Church Residence by Doherty Design Studio

Doherty Design Studio reimagine a converted four-storey church for a family of five.

After confessing her desire to redesign a run-down church, director of Doherty Design Studio Mardi Doherty was presented the opportunity in Hawthorn, Melbourne.

Engaged to reconfigure the 1910 building into a family-friendly home, Doherty Design Studio’s interior focus centred around the building’s idyllic stained glass windows. It’s with this approach the Church Residence embodies a sense of calmness and reflection, with a gentle – even playful – appreciation of its monastic qualities.

Beaubien Wall Double Shade from Living Edge

Haven Bath from Rogerseller

With a brief that called for a timeless, modern home with a sophisticated appeal, it was vital that the integral layout of the church interior was altered. A colour palette of white and grey forms the base of the home, paired with traditional bronze and marble finishes paying homage to the home’s church foundations. Perhaps the most pertinent nod to the home’s history is restoration of the original parquetry flooring, retained and repolished.

Custom joinery in the kitchen delivers exceptional functionality, with brass strip detailing and a mirrored splashback.

Without a doubt, the stand-out design feature of the home is the slender stained glass windows, influsing each space with warm sunlight. As natural light was an essential element to the brief, skylights were added to the upstairs bedroom, in addition to the white steel pivot windows in the third level’s void and study.

In true Doherty Design style, the home places strong emphasis on detail, evident in the custom Christopher Boots chandelier in the void. Unconventionally transformed, the terrace has been utilised to house an outdoor bath; a requirement high on the client’s list. The master bedroom plays home to polished plaster walls and elegant curved ceilings.

Doherty Design Studio’s renovation reveals a highly considered approach to a church conversion. The team have created a pared-back aesthetic that cherishes the home’s heritage while keeping family living front of mind, through the considered laying of textures and materials.

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