Located in Melbourne’s inner east, Sanctuary House by Mim Design seamlessly blends concepts of connection and continuity to create a timeless family home.

Sanctuary House is one of Mim Design’s first architecture and interior projects after recently introducing architectural services to their studio. Looking directly out onto Lumley Gardens in Melbourne’s Prahran and designed for a family, Mim Design have sought harmony and resolve through contrasting elements: form and function, warmth and minimalism and interior design and architecture. Testament to its name, the Sanctuary House now embodies the true meaning of ‘home’ – an inviting and calm retreat rooted in togetherness.

The architecture and interior project stemmed from the homeowners’ existing friendship with Mim Design founder Miriam (Mim) Fanning, solidifying the theme of connection throughout Sanctuary house. Initial conversations unveiled a mutual affection for mid-century architecture, particularly the concept of blurring indoor-outdoor boundaries.

Integral to the brief, Mim Design have established a strong relationship with Lumley Gardens and the home’s surrounding greenery. The exterior timber panelling on the entry door and garage is set to fade into silver hues, blending with the landscape and the cement-free, sustainable render that also characterises the facade. The exterior’s ground floor walls are clad in tactile granite stone, complementing the home’s original rendered brick-stepped party wall and working to create a soft, contemporary first impression. Above, blackbutt timber bi-fold screens invite lush garden views into the home.

The interiors continue to express Mim Design’s effort to bring the outside in while creating a seamless dialogue with the architecture. “A central light court and series of skylights, both geometric and linear in semblance, highlight the interior’s subtle textures and reaffirm the site’s connection to nature,” Mim Design associate Lisa Ransom says.

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The dining room features the Myron dining table by John Bastiras Design and Carl Hansen & Søn CH36 chairs, as well as the sculptural S chair by CappelliniThe space also features Herman Miller Saucer pendants and artwork by Peter Summers

The indoor-outdoor connection is reinforced in the light-filled dining and living area, wrapped in glass that opens onto the rear garden and pool. These spaces reaffirm Mim Design’s holistic approach to design through the curation of furniture, objects and art, layering warm and tactile materials such as shearling, leather and travertine. In the kitchen, grey marble and brushed stainless steel accents juxtapose white-washed, natural oak textures; the island bench enhancing sculptural motifs explored in the architecture, such as the curved wall profiles.

“We don’t abide by the notion of design for the sake of design,” Lisa explains. “We design with purpose and fundamentally respond to the needs of our clients, driving spaces that are cohesive, considered, personal and explorative”.

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The sculptural travertine and chrome coat stand designed by Enzo Mari for Fratelli Mannelli reflects Mim Design’s penchant for organic shapes and warm materials. 

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Designed with relaxation in mind, the main bedroom features New Zealand pure wool carpet,Pandul VIP wall light and the Gubi Epic side table in soft and natural hues.

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The minimalist, marble-clad main bathroom features Astra Walker tapware and leather recessed pulls by Mademeasure.

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The powder room walls are clad with white quartzite stone and textural smoked blue Signorino Torino Opal tiles. A textural ceramic vase by Tessy King introduces playful form and character to the space.

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The outdoor dining area features Fredericia glassware and the Gubi Tropique dining chair.

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