This Manhattan-inspired renovation in the Domain South Yarra transforms a single-fronted Victorian heritage home into a bold, modern residence that retains a personality while projecting professional polish.

The living and dining spaces exude masculine glamour through a dark, subdued palette in the walls, flooring, and joinery.  This also allows certain vivid pieces of art and unique custom furniture to become focal points.  Traditional elements such as a commanding bespoke marble fireplace and strong masculine lines in the architecture are softened by curved furnishings and layered decorative pieces.  Continuing this scheme throughout keeps the rooms cohesive without losing their originality.

Sleek materials mixed with thoughtful textures create a sophisticated interior that feels urban but never harsh: matte black metal sits alongside natural Calcutta and Grigio Cenere marble; natural stone works with Mikasa Ebony timber veneer; vibrant textile hues pair back to natural finishes such as European Oak timber flooring and brass details.

As a home, the space needed to balance elegance and comfort.  The minimalistic aspect of the bold, limited furniture and masculine architecture bring a sense of refinement; complimenting this, rich textiles, strong patterns, and warm natural light filtering through from the skylight and courtyard give a sense of comfort and cultivated charm.



The residence was a rundown single fronted Victorian terrace in desperate need of a renovation. Following the development approval including heritage consent the property was transformed from a one bedroom residence with no parking to a three bedroom residence with off street parking.



The client asked us to create a luxurious dwelling that integrated the external environment with the internal spaces of an existing two bedroom one bathroom single storey Victorian residence. The clients were adamant on achieving a Manhattan inspired design with a layering of finishes and textures throughout the home.  In order to create a luxurious atmosphere without veering into ostentation, this project required juxtaposing classic with contemporary; severity with fluidity; neutrality with vibrancy.

The expressive, tightly styled design uses sharp, balanced geometry to give classic elegance a modern spin.  Strong masculine lines in the architecture are softened by the warm natural light filtering through from the skylight and courtyard, creating a sense of comfort and cultivated charm.

The narrow site, typical of a Melbourne inner city suburb, did not allow adequate natural light into the rear spaces.  As light was an integral to the brief, engineering played a large role in allowing us to open up the ceiling throughout the living space and the full expanse of the rear elevation of the ground floor to integrate a north west facing private courtyard space.


Due to the property being built boundary to boundary on two sides, the challenge was to fill the long narrow space with abundant natural light. By stepping back the second floor from the south boundary we were able to create a 6 metre long continuous skylight. Not only does this offer excellent light to a wall of artworks but is also a great design feature.



The budget for the project prioritised the rear extension comprising extensive structural steel and glazing which allowed for increased natural light to enter the internal spaces.

In addition, durable long lasting natural materials such as solid timber flooring were also considered paramount alongside floor to ceiling natural stone tiling which allowed us to achieve the designer’s aesthetic objectives.

The custom joinery and stone work although at greater cost certainly delivered exceptional value in achieving the overall house concept.

European Marble House, Calacutta Moonlight Polished Marble
Fethers Veneer, Macassar Ebony Veneer Quarter Cut Finish, Grain Filled

Tait Timbers, Solid Timber New England Oak, Select Grade

Artedomus, Grigio Genere Marble 20mm

Toscano, Sand and Cement Roman Render in Walsh