Recents in Beach

House tour: a minimalistic yet functional aesthetic is given to a newly extended Melbourne home


In a view of the kitchen with the dining area in the foreground, custom-stained quarter-cut oak cabinetry produced by E&C Joinery; cabinetry, benchtop and island top in Ibiza White marble from Marble & Ceramic Corp; tapware from Astra Walker; ovens from Wolf; cooktop from Pitt Cooking; custom dining table with custom top designed by McCluskey Studio and Eames Segmented table base by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, enquiries to Living Edge; Eames moulded fibreglass side chairs with stacking base by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, enquiries to Living Edge; flooring in Frosty Blue marble from Marble & Ceramic Corp; basket from Pan After; rattan fruit basket from Cabinet Deluxe.

The art of restraint is key to this Melbourne bayside home. The subtle yet purposeful detailing and the clever use of materials to define and enhance the space are a testament to the relationships behind the project.

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Kate McCluskey of newly minted interiors practice McCluskey Studio, alongside architecture firm Cera Stribley and builder Leone Constructions, worked closely with the home’s owners for almost three years. “It was an amazing team and the clients really added to the mutual understanding, commitment and trust we shared. The vision we had together just worked really well,” says McCluskey.

Creating a refuge for the owners and their family was an important goal for the team. Matt Hainsworth, project architect for Cera Stribley, describes the brief: “The clients wanted a showpiece house, celebrating minimalism and balancing the functions of a family with the refinement and simplicity of a gallery-like entertainment space,” he says. “We worked hard to create a sense of calm, to make sure nothing was too jarring, and to really focus on detail done well,” adds McCluskey.

In the garden with a view of the living area of this Melbourne home, Fields sofa/sunlounger and side table from Domo. In the living area, custom sofa by McCluskey Studio, produced by GDA Furniture; Electric Insulator photographic artwork by Wil Polson.

This concept of seamless simplicity flows from the entry and original rooms through to the glass-clad extension with a sweeping black-steel roofline. The kitchen forms a sleek box within the extension, with dark-stained oak running across the ceiling from the cabinetry, visually framing the fixed glass panel that spans the length of the space, which in turn reveals the lush foliage of the courtyard. Ibiza white marble benchtops and drawers contrast with the drama of the timber. Appliances are concealed; the Pitt gas burners are installed directly into the benchtop with a downdraft extractor rising out when required. A pivot door leads to a scullery that extends to the formal dining room. On the kitchen island, a slim metal shroud sits between the oak cabinetry and the stone counter, a detail paying homage to the owner’s work as a jewellery designer.

In the main ensuite, wall and floor in Ibiza White marble from Marble & Ceramic Corp; Zieta Plopp Standard stool from Storehouse; Art Form vases from Angus & Celeste.

The minimalist intent continues in a new main ensuite, crafted almost entirely from marble. The seamless slabs covering the floor and walls, the vanity and even the bath all come from the same batch of Turkish marble. A steel-framed glass door encloses a steam-room shower clad in marble mosaic tiles. “It’s a very enveloping space and the curved wall softens the form,” says McCluskey. Flush mirrored cabinets conceal storage and natural light flows from a skylight above. Tapware is in brushed nickel.

In another view of the main ensuite, brushed nickel tapware from Astra Walker; shaving mirror from Argent Australia.

“Balancing function and design outcomes are always the challenge in a showpiece home,” says Hainsworth. “We needed to ensure that there was sufficient storage and service areas to complement the design goals for the kitchen and bathroom spaces.” The detailed-oriented approach has allowed for a seamless result. “Good design should be both purposeful and pragmatic,” says McCluskey. “I’m actually a little upset the project is over!”

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