Paying due homage to the home’s Victorian lineage, Walpole Street is the fusing of the old and the new through carefully derived gestures and an overarching sense of simplicity. Kate Walker Design combines refined detailing and nods to the traditional to bring this family home into a contemporary relevance.
Located in Melbourne’s inner east, Walpole Street sits neatly in the lushleafy enclave of Kew. Comprised of traditional Hawthorn brick (the name given to the stylised colouring of the time), the home went through a series of renovations and amendments. Kate Walker Design was engaged part way through the process to bring the many comprising parts together with some much-needed clarity and the resulting home is a reflection of that matched rigor. Taking cues from the retained and restored heritage details within the home, the new works see the reinvigoration of the interiors to anchor the home and its heritage importance to a contemporary and relevant presence.
Built by About Time Projects, Walpole Street sees a deliberate stripping of elaborate ornateness in the insertionsto allow a celebration of the existing. In leaving the previously conceived elements visually open, the new sits comfortably alongside the old, both serving to highlight the storied past of the home. Through the addition of texture and subtleties in finish, there is a clear connection between the differing eras. The restoration works sees the adding of wainscoting to inject the connection of craft of its origins and also sees the repair and reinstatement of original light fittings that match the 100-year-old home in age. Acting as the key binding element between the old and the new is the custom Italian oak herringbone timber flooring that runs throughout, extending from the front door to the rear, seamlessly fusing the spaces together.
Avoiding major reconfigurations, the home’s the original formal planning remains, which in itself presented additional challenges. However, the generosity of the Victoria era and its rooms also gifted a non-traditional approach to scale of the home’s resulting functions. The family bathroom then became a wet room as the shower space that it also shares with the bath. The kitchen and its custom joinery incorporate traditional panel detailing together with large slabs of natural stone and refined metal work and fittings. The combination of a monochromatic palette to this traditional and highly detailed home allows these details to be appreciated through the balance that is naturally created.
Comprised of traditional Hawthorn brick (the name given to the stylised colouring of the time), the home went through a series of renovations and amendments.
Walpole Street is a study of an appreciation of the past and of connecting to a contemporary relevance. Kate Walker Design brings an appreciation of heritage with an understanding of the present to fuse the two together with purpose. The resulting home speaks to a shared highly crafted resolve, where quality and detail are heralded.