Chelsea Hing Studio transform a double-storey terrace house in Melbourne’s Middle Park into a light, art-filled home for a young family of four.

Tasked with creating a place for art, family and the feeling of ‘home’, interior designer Chelsea Hing took a balanced approach to Art House; the ground floor embodies a contemporary feel, with the client’s art collection taking centre stage; the upper level celebrates the classic bones of the house.

“Our approach was to retain where feasible and alter in other areas to maximise space and flow throughout,” Chelsea says. “This allowed us to work with the abundance of existing charm and natural light while updating the functional zones. The end result is a beautifully designed and well-crafted home for family living, filled with soul and comfort.”

Chelsea describes preserving the old while injecting the new as “a wonderful challenge”. “In renovating older homes, there’s only so much you can do with elements that have met the end of their lives,” Chelsea explains. “As a designer, you want to honour the client’s wishes to retain certain things, but as a professional, you also know the limitations.”

Chelsea Hing paid homage to the past through precise spatial planning within the home’s existing footprint. However, the clients accepted that a few exceptions needed to be made, such as the small rear extension on the ground floor containing the laundry and pantry.

“The material palette attempts to straddle two worlds,” Chelsea says. On the ground floor, the base material palette consists of oak, black steel and white walls, on top of which Chelsea Hing has layered colour and intrigue. By comparison, the upper level features soft pinks and greens, with the repetition of oak tones in the joinery to connect to the ground floor. 

“Chelsea and the team have designed a beautiful, liveable space that responds to our artwork but most importantly, feels like our home,” the client testifies.

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Arflex Marenco 2018 Sofa

Hem Puffy Lounge Chair

B&B Italia Le Bambole ’07 Armchair Bambola

The living space houses a number of notable artworks and photographs from the client’s personal collection, which Chelsea says “set the tone for the space”: sculpture (left) by Vera Möller; photograph (above sofa) by Petrina Hicks; sculptures (on coffee table) by Ignem Terrae (left) and Kirsten Perry (middle and right). Also featured in the space are the Arflex Marenco sofa, Hem Puffy lounge chair, B&B Italia Le Bambole ’07 armchair, Sarah Ellison Valentina screen and Flos Bellhop floor lamp.

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Photograph (above mantle) by Petrina Hicks; sculpture (on mantle) by Kirstin Perry; sculptures (on shelves) by Angela Hayes, Ignem Terrae, Jan Vogelpoel and Oh Hey Grace; vase (on table) by Emily Ellis.

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