Amongst the Edwardian houses of the former Gascoigne estate in Melbourne’s Malvern East, Studio Lancini has created a home that is crisp and elegant in execution, strong in its balance of masculine and feminine, with carefully considered fixtures and finishes to evoke a 21st century wonderland.
Built in 1917, the solid brick residence was meticulously restored to showcase the original high ceilings, intricate cornices and leadlight detailing. Offsetting these grand features are the clean lines of a contemporary fireplace and the crisply contrasting textures and tones of the space. The layout of the home has been updated and an extension added featuring an open kitchen, spacious living area, laundry, two additional bedrooms and a kids’ retreat area. Throughout, striking parquetry floors offer a sense of continuity between the original features and the extension.
Grey walls with exactingly straight edges are tempered by the soft curves and pink hues within a painting and again by the soft curves and pink hues within rose gold sconces and brass hardware. Royal blue panelling frames the kitchen, and amidst a sweeping island benchtop sits a Schock kitchen sink by Abey Australia, paired with a black Armando Vicario Tink-D Kitchen Mixer with Pull-Out also from Abey. Delicately suspended above this, adding undulation to an otherwise linear space, is a light fitting consisting of five glowing orbs.
Much of the house is restrained, with cool toned paintwork and simple, angular cabinetry, though this must not be mistaken for sparsity. What proves these details to be intentional, and indeed most impactful, are the surreal features dotted throughout the home. From a life-size horse lamp in the dining room to the blue balloon light fitting illuminating the children’s play space, which looks as though it has simply floated in and decided to stay, there is a surprise at every turn. A flock of stylised birds perch above a guest bed, and full-scale kangaroo stands knowingly in the loungeroom, not far from a psychedelic painting of a city scape.
These details serve as morsels of wonder, hinting at something intangible, something unusual and exciting. The bathroom may be more subtle, but it is just as effective in hinting to out-of-the-ordinary experiences. Grey terrazzo tiles cover walls and floor and are reflected within the large mirror. The speckled effect feels infinite, hypnotic and somewhat akin to television static. Pulling the eye back into the space are the warm and reflective pieces of copper tapware from Gessi’s Cono range by Abey, a brand that has offered the elegant yet unique fixtures to complement the unique concept and design of this home. Made and designed in Italy, these pieces, with their organic shapes and rich colour, bring an unexpected sense of delight to the bathroom. Their form, and the angles at which they lean dutifully over basin and bath, suggest an aliveness and distinct personality.
Restraint and control are the unsung heroes of this home. Studio Lancini has used them wisely to balance old and new, masculine and feminine, playing them off against carefully selected statement pieces while leaving ample space for daily life – and for imaginations to run wild.