Honiton House by MCK
A startling mix of Middle Eastern colours against perfect white gives this home its sense of ease and tranquil liveability
The MCK renovation of a family residence in Bellevue Hill has transformed an Arts and Craft Movement house into a pristine white canvas upon which bold textures can speak.
A short client brief drove MCK’s approach; the owners of the six-bedroom residence complained the house was ‘too big’. MCK saw an urgent need to re-form and reunite the interior spaces, while making more of the extensive garden area, pool, and upper decks.
A new orientation of key living spaces was a critical first step to maximising the sunlight and natural ventilation. Connecting formerly closed-off rooms was key to unlocking the home’s spaces and creating highly usable and friendly living areas.
External and internal blinds, as well as sunshade awnings, were used to control exposure to the sunlight, while inside the house an open mezzanine transformed the back hall into a functional focal point.
The use of the large void to connect the kitchen, formal dining and living areas gives harmony to once disparate rooms and a sense of purpose and poise to the home. Light and the fine control of it further enhance the mezzanine and ensure these spaces are inviting and useable at all times of the day.
The interior was kept neutral with punches of colour used to add personality and character.
The sandstone wall that ‘snakes’ its way through the building from inside to out is a clever tactical and visual device, used to connect a variety of spaces. All over the house the evocative contrast of intense textural materials is a striking design feature. Rough sandstone plays off against smooth concrete, timber screens contrast against lush plants, jewel coloured tiles arranged in an Islamic fan pattern break up
blocks of austere Calacutta marble.
The light colour palette was selected to complement the client’s extensive art and object collection. White paint was used on the walls and light or medium dark colours chosen for the flooring. In this way, a selection of contemporary finishes accent fittings, and fixtures along with bolts of hot orange, turquoise and cerise jump are allowed to leap out.
In the dining room a custom-built screen between mirrors the exact pattern on the original stamped tin ceiling and acts as a decorative division between dining and living rooms.