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A Melbourne Victorian’s Contemporary Overhaul by Hecker Guthrie

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A Melbourne Victorian’s Contemporary Overhaul by Hecker Guthrie

April 16, 2018

In the stylish Prahran suburb of Melbourne, multidisciplinary design firm Hecker Guthrie transformed a grand Victorian family home into a contemporary version of its best self.

Between the house’s construction in the 1880s and Hecker Guthrie’s intervention, the building had received an extension and redesign in the 1960s (it served as a men’s retirement home for a period). When Hecker Guthrie arrived on the scene, most of the original period details had been obscured, including original pine flooring hidden beneath red carpet. The designers unearthed and restored it all—including molding, cornices, columned archways, and ceiling roses, and even an original stained glass window in the front room. Once the building’s Victorian identity had been reestablished, the firm added contemporary furnishings—clean-lined furniture from Australian and Scandinavian designers, blue velvet accents, and a bold, geometric tile in the entryway. Let’s take a look.

Photography by Shannon McGrath, courtesy of Hecker Guthrie.

The designers retained the layout of the grand Victorian entryway, adding coral and blue geometric tile throughout the front room, paired with a black Cassina dining table. A new skylight allows natural light to pour in.
Above: The designers retained the layout of the grand Victorian entryway, adding coral and blue geometric tile throughout the front room, paired with a black Cassina dining table. A new skylight allows natural light to pour in.
The original decorative archways lead from the foyer to the dining room.
Above: The original decorative archways lead from the foyer to the dining room.

Steel framed interior walls allow natural light to filter through the rooms. In the dining room, a collection of Mass Lights by Norm Architects hangs above a Nikari dining table.
Above: Steel framed interior walls allow natural light to filter through the rooms. In the dining room, a collection of Mass Lights by Norm Architects hangs above a Nikari dining table.
The kitchen features basalt countertops and metal cabinets with pulls from Bäccman & Berglund in Sweden. Above the island hangs a single, linear Highline pendant from Australian architecture firm Archier.
Above: The kitchen features basalt countertops and metal cabinets with pulls from Bäccman & Berglund in Sweden. Above the island hangs a single, linear Highline pendant from Australian architecture firm Archier.
A Paola Navone Chester Moon Sofa in blue anchors the living room. Off-white linen curtains add privacy to the street-facing front room.
Above: A Paola Navone Chester Moon Sofa in blue anchors the living room. Off-white linen curtains add privacy to the street-facing front room.
The designers left an original, circa 80s stained glass window intact in the living room. Two XL December Chairs from Nikari flank the wool rug from Halcyon Lake.
Above: The designers left an original, circa 1880s stained glass window intact in the living room. Two XL December Chairs from Nikari flank the wool rug from Halcyon Lake.
In the powder room, a Latis sink from Omvivo sits on a marble countertop with backsplash.
Above: In the powder room, a Latis sink from Omvivo sits on a marble countertop with backsplash.

The four-poster bed in the master bedroom is by B&B Italia, and the Ruché chair is from Ligne Roset.
Above: The four-poster bed in the master bedroom is by B&B Italia, and the Ruché chair is from Ligne Roset.
The master bath has a custom marble sink, backsplash, and fireplace surround. The faucet is from Yokato (see Yokato Bath and Kitchen Fixtures, Made in Australia for more).
Above: The master bath has a custom marble sink, backsplash, and fireplace surround. The faucet is from Yokato (see Yokato Bath and Kitchen Fixtures, Made in Australia for more).
A large walk-in closet comprises the other half of the en suite master bath.
Above: A large walk-in closet comprises the other half of the en suite master bath.

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