Taking influence from the varying colours and tonality of the landscape it sits amongst, Yarra House is an expression of place. Chelsea Hing has carefully and selectively brought inward key features from the home’s context to conjure a unique identity, connected to the site and its abundant natural elements.
The house is located in Yarra Valley, perched overlooking tumbling vineyards and the mountains beyond. As the reworking of an existing home for a young family, the collective of spaces needed to connect functionally to the everyday, as well as provide the ideal foundations for a contemporary family home. A process spanning many years saw a changing brief result in one that sat comfortably with the owners and how they wanted to live within the home, which inevitably comes from living in the space prior to renovation. Taking cues from the surrounding landscape and collective colourings from natural elements, a palette of soft and muted natural tones is brought inward. The result sees a home that gently sits within its natural setting organically, while also being a crisp and contemporary iteration of its former self. Chelsea Hing combines a refined and textural approach in creating a home fit for its context and its active young family.
Built by Overend Constructions and with styling by Beck Simon, Yarra House opens itself up to its generous siting. Existing windows and openings were replaced with picture windows and curated thresholds to connect the interior lived space with the surrounding landscape and its many views. Needing to be both robust and low maintenance for the three young boys who live here, a combined approach of resilience and softness sees a balance of textures and forms come together internally. Enclosing an internal courtyard allowed for the doubling of the existing living space and flipping the master bedroom and robe made better use of outward views and, while creating a private and separate entry. A back and forth dialogue saw the brief and scope evolve over time, eventually settling on the resolved direction that suited liveability, comfort and identity.
As a response to the initial site visit and experiencing the site in person, the select colourings and finishes are a reflection of the surrounding natural elements and their impact upon first view. Although limited by low ceiling heights and a restriction on expanding the existing floor space, Yarra House is the reworking within these elements. A muted and neutral palette is brought together through polished plaster walls and ceilings to create texture through subtleties. Light coloured timber adds warmth, and the references to eucalypt colourings in the blues, greens and blush colours complement the terracotta and custom tiles used in the kitchen space.
Yarra House embodies a uniquely Australian contemporary home. Chelsea Hing takes refreshing references from the surrounding natural elements and reinterprets them in a way set to endure.