Taking cues from the client’s personality, the Arno Residence possesses a unique blend of contemporary design and heritage sensitivity. The inclusion of natural variations and material imperfections work to complement both the existing structure and modern extension seamlessly. Elements of bespoke joinery, colour and geometric forms enhance the softness and tactility of the finishes.
What was the brief?
The works to the Arno residence involved a partial demolition to an existing two storey heritage home, a contemporary extension (by Bayley Ward) and a complete renovation of all the internal spaces. The brief was to create a home to suit the client’s retirement lifestyle & accommodate visiting guests, large dinners, grandchildren etc.
How is the project unique?
Incorporating the distinct South African design flair of the homeowner was key in the contemporary transformation of a two-storey residence in leafy Toorak, with leading Melbourne design studio Adele Bates cleverly embracing both these elements in the revival of the heritage home. Partnered with a contemporary extension by Bayley Ward, innovative spatial planning saw the process of moving the Arno Residence (lovingly named after the homeowner’s late husband who passed away during the build) entrance to the opposite side of the residence, cleverly mastering a more fluid journey throughout the home.
With a stronger connection between the existing heritage space and the new structure at the rear, the strong architectural design forms an impactful backdrop to the living space; a large, light filled space. Stepping inside the home, dark yet warm floorboards from the Pacific Floors Du’Chateau range add intriguing tactility with natural variations and imperfections providing character as they flow through the ground floor into the study and open plan living, dining and kitchen areas. Punctuating the home’s entry is a brightly graphic rug, adding the South African accents sought by the homeowner. Also providing character is bold grey and black built in shelving that cleverly divides the space between the entry and living space, while still offering a sense of openness.
In the open plan living space, a large dining table welcomes guests with an eclectic array of dining chairs both contemporary and vintage. Opposite, the living area features a bold blue geometric rug from Halcyon Lake and inviting couch from Fanuli, with built in shelving home to a concealed television and the homeowner’s South African-inspired decor. Cascading grey curtains add a sense of enveloping warmth, also revealing a lush garden and swimming pool in the home’s backyard.
Making a statement in the kitchen is a long, grey concrete bench with three overhead pendants from Marmoset Found and Tandem stools by Resident, from District. White cabinetry and subway tiles offset the bench and floorboards, while metal handles add a touch of character to the monochromatic scheme. The ground floor powder room features the same concrete bench top, paired with distinct tiles of geometric form, bringing a sense of tactility, while aged copper tapware by Brodware, also adds a unique touch. Ascending the stairs to the home’s original heritage zone, visitors are greeted by a striking bespoke balustrade, creating a striking design statement.
Upstairs, the large master bedroom is simple in design, with added character from the client’s furniture selection. However, it is the room’s ensuite that is the true hero, with tiles forming a woven pattern along the splash back and floor. The shower’s industrial-inspired shower screens also enhance the space. Down the hall, sits the spare bedroom, a haven for the owner’s grandchildren. Here a distinctive black and white playfully illustrated wallpaper is paired with matching curtains, injecting personality into the space.
The main bathroom also features industrial-inspired shower screens, with rounded basin and matching bathtub from Apaiser a highlight. Also featured is the aged copper tapware, adding continuity from the downstairs powder room. Paired with unique architectural elements in the home’s front and rear yards, Adele Bates has perfectly melded heritage with contemporary, providing the ideal home escape for homeowner and allowing for added personal flair.