Matchpoint is the inaugural project of Sydney interior design studio We Are Duet. Meticulously curated, the home embodies the studio’s intent to walk the fine line between aspiration and nostalgia.
Presenting as a sprawling Tudor Revival home circa 1916, Matchpoint’s original state lent a beguiling majesty. But only an intuitive and highly creative design intervention would coax it into a contemporary relevance which also honoured the h0me’s elegance.
For We Are Duet Directors, designers Dominique Brammah and Shannon Shlom, the decorative, manor-like aesthetic — all arches, jewelled stained glass windows and sweeping English lawns – set the momentum for a striking resurrection. That’s without mentioning the like-minded client and their antipodean-inspired ideals for returning harmony between the exterior and interior of his family’s home.
While the home had been subjected to a previous renovation, “the original spaces were lacking character, and contemporary spaces were a pastiche of confused styles,” Dominque says. Duet’s design intent was to introduce unity throughout, guided by their client’s desire for a rich and layered family home defined by tactile opulence and homage to travel.
Duet has harmoniously anchored the interior design language via “a nod to tradition” by introducing large scale dental mould cornices, moulded joinery, solid ‘Versailles-style’ parquetry oak flooring, and iterations of wall panelling and vintage lighting sourced all over the globe”. This abiding accord with the home’s genesis has allowed breathing space for a striking aesthetic synergy with the expressive personal style of the client, his wife and their four children.
Custom sofa and rug designed by Duet, vintage Venini bowl and vase on custom made monolithic table and Jardan Joy lounge chair.
An opulent layering of colour and texture bring bespoke, contemporary expression while gently echoing the original stained-glass windows.
Matchpoint finds further resonance through Duet’s creation of “a new language that didn’t feel like replication but rather a deeply layered home which can continue to evolve with the family and accept new and old pieces along its lifetime,” Shannon says. Through a critical lens, Duet have orchestrated an abode where an intentional and intuitive dialogue between furniture, lighting and objects exists.
Eschewing periods, styles and trends,pieces assume their rightful place in the home through their capacity to sit within their spatial and contextual surrounds. They have also been selected for their pragmatic functionality within the larger framework of the home. Palette, scale and narrative form an aesthetic Duet describe as “progressive with a traditional twist,” and one that is wholly client specific.
Duet have instilled cohesion through a rearrangement of the home’s spatial fluidity. For example, the relocation of the original staircase to the centre of the home opened up the lower floor and set in motion a natural falling into place of the remaining spaces. This also provided an opportunity to bestow modern artistry with the new iteration being a sweeping, sculptural expression in pure white, which dovetails the period and contemporary features. The staircase works to reset the senses as one ascends towards the quietude of the upstairs bedrooms.
Matchpoint is enriched further by its level of bespoke craftsmanship, which ensures longevity and tailors the home to its inhabitants. “We work hard to understand the existing architecture and their [the client’s] existing style and collected furniture and artefacts,” Dominque says, explaining the many custom pieces throughout the home.
“The finished home is a testament to our client’s trust and confidence in us,” Shannon says. “It was truly a labour of love, and we were able to push our skillset and explore custom design in everything from patterned marble flooring, to light fittings and furniture pieces, even down to the bed linen.” The result is a home intuitively cultivated through understanding and accumulated experience on the part of Duet and profound trust and meticulous articulation of expectations on the client’s part.