A decade-long connection to a family site in Melbourne’s Brighton neighbourhood demanded an equally remarkable home; a design that balances intimacy with entertaining and is built around a cherished blossom tree to boot. Having lived on the site for the past ten years, the client’s brief came from a place of experience; understanding the orientation of the land and what they loved most about living there. To bring their vision to life, they drew on the dynamic and highly considered approach of local practice Studio Tate. Known for their commitment to intelligent designs that imbue a sense of polish and refinement, Studio Tate has ensured the Brighton Residence embodies just that.
In a world where first impressions count, the home begins with a connection between the outside and the in. A wall clad in limestone extends from the house along the entryway through a custom pivot door where visitors are greeted by the central open-tread staircase leading up to first floor bedrooms and down to a wine cellar in the basement below. A skylight overhead ensures all levels of the home is flooded with light.
Interplay with the outdoors is a continuing theme throughout the two-storey home. A formal living room opens onto a private garden, floor-to-ceiling glazing frames a lush landscape in the study, a glass kitchen splashback creates an ever-changing scene of green and gently dappled light filters through the sliding external timber screens along the home’s façade. “The cherished blossom tree informed much of our space planning and became a wonderful muse throughout the project,” says Alex Hopkins, principal interior designer at Studio Tate. “The ground floor kitchen and dining are cloaked by its foliage, while the upstairs master suite takes in its canopy”.
With all these views looking outward, it makes sense that the interior palette has been kept largely monochromatic. The polished plaster hallway wall subtly suggests the theme of texture and craftsmanship. Raw materials include the custom black-brown floorboards, dark-stained timber joinery, Serpeggiante limestone and Cararra marble. While a downstairs powder room offers an upbeat explosion of colour with its blue concrete floor tiles, an impressive Bardiglio marble vanity and accents of brass.
A rich narrative weaves its way through the home, all the while telling a modern story of honest materials, clean lines, simple sophistication and hidden design. With an abundance of custom finishes, it’s no wonder everything has both a place and a purpose. This idea of creating multi-purpose living spaces ensures cabinetry cleverly conceals technology. A hidden study nook reveals a place to work, timber joinery in the living space cleverly veils a TV and a secluded butler’s pantry located off the main kitchen makes entertaining a breeze.
A sense of homely comfort was achieved by “carefully considering our textural palette, and opting for moody finishes that created intimacy; ideal for what is a refined, yet highly functional family home.”
-Alex Hopkins, Director at Studio Tate.
Brighton Residence packs a punch with its high-contrast palette, punctuated by the owners’ collection of colourful and quirky art, objects and noteworthy furniture. A sculptural FDC1 chair greets visitors in the lobby, while an upstairs living space occupies a pair of copper rimmed Bell Table Coffee Tables by Sebastian Herkner. These sit in good company alongside two teal, oversized Jim Armchairs designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Arflex.
A densely textured Nuvola lounge chair by Paola Navone resides in the upstairs hallway and is matched with a René Twigge piece from Otomys. Other standout pieces include an unusual S-shaped Roattino floor lamp designed by Eileen Gray, and finally, in all its iridescent splendour a Pli Side Table by Victoria Wilmotte creates an electric pop amongst the otherwise tonal palette, providing the perfect example of exactly how the unconventional can be woven into the everyday.
Conjuring up a mood of understated elegance with a strong connection to its lush landscaped surroundings, Brighton Residence is anything but suburban. It’s a shining example of a refined, yet highly functional family home with light, depth and craftsmanship creating a winning combination.