Inglis Architects

Simone Haag 

Fiona Storey

Following a restorative resurrection by Inglis Architects, Lambeth Avenue’s heritage 1870s narrative was been once again revealed, returning the combination of Victorian Italianate and Queen Victoria details to their former glory and calling for a tempered approach to interior decoration that would both respect the beauty of the period story while drawing the home into contemporary relevance. 

Home to a family of four, Lambeth Avenue’s interior evolution began with its formal front sitting room. Upon a canvas of ornate plasterwork, picture rails, high ceilings, original wide plank flooring, cornices and architraves washed in soft grey and natural light is a curation of furniture, lighting, artwork and objects that visually converse with the heritage context whilst remaining stylistically distinct from it. Counterbalancing the embellished language of the period details are pieces that unify geometric precision and natural expressions. Clean rectangular furniture compositions are leavened by natural striations and rich tones such as those that define a Calacatta stone plinth; the polished white and black stainless steel and handmade qualities of a Blanc Cassé mirror by Belgian designer Damien Gernay find balance through radial form; the exacting lines of The Praying Mantis floor lamp find a uniform accord with the tones of the floorboards and wall to wall shelving. It is this dedication to the myriad ways the individual elements play off one another that instils a calming sense of contemporary cohesion that carries throughout the remainder of the home.

Integral to Lambeth Avenue’s transformation was the procurement of the art that adorns its walls. The client became very involved in the selection process, pursuing pieces that not only found visual harmony with the design language but also spoke to the heart. Amongst a softly monochromatic palette counterbalanced by natural timbers, it is the artwork that ultimately introduces a colour story and accentuates a powerful collection of iconic pieces that pepper the home.

In the master bedroom, the terracotta, moss, mustard, bark and azure hues in a large-scale abstract painting by Tasmanian artist Richard Dunlop are mirrored in the crema rosa stone of a bedside table by Okha via Criteria. These two pieces, in concert with the delicate fibreglass sheets of an Alexandra pendant by Pallucco, bring eloquent joy into the otherwise sensorially quiet atmosphere of the room. The same approach is apparent in the hallway where the primary design cues — floorboards and uniformly painted walls, ceiling and plasterwork — are tilted for functionality and ritual via tertiary styling. In the entry, it is an eye-catching Butterfly console by Sem Milano that defines the space while in the dining room, it is an artwork by local artist Greg Wood, the dynamic design of a Ziad rug from Hommes Studio and the splash of orange from a set of Isadorea dining chairs by Poltrana Frau.

For all its heritage charm and delicate architectural elegance, Lambeth Avenue has become a strikingly contemporary family home through a design scheme that perfectly modulates both eras and stylistic expressions.

“I love the fact that, even though this is very much a family home, it’s got such a great vibe to it. It’s very traditional from the front yet the inside is so full of beautiful character. Thanks to Simone and Cindy, who just made this process so effortless, I get to arrive home at the end of my work day to this sensational house which I absolutely love all over again each time I open the front door.

~ Client