Modern Meets Classical in this Renovated Victorian Home


Australian firm Studio Wonder, which has completed quite a few luxury boutiques as well as private residences, knows a thing or two about understated elegance. So they were the perfect choice to bring this Victorian-era Australian home gracefully into a new century.

Previously the home was a dense warren of rooms, so opening up the floor plan made sense for a modern lifestyle. Two bedrooms were combined to make a master suite, and the kitchen, dining, and living rooms were opened to one another, so that, standing just inside the front door, you have a clear view through the house to the backyard beyond.

There’s always the danger, in a very modern renovation like this, that an older property will be completely stripped of its character. This is a renovation, not a restoration, and the end result has a very contemporary feel, but there’s also a sense of respect for the space’s history. The detailing throughout the house is a deft mixture of classical and modern elements. The modern branch chandelier that hangs over the dining table is the focal point of the home: from the front door, and looking back through the house from the backyard, you see the chandelier framed by elegant arched door openings.

In the kitchen, a thin line of crown molding emphasizes the space’s generous proportions: the kitchen itself is quite modern, with an island and range hood clad in black steel. A slab of marble, which surrounds the sink, is inlaid into the steel island. The interplay of dark and light elements in the kitchen adds dynamism to a very minimal space.

Houses aren’t time capsules: just like people, they age, and just like people they sometimes find themselves adapting to different needs and different circumstances. In my mind this renovation, with its balance of original and very modern elements, strikes a beautiful balance between what this house was once and what it is now: still a beloved family home, but one that is prepared to weather the rigors and meet the needs of a new century.

To see more of this home, check out the full tour at Est Living.

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