A Victorian weatherboard is brought out of the dark and into the light thanks to the deft touch of Pipkorn & Kilpatrick. The result is an open, sun-drenched home that celebrates minimalism and the importance of materiality.
At est, we are often mesmerised by minimal, striking homes. The kind that feel more like an ode to architecture rather than an expression of something more personal. But, we cannot deny that we’re always drawn to the homes that manage to achieve the rare blend of both; when stripping back a home to its fundamental elements results in an honest portrayal of how design can elevate and enrich our daily lives.
For the owners of this Victorian weatherboard – who sought to overhaul the home’s previous 90s renovation – the objective was to create a home to relax in. Somewhere to simply be. Known for their ability to capture a relaxed, natural aesthetic, Melbourne interior architecture and design studio Pipkorn & Kilpatrick were the right choice to bring this home out of its dated hangover and into the 21st century. The result is a studied lesson in fluidity, materiality and the all important use of light.
Working with a floor plan that made sense on paper but not in practice, Pipkorn & Kilpatrick’s first task was restoring functionality and much-needed natural light to the home. The addition of a large, uninterrupted north-facing window and generous sliding doors to the east allow light to flood into the living spaces and also creates an easy flow between indoor and outdoor. The addition of two large skylights above the kitchen draw in even more light, which moves across the walls of the living space in shifting shapes – another clever way of integrating the outdoors in, and a feature in its own right.
The home, though unchanged in its layout, is now far more connected and has a larger feel thanks, in part, to the use of materials and joinery. A long piece of soft grey joinery links the kitchen through to the lounge, finishing at a feature fireplace that has been transformed from red-brick to matt black. The elegant layering of oak parquetry floors is juxtaposed by the earthy, raw appeal of the kitchen’s large Blackwood island bench.
Materiality plays a key role in Pipkorn & Kilpatrick’s considered take on relaxed but elegant domestic life. Carrara splashbacks in the kitchen are again replicated in the master ensuite and the home’s bathroom, where a mix of timber, marble and stone hum harmoniously. It’s a timeless approach to achieving a decidedly unfussy aesthetic, imbuing the home with an all-important sense of calm. Furnishings act like a hit list of iconic, classic style with a tendency towards mid-century heavy-hitters. Marcel Breuer’s black leather and chrome Wassily armchairs are married with a low-profile heather-grey and timber couch. Slightly rustic bentwood chairs are juxtaposed by a sleek timber dining table.
Tonally, the home is punctuated only by green indoor plants. Even the books have been turned around to showcase only shades of creamy white pages, rather than mismatched covers. Familiarity comes from a curated collection of ceramics and artwork that chimes with the home’s subtle nod to mid-century minimalism. It’s a space of considered restraint, but thanks to the warmth of materiality, one that never steers the home too far from its purpose – a place to just be.
“The addition of two large skylights above the kitchen draw in even more light, which moves across the walls of the living space in shifting shapes – another clever way of integrating the outdoors in, and a feature in its own right.”