Best of est 2020 | Inside the Homes of Architects and Designers

  • We’re looking back inside the most popular homes where architects and designers live, showcased on est in 2020.

    As part of our Best of est 2020 series, we’re recognising the standout homes of architects and designers we’ve been fortunate to step inside on est. Each home follows a completely different style but shares a considered and bespoke energy, with a heavy rotation of unique pieces crafted by the designers themselves. All renditions of simple and elegant design, join us as we look back on five of our most-loved projects that architects and designers call home.

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    Where Architects Live | James Garvan

    With an enviable spot overlooking Clovelly Beach, the views of the South Pacific Ocean are almost enough for architect James Garvan’s home to hit our best of est round up.

    Looking past the vistas to the innovative use of space in the 62sqm apartment reveals the ingenuity of design. A wall of secret pivoting panels transforms the former 1960’s one-bedroom apartment into an open plan two-bedroom home — perfect for James and his family.

    The kitchen flows from one end of the Clovelly home, into a dining space for six, and a cosy living space — divided by an open shelf. The neutral palette of plywood joinery and soft, textural whites and greys neither competes nor distracts from the glistening ocean beyond.

    Bespoke brass handles reveal attention to detail that can also be seen in the steel beams replacing the load-bearing walls. But it’s the joinery and adaptability of the space that makes this a firm favourite.

    Where Architects Live | David Neil

    Melbourne-based architect David Neil wasn’t looking for a new home when a two-storey 1970s house designed by Dale Fisher came on the market. The Balwyn property was sat right behind a house they always had walked past and admired, so when David’s wife urged him to see it, they both immediately, and unexpectedly, fell in love.

    Even though the tumbled brown brick house needed a little modernising and restoring, the couple saw the potential for a family home that they could create a new identity within. Staying sympathetic to Fisher’s ethos, the architect updated the bathrooms and added new joinery in the living room and kitchen.

    A new swimming pool, gazebo, and extensive landscaping ensures the interiors flow effortlessly into the outdoor area — all while honouring the minimalist sensibility of the original Dale Fisher design.

    Where Architects Live | Madeleine Blanchfield

    Building on a narrow, steep block in Bronte, architect Madeleine Blanchfield and husband Guy saw a challenge to capture light and garden views.

    The result is a homage to simple, clean lines that are enhanced by foliage at every window. Interior and exterior rooms blend; the garden-immersed home fittingly called ‘Tree House’.

    A snaking, circular staircase seizes light from the top of the Bronte home, right down to the private lower levels. By placing the living, dining and kitchen on the first floor, Madeleine has ensured her stacked house is always bright and voluminous.

    The ‘Tree House’ is a perfect example of the architect’s elegant, calm design – where even her own custom designs can take centre stage.

    Where Architects Live | Madeleine Blanchfield
    Where Architects Live | Madeleine Blanchfield
    Where Architects Live | Madeleine Blanchfield

    At Home with Designer Mandy Graham

    Inside her family home in Palos Verdes, California, Mandy Graham cherishes a balance of light and form through classic and minimalist design. Drawing on buildings of ancient Greece, curved archways appear, framing the rooms in her Californian home.

    The resistance of a specific style or time results in an aesthetic that is both timeless and sophisticated. Bespoke and vintage furniture alongside built-in cabinetry define each space, while features like the limestone and natural walnut floors and custom Art Deco lighting glint at the importance of warmth and texture in Mandy’s home.

    With a backdrop of eucalyptus trees and lavender, Mandy Graham’s 1920s Californian home is a testament to elegant design that isn’t overworked. 

    At Home with Mandy Graham
    At Home with Mandy Graham
    At Home with Mandy Graham
    At Home with Nickolas Gurtler
    At Home with Nickolas Gurtler

    At Home with Nickolas Gurtler

    Nickolas Gurtler‘s apartment in Melbourne’s Richmond is a visual feast of opulent glamour, combining crystal forms, velvet, marble, and an extensive art collection.

    Nickolas was inspired by the late 70s and 80s, with decadent pieces like the custom Prometheus IV table lamp by Christopher Boots made especially for Nickolas’ 30th birthday and the burnt orange velvet Agent 86 sofa by Grazia & Co. of which the entire living room was designed around.

    While we are greeted with a visual jewel box of textural and vibrant materiality, timber built-in joinery quietly works in the background, allowing the inner-city apartment to work effectively for the designer.

    At Home with Nickolas Gurtler

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