Floor-to-ceiling steel-framed windows and a monochrome palette bring this historic home up to date

The property dates back to 1899, but the interiors look like they're straight out of a modern architecture magazine

modern house
(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

The property

A historic Melbourne home originally built in 1899 as one of three identical grand residences has been renovated and transformed for the 21st century.

Designed by Studio Tate, the new and refreshed interiors feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a monochrome palette and modern furniture, lighting and accessories, while still retaining original Victorian mouldings, picture rails and parquet floors.

The result is an elegant example of cohesive design, respectfully balancing heritage features with contemporary vision.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Entrance hall

The stately heritage façade, grandiose entry hall archway and geometric motif ceilings inspired a mirrored symmetry that echoes throughout.

Contemporary design elements juxtapose the traditional stained-glass framed doorway.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Kitchen

Studio Tate reimagined the existing home’s floor-plan and created a more open-plan interior that works better for modern family life. 

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

The kitchen flows into the new living and dining space (formerly an out-building used for horse saddles and equestrian equipment), through a new glass walkway.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

The new kitchen features Signorino stone, a modern kitchen island with breakfast bar, a minimalist island pendant light, and striking steel framed doors.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Handleless white kitchen cabinetry add to the sleek, modern look.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Dining area

Through the kitchen is a lounge with dining area.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

The open-plan room gives an informal, relaxed feel, as this room becomes a multi-functional space; the family can be playing games by the fire while the teenagers do their homework at the dining table – all within view of whoever is cooking in the kitchen.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Living area

In the living area a cowhide Le Corbusier lounge chair provides a playful graphic interruption to the tranquil space, grounded by warm timber and greenery.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Opposite it, the curvaceous and textural ‘Tired Man’ armchair complements the paintings behind it. 

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

The built-in bench along the wall offers a pop of colour, also nodding to the green views of the reconfigured arbour by Eckersley Garden Architecture.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Cloakroom

The cloakroom emphasises the dramatic ceiling height, while black taps and modern wall lights help give the space a very modern look.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Master bedroom

While the interiors feature a predominantly monochrome palette, unexpected furnishings and joyful pops of colour keep the mood light.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

The monochrome palette acts as a crisp canvas to hero contemporary artwork and freestanding objet d’art, also inspiring vibrant soft furnishing.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Ornate ceilings are respectfully grounded with textural velvet drapes that pair back to the stained glass windows; plum in the master suite, and dark navy, tan and soft lavender in the teenager’s rooms.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Teen bedroom

This teenager's bedroom features a more dramatic look, with velvet, navy blue curtains framing the desk area.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

En-suite bathroom

A new extension allowed for the addition of this ensuite bathroom with dual access from each of the teenagers' bedrooms.

modern house

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns)

Photography: Sharyn Cairns

Interior Design: Studio Tate