In a current climate where so much seems to be thrown aside, replaced or updated, projects like the Emerson home make a valuable argument for the importance of thoughtful, timeless design. Inspired by the idea of a home where the floors, fixture and house itself would continue to patina and age without losing the beauty and heritage of the design, designers Chelsea and Brandt Kaemingk of
While Chelsea and Brandt saw enormous potential in the project from the beginning, significant exterior and interior work were required to bring it to its new incarnation, including changing the home’s layout. The exterior had strong street presence but ‘needed major work’, so a refresh and update was undertaken with the existing historic trims, paint and siding revived and a balcony (eliminated in a previous design but an original feature of the house) installed. The reclaimed wood pergola, jet-black windows and a black outbuilding introduce a crisp modern aesthetic that plays out nicely against the heritage backdrop.
Inside the building, the floor plan was first adjusted significantly to maximise the home’s square footage. Starting fresh with a new plan, the kitchen was moved, bathrooms added and most spaces in the home reconfigured for better flow and no space left unused.
Building on the blank slate of the new interior structure, the only driving inspiration for the interior design was for a neutral, light-filled style. In keeping with the ageless aesthetic of the home, Chelsea and Brandt were inspired by the historic farmhouses of Belgium and England, choosing materials like wide plan wood flooring, muted earthy hues, brass and iron accents to add a relaxed provincial touch. Like the exterior finishes, these materials will patina over time, shaping the personality and history of the home alongside its inhabitants – who we’re sure we’ll find it just as beautiful in 20 years as we do today.