Inside An Earthy Melbourne House With European-Inspired Flair
The design of this newly built Melbourne home by Robinson Rak is so cohesive it creates an overwhelming sense of calm.
This is because every element was created with ‘a bespoke attitude’, according to principal interior architect Chris Rak.
The Melbourne-based practice was engaged by a downsizing couple, who were looking to replace a run-down mock period home with something that felt more connected to the heritage surrounds of its inner-eastern neighbourhood.
But the brief for the interiors called for something strictly individual and unique to them as the owners.
On a recent trip to France, they’d fallen in love with a unique interlocking terracotta floor tile that featured in Fondation Maeght, a private art museum built in 1964.
‘We were quite taken by [the tiles] as well, so after much research we managed to track down the original Spanish family company. They were still in possession of the moulds, so we had them produce a batch for this home,’ Chris says.
This incredible attention to detail helped set the tone for the resulting Terra Firma House. Even the solid plaster walls and textured ceilings are reminiscent of Venetian plaster, adding to the interior’s European-style sophistication.
For the facade, they opted for a pitched roof that mimicked the grand period architecture of some of the neighbouring homes, in addition to creating sweeping proportions inside.
‘Our vision was also to try and bring as much of the outside in,’ Chris says. Natural and earthy materials like the textural brick from the exterior is used again around the fireplace, the terracotta tiling spills outside from the living room into the rear garden, and the facade’s external timber battens continues into the hallway.
Subtle hints of green in the timber joinery — cleverly integrated with a banquette seat and matching green marble benchtops — and views into a vine-covered courtyard also help celebrate the home’s connection to nature.
‘We designed a steel wall sculpture, which allows foliage to grow, weaving a tapestry of green that separates kitchen and dining spaces,’ Chris adds.
Everything has been designed to age gracefully over time as they would in the natural world, so that the owners can continue to make their mark on this personal and inviting home.