Step inside Hecker Guthrie’s reimagining of an original Victorian home in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of North Carlton.
Architectural practice Hecker Guthrie was tasked with transforming a time-worn Victorian for a growing family in Melbourne’s Carlton North. Their empirical update is sensitive to the home’s heritage, instilling a present-day upgrade with a rejuvenating natural outlook.
In the kitchen, an elegant marble island benchtop with complementary splashback is paired with bespoke Hecker Guthrie bar stools.
Hecker Guthrie’s design philosophy centres on ‘creating spaces that generate an emotional reaction, regardless of their styling’. North Carlton residence is a fine example of this value through its expressive curves and emotive textures, its delicate illumination, and considered materiality. Each room evokes either a sense of nostalgia with thoughtfully restored Victorian features or calms through natural light, open sightlines, and views of the tranquil landscape.
In collaboration with Brayshaw Architects, the restoration sees deliberate and respectful reference to the home’s bygone era. Hecker Guthrie designer Kath Wadley explains, “The home’s front facade and original fireplaces were updated in line with their Victorian legacy. Several ‘lost’ heritage features including cornices and skirtings were also reinstated,” she adds. “These changes, combined with a soft, neutral palette, provide a sense of connection and warmth for the homeowners.”
A custom-designed, exposed-brick hearth doubles as the first step up a hidden staircase to the first floor.
Robert Malherbe artwork rests in a fireplace below a Nicholas & Alistair vintage mirror. A Nikari timber chair resides in the bedroom corner.
Drawing inspiration from Dutch and Belgian designs, Hecker Guthrie crafted a considered expansion of the original three-bedroom abode with its narrow living, kitchen, and bathroom areas. “To meet the needs of the growing family, the home was brought into the present day by extending the ground floor and appending the first-floor addition,” Kath explains. “The entry hallway was retained and elongated through the centre of the home and a steel, glazed door separates the ‘old’ from the ‘new’,” she adds. The doorway also enables the owners to create a more intimate space by pulling it closed when desired. Delicate textures, soothing marble, handmade tiles, and timber underfoot, combine with soft arches and elegant steel-framed windows and doors.
Earthy, muted tones of olives, greys, and terracottas reference the natural environment, with occasional sea blue and striking black punches. Kath explains the home stylistically is soft, warm, and light. “Large French doors flood the kitchen and living room with natural illumination,” she says.
Hecker Guthrie transforms a deteriorated family abode into a stylish and timeless sanctuary. The result is a seamless flow from the entrance to the leafy rear courtyard. “It’s a celebration of heritage and the home – stitching together elements from the past while translating them for the modern-day lifestyle,” Kath adds.