A Heritage Transformation Inspired by the Australian Landscape

  • Grey & White Kitchen with Island Marble Benchtop and view of staircase

    Interior designer Edwina Glenn transforms a classic Victorian into a present-day urban retreat in this elegant, highly personalised contemporary city dwelling.

    Edwina Glenn’s mission of designing sophisticated and functional homes is realised within this Albert Park restoration. Working collaboratively with homeowner Jill Reichstein OAM, Edwina draws on their shared fondness of Australian landscapes for inspiration while optimising space and access to natural light. We spoke with Edwina on introducing high-end finishes, premium appliances and design classics to this Victorian home – that all reveal a shared philosophy between designer and client of ‘buy once, buy well’. 

    Produced in partnership with Miele

    Black and White Staircase with arched hallway entrance

    Simone Bodmer vessel, Ikebana trough and Anna Charlesworth wall light.

    Kitchen grey cabinets camel coloured chair floor to ceiling sheer curtains

    As with the modest footprint of a traditional Victorian in Melbourne’s Albert Park, space was limited for Edwina Glenn. A clever reorientation allowed the designer to maximise both space and illumination. As such, endless views unfold from the front entrance to the rear garden; and more impressively from the kitchen to the tree-lined streetscape. A strategic internal courtyard floods the kitchen, dining room and powder room with natural light.

    The owner’s appreciation for the Australian coastal landscape and her indigenous art collection inspired the home’s colour palette. Eucalyptus green wall tiles feature in the powder room, natural sand coloured engineered floorboards feature underfoot, while seagrass matting flows up an ornate staircase. Rich ochre and burgundy soft furnishings tap into the quintessential metamorphic rock colours along the Australian coastlines. 

    In an interview with est living, Edwina reveals her client’s shared love of marble was a key driver for the tonality of the home. In the kitchen, honed Arabescato marble benchtops feature throughout, complemented by an understated but evocative colour palette. Custom grey timber joinery takes a backseat allowing the marble to become the focal point, creating a look and feel that is emotive and moody but never fussy. A glass cabinet in deep grey-blue houses the owner’s treasures and ceramics from European travels, as well as her crockery and glassware collection.

    Grey Kitchen with Miele Appliances and Marble Benchtop

    The kitchen features Arabascato honed marble benchtops, the Miele H 2267-1B Active oven and Miele KM 362-1 gas cooktop. Artwork by Suzanne Valadon.

    Living room with grey sofa mustard and burnt orange cushions glass coffee table ceramic bowl checkered rug

    The Vitra Isamu Noguchi coffee table rests on a Reuber Henning rug. The Poliform Bristol sofa by Jean-Marie Massaud with cushions by Etro.

    “My client is a philanthropist who strives for environmental sustainability. Therefore, selecting finishes and home appliances that are both eco-friendly and built to last is imperative. As the proverb suggests, ‘buy well, buy once’.”



    – Edwina Glenn

    black and white staircase with seagrass matting featuring white Victorian terrace archway
    Hallway with grey and gold chair black steel doors and floor to ceiling curtains - engineered floorboards

    Floor to ceiling sheer curtains provides privacy between the master and guest rooms while maximising light.

    white pendant side table black bookcase plantation shutters victorian

    The USM modular bookshelf houses the homeowner’s treasures, alongside the Oeuffice side table.

    Edwina remodelled the kitchen flow for efficiency, making way for an integrated, open-plan layout that provides a larger and more luxurious feel. In addition, Edwina specified premium appliances, including the Miele H 2267-1B Active oven and Miele KM 362-1 gas cooktop for their reliability, premium quality and sustainability. “My client is a philanthropist who strives for environmental sustainability,” Edwina says. “Therefore, selecting finishes and home appliances that are both eco-friendly and built to last is imperative. As the proverb suggests, ‘buy well, buy once’.” 

    As one of Edwina’s preferred brands, sustainability is an integral part of the Miele ethos. A 120-year legacy of designing appliances to endure daily use sees Miele knowing no bounds when it comes to pushing innovation. The new Gen 7000 series, for instance, is the brand’s most intuitive collection yet. Energy-efficient ‘eco fan heating’ uses 30 per cent less energy, as well as an automatic oven door opening for rapid cooling, push their fundamental drive for sustainable excellence to new heights.

    White smoked oak floorboards lead to a concealed European-style laundry, housing the Miele TwinDos WWD660 washing machine. True to Miele’s mission of creating appliances built to last, the owner’s previous larger Miele washing machine was handed down like an heirloom to a family member. 

    Upstairs, Edwina creates a serene mezzanine master bedroom accented with a reclaimed Carrara marble fireplace mantle. This immediately injects charm and character into the contemporary build. Surprisingly, the ensuite also houses the robe for the master to enhance volume and space further. Hand-applied plaster on the robe doors complements the honed Carrara floor marble tiles, accented with soft grey, vertical wall tiles. 

    Edwina Glenn’s redesign brings this character-filled, traditional Victorian into the present with an assured timelessness and durability. The result is an inviting treasure-filled haven that’s contemporary in style, with a subtle nod to the Australian coastal landscape.

    Powder room with green tiles and brass wall mirror

    The downstairs powder room features the Gubi Gio Ponti brass mirror and Anna Charlesworth wall light.

    bathroom with timber chair grey wall tiles marble floor tiles

    The combined master ensuite and robe with De Fazio floor tiles and Signorino benchtop. The space also features the House Chair by Liam Mugavin.

    Bedroom with queen bed, artwork, vessels, cararra marble reclaimed fireplace

    The master bedroom features a reclaimed Cararra marble fireplace mantel.

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