Hargrave House by CM Studio

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    A light-filled, three-storey home of minimalist elegance with a penchant for flawless craftsmanship reflects on its Victorian past.

    A considered and crafted approach takes the lead in this reworked 18th century terrace in Sydney’s Paddington neighbourhood. Unified by CM Studio’s overarching design philosophy that “beauty can be found in simplicity” Hargrave House is both pared-back and elegant, but best of all it’s an accolade to the finer details that lie inside.

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    From the marble-on-marble bathrooms, ornate fireplaces, wall panelling and brass details throughout, there is no element of Hargrave House that hasn’t been thoughtfully designed and impeccably finished. A showcase of natural materials and a lesson in layering using tone and texture, this terrace is a polished example of how to create a contemporary home in a heritage setting.

    While the exterior was designed to fuse with its heritage surrounds, the interior introduces a juxtaposition of timelines. Striking a balance between celebrating the old and embracing the new, CM Studio applied an inverted layering technique to the home’s interior. The private quarters on the uppermost level of the home reflects the buildings’ former grandiose heritage, with the ground level engaging a more contemporary, open-plan kitchen, dining and living zone. The middle level creates a bridge between these two and binding it all together is a central spiral staircase featuring a custom solid oak handrail and accents of burnished brass that connects each level.

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    The home’s monochrome palette is softened by accents of warm leather and sleek marble, while steel-framed doors make a striking doorway to the courtyard outside.

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    Our favourite showstopping spaces include the custom banquette dining area designed by Jonathan West; a harmonious mix of creamy leather and timber that is beautifully complemented by Thonet chairs and an Apparatus Twig 5 pendant overhead. The master bathroom in all its marble splendour adds an unexpected element of opulence, and the cleverly hidden bar downstairs provides a modern touch.

    An earthy, yet sophisticated palette featuring tones such as clay, olive and a deep oceanic blue highlights the contemporary furnishings and while durable materials including timber, leather, brass, linen and velvet create a connecting harmony throughout.

    Rising from its 1800’s Victorian bones to emerge fully-formed for modern living, this home has been given an underlying simplicity and a generosity of space by the talented local studio.

    This piece originally appeared in est magazine issue 31.

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