A dull interior of a 90s home is transformed into a cohesive sequence of light, open spaces, dotted with bold statements throughout

Interior design by David Sweatman, Space Studio

From the designer:

The project

Our homeowner had recently purchased a 90s property, clad with cedar shingle and brick which required new interiors and minor alterations.

He approached us having experienced stays at some hotels we have completed and admired our work.

The brief was succinct – he liked dark oak, brass and marble and wanted an entertainer’s family home with the feel of a five-star hotel. 

This was strong direction for us and we balanced the requested opulence with low sheen natural materials and a restrained palette to keep the spaces feeling relaxed.

We were engaged as the lead design consultant from concept to completion, including addressing all furniture, art, linen and object selection.

Our response

Top of mind for this project was to be mindful that the home interior should not age the exterior.

The existing house was dimly lit and segmented and to transform it to a light and spacious contemporary home posed a challenge.

The living spaces needed to be opened up.

This would let light from the almost entirely glazed northern face filter through spaces and offer glimpses to the incredible views beyond.

Two structural columns were removed and replaced with a large steel beam to span the length of the kitchen.

We worked hard to frame viewpoints across the home and to soften solid boundaries between spaces, defining them instead with bold changes in materiality.

This created connection through the length of the house with a focal point at each end.

Existing linings and window joinery restricted us to incorporate millwork. 

We worked carefully with these proportions and embraced them as a link to the home’s exterior.

While we made extensive use of oaks and marbles, we also made sure to include lighter, contrasting elements nearby.

Subtle detailing sympathises with the natural quality of the materials.

Where old and new met, we kept the detailing contemporary – this ensured the extent of new cabinetry was well defined.

The overall effect is a cohesive sequence of bright spaces, dotted with bold statements throughout.

Credit list

Interior designer and kitchen
Main flooring
Havwoods, Engineered European Oak Plank, in colour Istra; Havwoods, Mansion Weave, in colour Istra, both from VidaSpace
Bathroom tiles
Metal Stretched Hex; Marvel Nero Marquina, polished; Boston Sabbia – from Tile Space; Nero Marquina Marble, honed; Tundra Grey Marble honed – from Universal Granite
Feature light fittings
Gervasoni Brass 96 (dining room), from ECC
Dining table chairs; table; kitchen stools
Pick up Sticks Chair, from Resident; Vessel Table by Bauhaus; Kekke Barstool, Piet Boon Collection, from ECC
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner
Casamance, in colour Caldiera Nea (living room and master bedroom), by James Dunlop; Elitis, Anguille Big Croco, Galuchat (powder room, garage, cellar), from Seneca
Bedroom flooring
Lusotufo tufted cut pile carpet, in colour Perla
Dulux – Torere Half; Manorburn Quarter; Taihape
Living area furniture
Minotti Tape Armchair; Calder Coffee Table; Galotti & Radice Gong Table – all from ECC
Office furniture/lighting
Vessel Desk, from Bauhaus; Wendelbo Mono Chair, from Cult Design; Kernal Table Lamp by Bert Frank, from Trenzseater

Designed by: David Sweatman, Space Studio

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Michelle Weir

08 May, 2022

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