Home Tour | Cliff House by Finnis Architecture & Interiors

  • Conceived as ‘not your average beach house’, Cliff House by Finnis Architecture & Interiors challenges the usual coastal aesthetic — favouring warmth and weight to evoke a sense of permanence.

    Located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Cliff House by Finnis Architecture & Interiors reflects the studio’s commitment to design that transcends aesthetics. Responding to its natural surroundings, the approach from the outset was to design a home that would command its cliffside location, utilising natural stone to provide a sense of weight, warmth and permanence.

    Dita Stool


    The kitchen features the Grazia & Co Dita stool, Gaggenau appliances and Blum storage solutions.

    Harvey Armchair and Ottoman

    Vitrocsa Sliding

    The living space features the Harvey armchair. Vitrocsa windows were specified for the project.

    There is an undeniable feeling of grandeur and anticipation upon arrival. The intentional interplay between architecture and experience woven into the spatial planning results in a series of spaces leading off a clear axial vista that extends from the rear of the property boundary to the cliff edge. “Site is a key element of making a space truly special,” Finnis Architecture & Interiors associate of interior design Michael Welgus says. “Cliff House is directed towards the activity of the pier […] I think this direct relationship between interior and aspect helps us feel connected to place,” he adds.

    Although important for the architecture to be monolithic, it was crucial that the interiors would soften the overall composition in a restrained and sympathetic manner. The interiors comprise a palette of natural stone, timber veneer and polished plaster. Andora limestone is used on the ground floor to dissolve the connection between internal and external spaces. At the same time, the expanse of veneer-lined walls assists in blurring the relationship between joinery and architecture, resulting in a space that feels overwhelmingly serene. “A curated set of materials have been selected to ensure the project stands the test of time,” Michael says.

    Cassina Dudet Armchair

    Apparatus Arrow Pendant

    The dining space features the Cassina Dudet armchair, Apparatus Arrow pendant and a Kirstin Perry bowl.

    The home features a stone-clad central staircase.

    Highly sculptural and created via a robust collaborative process between the designer, builder and stone masons, this home’s staircase is a key feature. “It was important for us to connect each of the home’s levels vertically and allow for natural light to permeate the middle of the home,” Michael says. “The handrail is meticulously carved from solid blocks of stone, providing a tactile and sensory exchange between body and space,” he adds.

    Passive design is at the forefront of the Finnis Architecture & Interiors design process, so the home has been designed with solar orientation in mind. It features a large balcony that shields the glazing line from the summer sun and is designed to allow for cross ventilation with clear axial circulation routes between spaces. The roof is also fitted with solar panelling to offset the home’s energy consumption, and the concrete and stone-clad exterior ensures a consistent thermal mass that helps keep the home regulated during the winter.

    With a design philosophy that believes great architecture and design can heighten our daily rituals – work, rest and play – Finnis Architecture & Interiors have created an exemplar in Cliff House. “The holiday home will age and patina gracefully as it further nestles itself within the surrounding context,” Michael attests.

    Spy 52 Trimless

    Delta downlights have been specified in the hallway.

    Apparatus Tassel 1 Sconce

    The bedroom features the Apparatus Tassel 1 sconce.

    The home features an Andora limestone exterior.

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