White House by K.P.D.O.

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    K.P.D.O. balance restraint and exuberance in their transformation of an ‘uninspiring’ 1980s Georgian revival in Melbourne.

    K.P.D.O. were the perfect candidates to take on the redesign of an all-white Georgian revival house, home to an avid art collector and entertainer. Working within the original footprint, K.P.D.O. stripped the home of its faux Georgian detailing and resurrected it as a modern yet playful masterpiece.

    The White House had strong bones but failed to connect with the outdoors. While the rooms were well proportioned, there was a sense of clutter created by, as K.P.D.O. creative director Kerry Phelan puts it, ‘overly ornate’ faux moulding. 

    The architraves and skirting boards were reworked, and K.P.D.O. collaborated closely with a hard plasterer to remove the elaborate fireplaces and reinterpret them in gently carved stone; contemporary design, with a subtle nod to historic detail. “Once we had established a good flow between the spaces, we introduced a restrained base palette of pale timber floors and warm white walls and ceilings to create a background to the garden beyond and the client’s art collection,” Kerry explains.

    The kitchen is situated between the formal and informal dining and living space, featuring custom-designed ashwood timber joinery crafted from sustainable veneers. “The joinery insertions are neutral but lifted by intricate detailing, all balanced against the background palette,” Kerry says. A slight shift in flooring – from regular floorboards to subtly-rounded edges – marks the transition from communal to private spaces.

    The vivid green pixelated work on canvas by Melbourne-based artist Sue Beyer injects an element of drama into the formal lounge and dining space, together with the gold Minotti Still side table and Seymour sofa. Likewise, the primary ensuite evokes a strong sense of nostalgia through the Norwegian Rose marble-clad inset bath, complimentary vanity and the Knoll Saarinen Tulip stool. It’s through these deliberately subtle and surprising moves, K.P.D.O. have granted the White House a new lease of life.

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    A slight shift in flooring – from regular floorboards to subtly-rounded edges – marks the transition from communal to private spaces.

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    The Fulcrum light by UK-based designer Lee Broom makes a gold statement in the powder room.

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