At the end of a beech-lined driveway, two magnolia trees lean towards one another in a gentle gesture that frames the impressive Victorian heritage facade of a traditional homestead resurrected by Robson Rak. Named for the magnificence of its moment of arrival, Magnolia House sees the design studio bring contemporary design into accord with tradition.
Magnolia House’s immaculately restored facade acts as a sentinel for a time long passed, while inside, a striking transition has taken place. Passing through an arched entryway, the kaleidoscope of sunlight through stained glass, which becomes a secondary layer upon interiors of meticulous innovation, a new relevance has taken hold. Home today to a young family, the stately residence has come to embrace elegant modernity that wholly aligns with contemporary living patterns.
Juxtaposing the period detail of its facade, the interiors at Magnolia House unravel to reveal a striking, high tech, contemporary home for a family that loves to entertain. Modern luxuries are meticulously integrated throughout, while aesthetically, an intricate choreography exists between the restored, the new and the novel.
The existing home’s grand proportions have been carried through to its new spaces, with 4.5m high ceilings throughout the ground floor. A new habitable basement significantly extends the home’s amenity while private bedroom zones were re-designed through a reconciliation between diverse periods of time and extended to the first floor.
Reflecting the client brief is a bold colour palette that works to simultaneously reference an impressive art collection as well as the jewel-toned lead lighting to instil a curated sense of resolve across both new and old iterations of the home.
Pink tones carry throughout, beginning with the contemporary geometry of a rug in the entryway, curved to echo the arched windows above it. This constant modulation between composition, colour and style orchestrates a level of refinement which washes through the home, creating continuity between various styles.
Working with local suppliers and manufacturers, Robson Rak has been able to create bespoke pieces to introduce texture and an engaging ambience within the formal rooms. For example, a custom dining table was commissioned through local makers to ensure the furniture imbued the spaces with a unique quality, with pink marble being selected to add another layer of expression. Materials were chosen with longevity in mind, focussing on quality, texture and colour.
In finding common ground between the characteristics of various design elements, Robson Rak has conjured a feeling of the home unfolding. From the stately exterior to the ever more progressive aesthetics, and application of materials, shapes and layouts as the expansive lightness of the open-plan extension is reached and extended out to the garden beyond.
Formality falls away through the loose arrangement of furniture, the increasingly clean symmetry of the architecture and a shift from ornate to enduring in the choices of lighting and layout.
Magnolia House is a very grown-up home for a very young and cheeky family. The house has become a hub for the neighbourhood with friends and family drawn to the spaces both inside and out.