Connecting a family of six

By Jo Weaden
October 16, 2019

Located in the heart of Melbourne, Australia, this contemporary home has retained the period features of the existing Edwardian house whilst injecting the functionality of modern living suited to a family of six.

Whiting Architects has preserved the history of the property which was originally built in 1915. The architecture and interior design studio has managed to connect living spaces, encourage engagement and ensure privacy.

Contemporary design runs throughout the space, which features a monochrome and natural colour palette. The designers of the open-plan space hope to “inspire a process of discovery, glimpsing interesting elements and obtaining views through to unexpected spaces as well as encourage curiosity and a desire to explore,” as Steven Whiting, director of Whiting Architects, explains.

The hub of the home, the kitchen, became the central design around which the rest of the structure revolved.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home and an area for all to congregate. Tucked below the upstairs children’s playroom, it creates a more intimate feel with a lower ceiling height compared to the soaring ceilings of the family room,” says Whiting. Timber, concrete, stone and ceramic were the main materials incorporated in the scheme, as the design had to be durable and low maintenance to cope with demands placed on the heavily used area.

Fisher & Paykel appliances were used throughout the open plan kitchen, while a freestanding cooker complements the history of the house whilst providing the practical volume needed when preparing meals for a family of six.

“We wanted to play down the look of the kitchen so the need for functional appliances that blended seamlessly into our design was paramount,” says Josie Somerville, design coordinator and project lead at Whiting Architects.

The space features integrated appliances including a fridge drawer and a wine storage unit. “The owners love to cook and often host dinners for extended family, so they wanted high-quality, hardworking appliances – which is why the Fisher & Paykel appliances are so fitting,” continues Somerville.

The floating staircase links the different spaces together – and despite its sculptural steps hanging above the main hallway, they are are intended to remain deliberately discreet.

These visual aspects within the space form “a confluence of new and old, creating intrigue and offering a visceral connection to activity within the house,” remarks Whiting.

Glass balconies, combined rooms and multifunctional areas create a home where a close family of six can socialise and engage but still keep a level of privacy.


Image credit: Shannon McGrath