they reflect each individual that inhabits them. This couldn’t ring more true in the Bellevue Hill House, now a unique compilation of rustic and refined, and polished and raw, courtesy of the work of artisans local and global. Living here could almost cure our travel bug for the taste of European summers – a feat indeed.
“We looked to mediterranean hotels and summer houses for inspiration on finishes. The major influence was the use of moulded plaster, which you see from anywhere from Morocco, Ibiza, Mykonos and Puglia.”
— Megan Burns, CM Studio