Where Architects Live | Emma Templeton

  • Entering the East Melbourne home of Templeton Architecture director Emma Templeton is a lesson in history, art and embracing a small footprint.

    Emma Templeton solves puzzles; not in their conventional form, but the type of unique puzzles that small houses present. It’s a talent that brought her to a historically significant terrace in East Melbourne.

    When Emma and her partner Alex first discovered the Georgian terrace that was built in 1862 it was being used as an artists’ residency and was a time capsule from the 1950s, still in its original state.

    She says designing her own home was an exercise in tuning into the subtleties. “When you analyse the way people live in order to design a space specifically for their needs, you often ask questions that allow you to understand what will programmatically and aesthetically be suitable for this client,” Emma says. “But the important questions to ask reveal the true values and interests of the people so that you can discover small touches that bring joy and happiness to the home.”

    The footprint of Emma’s family home isn’t the only relic of design resolution. The original, patinated wallpaper in each of the home’s four front rooms is a historic stamp that plays into the overall muted, textured palette.

    Emma says her favourite detail in the home is the bench seat and window where the oven used to be in the kitchen. She says they spend most of their time in the kitchen, separate from the living space; a design hallmark she favours in all of her projects.

    The living room features the Triad pendant light by Apparatus and the Alistair P lamp by Parachilna.

    “In a small house, every part has to work for you.”

    – Architect Emma Templeton

    The architect also gravitates to the courtyard, where stripped-back high walls reveal the bluestone and brick. “We really miss it in the winter because it basically performs the role of another room in our small home.” It’s a tranquil spot; private and gently lit.

    Emma’s home grounds her in the conversation she regularly has with clients on how to challenge the parameters of small spaces. The architect’s home embraces all of its heritage design quirks, such as the ‘strangely located’ powder room off the formal dining space. “You can have moments where you think that toilet is in a really weird location, however, it’s a great place for a bar which is how we have disguised the powder room,” she says. “We had to be creative.”

    The Apparatus Trapeze 10 pendant light illuminates the entrance.

    Brass tones unite through the Lipp Armchair, designed by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani and the Bell Side Table, designed by Sebastian Herkner for Classicon.

    The HAY Palissade setting, designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec in the backyard provides the perfect spot for entertaining.

    Emma Templeton

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