Best of est 2023 | Australian Homes

    • We’re commencing our annual Best of est series for 2023 with a round-up of this year’s most-read Australian home features. From a cliff-side home on the coast of Sydney to a restored Edwardian home in Melbourne’s southeast, this diverse lineup speaks to the world-class residential design talent on our shores – talent that continues to push beyond the expected each year.

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      Fisherman’s House by Studio Prineas

      As spectacular as they are, Sydney’s rugged sandstone cliffs present a unique challenge to those looking to live by the water. While most opt for cliff-top, cliff-side offers the chance to fully immerse oneself in a site’s beauty. One family looking for a permanent post on the harbour decided to embrace the latter, landing on a rather unusual site where an old fisherman’s cottage lay. Studio Prineas took on the challenge for the existing clients, seeing it as an opportunity to celebrate something old by connecting it with something new.

      “The homeowners knew that achieving their forever home on this unusual but incredible site would take some inspired thinking,” Studio Prineas principal architect Eva-Marie Prineas says. And so, the idea to construct an off-form concrete tower, which would integrate with the existing weatherboard cottage and hug the side of the cliff, came about.

      Words by Holly Beadle

      Clifton Hill Courtyard House by Eliza Blair Architecture and Studio MKN

      Located in Melbourne’s north, Clifton Hill Courtyard House sees Eliza Blair Architecture, together with interior design practice Studio MKN, yield natural light and greenery to completely transform an existing family home. The new spatial layout accommodates the family’s desire for flexibility and growth, featuring a new double-storey garden studio, central amenities, courtyard and master suite.

      Architect Eliza Blair worked closely with Studio MKN to transform the interior and rear of a double-fronted weatherboard cottage into a dynamic family home to accommodate the needs of a growing family. The brief called for a range of spaces for different ages and household needs; purposefully adaptable for a growing teenager to retreat, along with open spaces young twin boys can play and explore in and a private space for overseas visitors. The project’s key challenges included a narrow site with a south street frontage and the family’s desire to explore future-proofing within the home’s spatial configurations.

      Words by Alexia Baikie

      Black Vespa Home by Stafford Architecture

      Located in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill, Black Vespa Home, designed by Stafford Architecture, is a modern sanctuary rooted in functionality. The home is designed to ’embody the spirit’ of the classic black Vespa while highlighting the synchronicity between the natural, warm palette and the surrounding treescape.

      Natural materials and finishes, such as the timber boards that line the floor and ceiling, were integral to meeting the brief while ensuring the home felt well-connected to its surroundings. A series of large glazed openings on each level drench the home in natural light and emphasise the focus on ventilation and fluidity between indoors and outdoors. This means that wherever you are in the home, you’re taking in a natural vista. As a result, Black Vespa evokes an airy calmness that parallels the soft, warm tones throughout the home.

      Words by Livia Toscano

      Monsieur G by Decus

      When Sydney-based design studio Decus were approached to restore an outdated home in Bellevue Hill, they were not intimidated by the scale of the project and knew it would require a level of risk-taking. “Major replanning was involved in creating an efficient, logical layout over the home’s two levels, focusing on drawing in natural light and views,” Decus founder and managing director Alexandra Donohoe Church reveals.

      Decus approached each space as an opportunity to capture the clients’ personalities. Social, fashion-forward and well-travelled, a sophisticated palette of oak floors and pale walls seemed the most appropriate, which the studio have coupled with soothing greys, blues and greens – a nod to both the site’s natural surroundings and the client’s northern European roots. “We wanted to create a contemporary classicism with a bit of attitude,” Alexandra says.

      Words by Holly Beadle

      RE Residence by Inglis Architects

      This Edwardian home in Melbourne’s southeast has been restored with openness and indoor-outdoor connectivity front of mind. Inglis Architects have sought to celebrate the building’s heritage features while thoughtfully introducing contemporary features within a rear extension. The result gracefully unites the two eras to create an inviting, light-filled family home.

      A sense of connection, both socially and with the outdoors, was central to the brief for RE Residence. Supporting these desires, the north-facing rear extension, which contains the kitchen, dining and living areas, is marked by full-height steel-framed windows, each designed to pivot 90 degrees. “These act as a series of doors that completely open up the house and connect you to the garden while also providing a beautiful sequence between indoor and outdoor living,” Inglis Architects founding director Charlie Inglis says. Viewed from the terrace, the robust rear facade is the result of considered, pared-back material selections, including off-form concrete and hand-made Spanish bricks.

      Words by Holly Beadle

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