Considered Refinement – Harbourview House by Studio aem and Studio Gestalt
Mosman, NSW, Australia

Photography Anson Smart
Interior Design Studio aem
Words Bronwyn Marshall
Interior Design Studio Gestalt

Drawing from the existing home and its European-influenced stylings, Harbourview House exemplifies a contemporary and refined approach. Studio aem and Studio Gestalt combine to reimagine the generous family home, further elevating the interior experience and its connection to Sydney Harbour beyond.

Spread over five generous levels, Harbourview House is a refined embrace of its location overlooking Sydney Harbour. Within the original architecture of Susan Rothwell, the amended interior was re-sculpted to add to the exterior approach anchored to the site and further bring principles of elevated longevity into the interiors. Evolving through the process of engagement, the scope of works expanded from furniture and styling to include the interiors to ensure the home in its entirety felt cohesive and considered as a whole. Rare in its combined size, outlook and location, connecting the resulting home as a representation of that envied position was key. Studio aem and Studio Gestalt bring quality materials and craft together to ensure the continued relevance of the home.

Through a symmetrical approach, a natural balance is created, where each space feels formally brought together with select and iconic furniture, lighting and artwork curated in place.

Looking further afield, Europe and the effortless means by which the contemporary and the historic are brought together was influential to the direction and principles driving the resolve. Embedding handmade and artisanal features and carefully attuned details throughout while also highlighting those already in place ensures the home feels as though it has existed for many years. Through a symmetrical approach, a natural balance is created, where each space feels formally brought together with select and iconic furniture, lighting and artwork curated in place. Each connecting zone speaks to the personalities of its owners and draws from a celebration of quality design found in Italy.

In proposing a new identity for the home, French herringbone patterned oak flooring is installed throughout, referencing the Haussmann style while also adding an element of animation underfoot. Custom joinery also conceals storage and brings a textured warmth. While the existing French windows and stone fireplaces remain in place and untouched, the new inserted elements aim to sit in a complementary fashion aside them, adding to the home. Curved silhouettes are added to break up the formality of the regular and formal planning, hinting at the movement and circulation within and amongst the rooms internally. The rich layering of textural and tactile leathers, velvets and plush rugs then reinforces a connection to quality and lay the foundations for the chapters to come.

Each connecting zone speaks to the personalities of its owners and draws from a celebration of quality design found in Italy.

Studio aem and Studio Gestalt’s Harbourview House optimises its privileged location and scale by drinking in the surrounding views and matching it with an equally considered interior approach.

Published 11 October, 2021
Photography  Anson Smart
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