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Exclusive Film | Bungalow N by CJH Studio and MGAO

  • Melbourne-based interior design studio CJH and architects MGAO have transformed the interiors of this Caulfield North Californian bungalow into a rich amalgamation of materials and design details. In this exclusive film, CJH director Cassie James-Herrick offers a behind-the-scenes perspective on the design process, discussing their approach to meeting the clients’ brief for a contemporary family home built for entertaining.

    For Bungalow N, CJH Studio sought to create a home that laid the foundations for family life and encapsulated the clients’ personalities, predominantly through the selection of materials. The existing front area of the house, which comprises the main living space, faces south and, as such, is characterised by a palette of dark greens and blues to evoke a “moody” atmosphere. Here, the past and present are united through the pairing of heritage elements like the original stained-glass windows and contemporary elements like the light-wood floors and coloured walls. 

    In contrast, the new rear extension’s north-facing orientation informed a lighter palette of creams, taupes and metallic accents. Linking the two spaces together is a marble portal, which Cassie considers one of the project’s most defining features. “It’s this element of very special connection,” she says. The use of stone is a recurring theme throughout the project, with the client even being open to mixing and matching.

    Menu Bottle Grinder Metal

    The new rear extension faces north toward the garden, basking in natural light. The material palette here is deliberately lighter than the existing front part of the house, featuring light-wood floors, cream walls, a kitchen island in Signorino Arabescato Orobico Grigio marble, stainless-steel details and taupe-toned furniture. Pictured on the benchtop are the Menu Metal bottle grinders.

    The breakfast nook features accents of bubblegum pink.

    Another defining feature is the double-height void along one side of the rear extension, crowning the stairwell and pouring natural light into the space. The design feature is also indicative of the language of curves that has been weaved into the home’s architecture, interiors and landscaping. Coming from a building background, the client was determined to push the boundaries of form and materiality and create truly unique elements.

    The sunken bar marks another key moment, where CJH Studio have designed custom built-in furniture and joinery in a diverse palette of materials, responding to the clients’ love of entertaining and desire for tactile, visually-engaging experiences. Consistently emerging across the interiors, these bespoke moments underscore CJH Studio’s expertise in crafting homes intuitive to those who live there and designed to last. “We really become invested in our projects on a personal level, not just on a professional level, so seeing them completed really is the cherry on top of a long labour of love,” Cassie says.

    A marble portal connects the existing front part of the house to the new rear extension.

    GUBI Pacha Lounge Chair

    Gufram “Another White” Cactus

    The existing front area of the house is characterised by a palette of dark greens and blues to evoke a “moody” atmosphere. Pictured here is the GUBI Pacha lounge chair and Gufram “Another White” Cactus.

    Knoll Planter Stool

    Eames Walnut Stool

    The use of stone is a recurring theme throughout the project, with the client even being open to mixing and matching.

    The sunken bar marks a key moment in the project, featuring custom built-in furniture and joinery in a diverse palette of materials.

    Signorino Calacatta Viola

    The palette features Signorino Calacatta Viola marble.

    A double-height void above the stairwell pours natural light into the new extension.

    Signorino Silver Travertine

    The bathroom features custom sinks in Signorino Silver Travertine.

    A language of curves is integrated into the home’s architecture, interiors and landscaping.

    Bungalow N is housed within a Californian bungalow in Melbourne’s inner-suburb of Caulfield North.

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