Killara House by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

  • Killara House by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

    Sydney-based designers Hugh-Jones Mackintosh transform the Killara House through classic details and timeless pieces.

    Taking on a neo-Georgian house on Sydney’s North Shore, Hugh-Jones Mackintosh were faced with heritage constraints and a rabbit warren of rooms. Through an open brief, they reconfigured the home into a series of elegant and airy spaces that readily embrace their landscaped surroundings.

    Light and airy were the keywords in the redesign of Killara House. The designers raised the ceilings — including a vaulted roof over the dining area — and turned the garage into a new, generous family kitchen that opens out to the garden, tennis court and pool.

    “To open up the home, give it more gravitas and create a better indoor-outdoor connection, we completely stripped the interiors; increasing and enlarging the openings to create a better flow between the rooms and let in more light,” Hugh-Jones Mackintosh principal architect Katrina Mackintosh says.

    “Once dark and dysfunctional, a neo-Georgian house has become both practical and stylish, while remaining faithful to its origins.”


    — Katrina Mackintosh, principal architect at Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

    Killara House by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

    Artwork ‘Woman in a Black Camisole’ by Robert Malherbe, the Bell Table by Sebastian Herkner for Classicon, cushions from Tigger Hall, Maxalto Lucretzia Sofa and a Paul Smith Vintage Tri colour Floor Lamp.

    Killara House by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

    Influences extending from Scandinavian to Japanese to Italian create a synergy of styles. The room features the B&B Italia’s Up Series 2000 pop-art chair, and texture is celebrated in velvet upholstery fabrics and knobbly ethnic Berri Ourain rugs. Other notable pieces include the Mater Bowl Tables, Georgie Marks artwork above the fireplace and a Camie Lyons sculpture atop the Snedkergaarden console.

    Paying homage to the heritage aspects, Hugh-Jones Mackintosh introduced panelling and cornices throughout the home in a contemporary material and colour palette, counterbalancing the traditional features with unexpected design, like grass weave wallpapers and modernist light fittings.

    Hugh-Jones Mackintosh added three fireplaces to join the existing one, offering a heritage focal point to each of the living spaces. At the same time, the lack of close neighbours meant the designers were able to leave the Killara House Georgian-style windows unadorned and exposed to dramatic effect.

    Throughout the neo-Georgian home, Hugh-Jones Mackintosh used a white canvas backdrop for an autumnal palette of petrel blues, mustards and pewters. An extensive Australian art collection — sourced from Otomys, Olsen Gallery and Arthouse Gallery — and carefully curated lighting, design pieces, and accessories adds fun pops of colour and objectivity that narrates a classic aesthetic of modern and traditional. “Combinations of furniture and accessories from different periods, the vintage with the contemporary, the classic with the less formal, ensures the results are never predictable,” Katrina says.

    The Killara House reveals a balanced approach towards a heritage renovation that brings together architectural detailing, colour, texture and an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories. As Katrina concludes, “this home is designed for aesthetic and practical longevity — its timeless feel will remain fresh for years to come.”

    Killara House by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

    The  &Tradition Formakami lamp by Jaime Hayon in the bedroom.

    Killara House by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

    The Apparatus Dyad Sconce in the master ensuite.

    Killara House by Hugh-Jones Mackintosh

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