St. Kilda Residence
Location St Kilda, Victoria
Size 400+sqm
Completed 2018
Builder Omnicom
Photography Derek Swalwell

The brief for this colourful St. Kilda home was to retain and revitalise its retro-inspired interiors while injecting a more contemporary edge. The home had been previously renovated in 2000 by Kennedy Nolan, who artfully combined curved lines, striking geometric accents and primary colours – all elements that the studio and our client love so we were keen to build upon this. Their references to geometric shapes through the circular forms in the ceiling and the motif in the timber panelling all played a role, informing the new design direction for this latest upgrade and inspiring the steel-framed and green moss ‘living’ artwork we designed.

Colour is kept at the fore, working alongside a robust – and, in places, daring – mix of materials throughout: black steel, oversized terrazzo, marble, Corian, fluted glass, polished plaster and mosaic tiles. All set against a primarily white palette, complemented by pale oak floors. Drama, surprise and more than a little retro fun comes through the intense colour bursts found in the joinery and carpet.

Rather than shunning the home’s colourful past, its best aspects were heartily embraced – primarily the block of glossy red cabinetry – originally designed as a wall of shallow drawers for the previous owners’ CD collection. Two existing bathrooms, one featuring intense orange and the other vivid blue mosaic tiles, were also retained. The new upstairs bathroom was created in line with the same scale and graphic qualities of the retained orange and blue bathrooms. Vivid-white mosaics contrast with bright blue grout giving the room a graphic appeal and sense of space further underlined by the raised ceiling and curved shower recess. 

More new interventions included up-scaling the single front door to a pair of steel and glass doors, in order to create a light-filled entrance with a more dramatic sense of arrival. We completely overhauled the kitchen/butler’s pantry, the dining/family living zone, the main bathroom and created a new laundry – all within the existing layout and footprint of the home. The galley-style kitchen, while simple in layout, allows its black and white patterning to create instant dynamism. Striking large aggregate terrazzo is combined with brilliant deep-blue cabinetry and bespoke black steel handles. 

The owners’ lounge furniture is complemented by a selection of vintage furniture and new accessories. Contemporary art has been hung throughout, paired with pendant and pivoting wall lighting, to enhance the graphic aesthetic our client loves. Overall, the spaces feel fun and retro, contrasting beautifully with the home’s heritage – without being discordant, marrying the best of both worlds.