When Melinda Clarke stepped into the Haymarket Hotel in London six years ago her life was transformed. “I had never felt so inspired by a space”, says Clarke. “I loved the classic architecture and playful interior”.
Designed by Kit Kemp, the hotel showed Clarke the power of good design. “Kemp’s design ethos of mixing textures, textiles and colours really resonated with me. Her use of paper-backed fabrics instead of wallpaper, and the layering of colour and patterned fabrics in different textures added so much warmth and created a very beautiful and relaxed environment.”
Clarke returned to running her events company in Sydney, but also decided to follow her newfound love of design. “After completing a Diploma in Interior Design, and undertaking many styling masterclasses, projects and styling assistant roles, I decided this path was for me. I rebranded my company to incorporate both passions, and Melinda Clarke Interiors and Events was born”.
Renovating the Victorian terrace she shares with her husband and two children in the eastern Sydney suburb of Paddington is Clarke’s most recent project. “The aim was to create family-friendly spaces without compromising on style”, says Clarke.
When the couple bought the property in 2011 they were drawn to the high ceilings and the original detail in the cornices and ceiling roses that gave the rooms a sense of grandeur. Clarke also appreciated the classic layout, spacious rooms and natural light.
“Creating a unique space that reflected both my husband and myself and that was true to who we are and to the lifestyle we were living, whilst respecting our homes architectural integrity was a challenge”, reflects Clarke. “I spent a long time just thinking about the space, how it would be used, and most importantly how I wanted my family to feel and move within the space.”
Clarke focused on finding a balance between masculine and feminine textures and materials and creating a space that just felt right rather than adhering to design principles. “Because I had to work with space restrictions, I took the time to add high quality statement pieces slowly and build the room up with a mixture of textures and textiles so there was a strong sense of balance and relaxed sophistication within the overall space”, explains Clarke.
“The colour palette was inspired by the classic Burberry trench lining, often shown with either a hint of navy blue or maroon detail”, says Clarke. Colours used include Dulux Whisper White, Dulux Saudi Sand, Dulux Limed White, Dulux Black Caviar and Dulux Baltica.
Some of Clarke’s favourite statement pieces include the Concorde dining table in spessart oak, Grace dining chairs and custom handmade cc-tapis rug Traces de Memoire from Poliform.
The artwork above the fireplace ,‘Lupe’ is by Craig Waddell and is a 6th anniversary present.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Francoise Baudet