There’s no doubting Cassie James-Herrick is one talented lady. After her time as part of one of our favourite Melbourne studios, Beatrix Rowe Interior Design, Cassie not only had two lovely little ones but found the time to develop a substantial side project with her Doll House for Edie proving children’s toys can still be tasteful.
More recently however Cassie founded her own design practice, CJH Studio. The first project we’ve seen from the studio is this family home in Melbourne, where Cassie has modernised the internal layout of a 100-year old home for a young, growing family. Brought to life with the combination of effortless style and thoughtful details Cassie does so well, we feel it’s safe to say the future looks bright for CJH Studio.
Working with a century-old home, CJH Studio restructured the internal layout without growing the footprint of the original home. Overall the floor plan has largely remained, but has been tweaked to gain maximum impact. The once external deck area was internalised to what is now a dining area, allowing the kitchen to be opened up. While the kitchen space is halved it has doubled in storage capacity (a must for the clients) and become better integrated with the larger communal spaces.
In fact, hiding storage in every corner or showcasing it through beautiful custom joinery is something Cassie has expertly executed throughout the home. Describing custom joinery as “an absolute favourite of mine in any interior”, CJH Studio has woven custom joinery throughout the home as both storage solution and a recurring aesthetic feature. The principal bedroom is lined with joinery to appear to continue into a tight ensuite space, while the single-sided laundry became a galley layout with a second full wall of joinery added. In the living area, the joinery is particularly embedded, offering large pull-out toy boxes and open shelves for children’s books, all accessible to little hands with the TV behind closed doors. While these heavier joinery features could have overwhelmed the design, instead they have been thoughtfully offset with lighter and lower elements to add balance and dynamic within the space.
Given this is a home for a young family, the aesthetic direction was for a beautiful space that was not precious or pretentious. To achieve this, CJH Studio has kept finishes minimal and consistent. The palette of natural stone, light American oak and terrazzo floor tiles feature throughout the home, while the bedrooms and study have been warmed with varying tones of the same grey for walls. Hints of brass and black in different elements across each space add a bold touch, without veering into trend-driven territory. Overall, this is a relaxed, warm and inviting home that still remains firmly practical. In uniting luxurious design elements with a focus on daily life and the “inevitable kid’s accidents” Cassie James-Herrick proves perhaps you really can have it all.
“Most of all, the client’s favourite element is the ‘wet room’ feel at the end of the main bathroom. It allows their young children to enjoy bath time with plenty of splashing, and the handheld shower next to the bath makes cleaning and washing long girl’s hair easy. It’s the small things that provide daily enjoyment”
– Designer Cassie James-Herrick of CJH Studio
Warm materials and Nordic furnishings make a family-friendly yet stylish space.