A collection of beautiful yet dominating antique furniture was working against this Melbourne home. Interior designer Christopher Elliott was called in to create a more stylish and modern space, successfully blending old and new.
“They had some gorgeous pieces to work with but there were too many of them,” says Christopher, who prides himself on being able to harmonise eras, styles, materials and colours to create unique liveable spaces. “Most of their collection consisted of antique timber pieces that although beautifully crafted, all together were too sombre and unwelcoming.”
Space was tight in the main room, which needed to fit both a sitting and dining space. He was keen to highlight the picturesque view onto a sundrenched private courtyard, so began by paring back the antique collection to a few key pieces that would accommodate the new look. A new paint scheme brought warmth to the space and grass cloth wallpaper added texture.
“The fireplace was remodeled by covering over the exposed brick with a beautiful polished plaster finish and painting the internal out black,” he adds. “I designed some discrete joinery either side of the fireplace to accommodate a TV and additional storage. A fabulous new rug, which occupies most of the space, was very important because I didn’t want to see separation between the dining and living space, otherwise it would appear restrictive.”
The rug’s large scale design gives the illusion of space and some much needed impact. A modern classic sofa covered in a durable linen/cotton fabric, paired with some existing armchairs that were reupholstered, creates a comfortable living space. Christopher, who was once responsible for introducing Hermon & Hermon’s interior design service, wanted to bring in fabric as much as possible to offset the hard finishes of the antique furniture. This led to upholstered dining chairs using a linen fabric with a metallic geometric print to modernise the look.
Christopher designed the modern octagonal ottoman in a sumptuous polished leather which can be used as either a footrest, coffee table or additional seating. Classic modern table and floor lights create a bridge between the old and new.
The study space is semi open onto a hallway and needed to be anchored. Christopher designed some very functional joinery to give the client storage and a place to display all their books and objects. A beautiful antique armchair was reupholstered in a Ralph Lauren floral print fabric.
“Playing on the layering of prints and bold design I used a geometric grass cloth wallpaper to give a contemporary flair to the space and a fluid rug design to balance it,” he says. “The floor lamp is a graphic element that visually pops against the wallpaper and highlights the fabric of the armchair. All this combined with a very contemporary coffee table made of smoked glass, chrome and marble, which adds a sense of luxury to the space.”
I absolutely love this home and the clever way the look has been pulled together. What do you think?
Christopher has had his own practice, Christopher Elliott Design, since 2005. See more of his work on his website.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns