Intent on colonising open space, YSG removed all original joinery and furniture to create a combined kitchen, dining and living area in the original shopfront. Furnishings and fixtures subtly reference Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s delicate Art Nouveau flourishes and the quiet restraint of timber framing devices take heed from traditional Japanese interiors. In totality, the project took three years to complete, due to council approvals and meticulous structural alterations to maintain original features.
Just as all monumental stars need a great support act, tactile finishes and textures play to the splendour of the stone walls. They softly intervene to avoid strong contrasts between old and new, enhancing original features instead. Wooden frames are the reassuring embrace, taking inspiration from shōji. A deep threshold of ebony-stained American Oak highlights the theatre of the dining room like a proscenium arch – subtly acknowledging the outlines of the removed wall. Two gloss-finished solid timber orbs secure the armature on either side, concealing exposed fixings to the surround. This angled arc concept is gently echoed in a bedroom, aesthetically framing walk-in-robe joinery whilst serving as hanging apparatus. Within the master suite, timber frames the wardrobe and bed like tatami matting. Emanating a pearlescent glow granted by textured vintage seagrass wallpaper, a mood of luxe seclusion is enhanced. Similarly, the kitchen’s under bench joinery hovers within a framing device of latticed timber while the island bench is offset by lithe vertical supports under the heft of leathered quartzite.
Exploring the ethereal application of timber further, a rectangular halo of Australian Red Cedar with blunted corners hovers from the void above the dining table LED’s of this custom-designed piece articulates its underside. The carved Poplar Burl cups, inspired by Venetian Barovier & Toso chandeliers, ignite interest towards the upper level. A myriad of fabrics in nubby wool textures and silky finishes complement the matte and sheen characteristics of the pitted walls as sun and shadow play upon them. They range from the soft bark-like texture of the framed antique batik fabric of the shōji in the lounge to the shimmer of the frayed oyster grey silk bedhead in the master suite.
Spaces swell and expand through pattern integration. The square macro outlines of the floor pavers sync in miniature scale with the master ensuite’s mosaic tiles and the salon’s lilac open weave linen curtains, enhancing flow.
Within the main bathroom, the horizontal bands of rose-tinted limestone tiles grant the illusion of sunlight streaming within. Tactical mirror placements visually amplify dimensions and bounce natural light throughout.
Hard angles are softened via the inclusion of rounded tables, upholstered furnishings, undulating surfaces and carved nooks including the live edge timber shelving in the lounge and display ledge running the length of the room above the seating perch. The gentle bulge of the hemp-rendered wall supporting the ledge adds cossetting comfort, as minimalist adaptations of wainscotting boost the Victorian appeal in the sleeping quarters.
Through an elegantly radical palette and flowing interior, YSG’s clever transformation of the late 19th-century corner shop has created a comfortable and indulgent family home. Retaining the buildings historical essence, the seemingly odd pairing of Art Nouveau elements and Japanese traditions bridge the divide between heritage and contemporary styling, resulting in an entirely new kind of aesthetic. Kudos.
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