Location: Melbourne, Australia
Architects: Chris Connell Designs
For the renovation of the Brimar Court house, Chris Connell and his team (who were shortlisted for the Single Residential category in Interior Design Excellence Awards) filled the inside with light and made the most of the surrounding views while maintaining two of the home's key elements—a relief-concrete mural and an internal stained-glass window—both of which were kept in their original location to provide a point of reference in the new design.
The L-shaped floor plan—expanded by the addition of floor-to-ceiling glass windows and heightened ceilings—offers a separate children's wing and shared central living space. The spacious master suite is located upstairs to provide additional privacy as well as maximum views from its glass-walled terrace.
Despite its overall airiness, creating private spaces for retreat was an important consideration for Connell, who designed the living room with two different zones that can be closed off or left open.
Furniture, light fixtures, art objects, and decorative fittings—like the living room's low, L-shaped charcoal sofa (that mimics the overall layout of the home) and the flat-screen TV that disappears into fabric-covered walls in the dining area—were carefully chosen to maximize the intimate, gallerylike feeling of the space while remaining functional for a family unit.
To offset the cooler industrial materials like polished-concrete walls and stone tiles, Connell incorporated warmer textures, like wall dividers and accents made from spotted-gum timber (finished with a matte wax to enrich its grain and color) and plush, custom-designed rugs.
—Blair Pfander. Follow her at @blairpfander
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