Malvern House by Cassandra Walker Design is a case study in sophisticated design details and seamlessly integrated modern touches.

Tasked with the brief to revitalise and extend this heritage home in Melbourne’s leafy Malvern postcode, interior designer Cassandra Walker wholly embraced the young family of four’s new design direction.

Thoughtfully reworked to preserve the soul of the original Edwardian house, Cassandra and her team future-proofed the home through a considered second coming. “We wanted to ensure the home retained its story. The clients and I loved the idea of an extension to the rear to provide generous and contemporary spaces for the modern family,” Cassandra says. “The rear was a new building extension, so it needed to read it as new – with a beautiful transition between.”

Infused with a new sense of flow, we spoke exclusively with Cassandra for her take on the home’s spatial reconfiguration, material selection and the kitchen’s pivotal role in uniting the project.

In partnership with Sub Zero Wolf

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The floor-to-ceiling sheer curtains and Oak timber floorboards throughout this open-plan space create warmth and tactility, while black accents through the built-in Wolf appliances, custom-designed barstools, and doors reflect a modern aesthetic. 

Like most heritage homes acquiring new modern additions, the challenge often lies in connecting the two zones of the home. An expert in this field of design, Cassandra and her team ensured the two spaces felt inherently linked by introducing subtle, more traditional details which married the past with the present.

Cassandra carried some of the new detailing from the modern extension into the heritage spaces via the custom steel and marble handles along the hallway doors and the brass joinery profiling in the bathroom. “We very deliberately created a transition point within the hallway where we housed a set of glazed French doors which are mirrored in scale to the custom rear doors,” Cassandra adds. “As well as carrying the same joinery detailing, profiles, and materiality throughout the home, we also did this with a beautiful custom island bench profile in the new kitchen space,” she says.

Both functional and liveable in every sense of the word, the design resolution behind Malvern House was led by the client’s lifestyle and how they intend to use the home as time passes. “We use this character as our reference starting point and build on it from there,” Cassandra adds. To ensure its timeless appeal, the design team drew on a refined palette of materials, including Bianco Carrara marble and Oak timber floorboards which form a warm and natural foundation throughout the home.

“We opt for luxurious material palettes as, generally speaking, these deliver a much more timeless aesthetic,” Cassandra says. “We love working with timbers and natural grains as well as marble. Each marble slab is unique and seen as artwork in itself”. An oversized slab of Carrara marble informing the rear kitchen bench wall is a clear example of this at play; it provides a practical element to the kitchen and creates a dramatic focal point within a key, open-plan space of the home.

“No matter how beautiful a kitchen looks, it first and foremost needs to function as an operable kitchen, so we always start by planning out the space before selecting materials, detailing, fixtures, fittings, and appliances.”

 

– Cassandra Walker

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Repeated curved marble detailing and sheer curtains set the tone in the informal lounge space, which features a relaxed Jardan Lemmy sofa alongside the B&B Italia Husk armchair.

For Cassandra and her team, the mantra of ‘form follows function’ rings true. Alongside durable materials, they carefully considered the layout and spatial planning, with a strong emphasis on optimising the flow of a home – particularly when it came to meeting the high-functioning demands of a family-orientated kitchen. “No matter how beautiful a kitchen looks, it first and foremost needs to function as an operable kitchen, so we always start by planning out the space before selecting materials, detailing, fixtures, fittings, and appliance”.

In this case, the homeowner couldn’t look past the quality and prestige of an integrated induction cooktop, a vertically stacked convection steam oven, and a single-wall oven, all by Wolf. While the practical 700-wide wall oven width was a drawcard for the family, the blue oven interior became a fun element of surprise within the kitchen. “Very few manufacturers make the 700 wide in wall ovens. The blue interior is a show-stopping statement that immediately brings joy whenever the oven door is opened. It’s amazing what surprise colour can do,” Cassandra says.

“We wanted to ensure the home retained its story. The clients and I loved the idea of an extension to the rear to provide generous and contemporary spaces for the modern family.”

 

– Cassandra Walker

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The darker colour palette in the formal lounge space sets a more sophisticated and intimate feel. A Redondo armchair designed by Patricia Urquiola and a Moroso Gogan sofa sit in good company underneath an Apparatus Cloud 37 chandelier.

When it came to refrigeration, Sub Zero’s designer column-integrated fridge and column freezer were an easy decision. “We hold great value in key sustainability principles and feel that Sub Zero Wolf has demonstrated their commitment to this for many years,” Cassandra says. “We know that the kitchen will stand the test of time with premium Sub Zero and Wolf appliances.”

Cassandra and her team have focused on cultivating a space that feels both grandiose and in keeping with its past yet perfectly cut out for the day-to-day of family life. Cassandra Walker Design’s skill in balancing luxury with practicality culminates in a timeless family home that’s meticulously refined – right down to the most integrated elements.

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The main bathroom features lilac and soft greys hues through high-end materials such as stone to evoke an aura of opulence and grandeur. A handblown Volker Haug Anton wall light adds soft curves to the space.

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From the street front, the home’s Edwardian facade has been beautifully preserved with accents of black, connecting it to the new, modern addition at the rear. 

The post Step Inside a Detail-orientated Home That Preserves the Past appeared first on est living | exceptional living.

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