The original house was built in the 1980s by the current owners, who raised their family there. They wanted to rework the spaces to suit their current lifestyle, and the brief was for a renovation that would ensure the owners would be happy to spend the rest of their lives there. Flexibility, light and flow of space were essential elements, and ensuring the design is adaptive to the needs of a couple but also the accommodation of larger family gatherings was key. We started by reconfiguring the spaces, removing the stair from the centre of the house and introducing a formal entry vestibule. This allowed all living areas to open up and have better flow. We also removed walls and replaced them with glass sliding doors to let in more light and create a more open feel. The existing ceilings were not particularly high, so we borrowed views and light through rooms to enhance the sense of volume.
The craftsmanship of the joinery really stands out and adds a sense of luxury. The clients wanted to avoid an all-white interior, so we added warmth with carefully chosen colors, while also making sure to bring in light and views from the south-facing rooms. The muted timbers, black steel window frames, and parquet flooring are all reminiscent of older buildings, but presented here in a fresh, crisp way. The versatile color palette is perfect for the client's art and furniture collection, and is light and bright without being too stark.
The use of sliding steel doors and screens allows for a smooth transition between intimate and expansive spaces. In the master bathroom, we have used curtains and mirrors mounted in front of the windows to create a sense of privacy without sacrificing the spectacular Bronte beach views. The terrazzo kitchen island is a beautiful centre-piece to any home. It's an example of how a small sample can make a big impact, yet in context and with scale, it can be very calming and grounding. The finishes throughout the home are warm, natural and quite 'off trend' in a way, which gives the space a really cozy feeling.
Project: Bronte House II
Designer: Madeleine Blanchfield Architects
Images: Dave Wheeler