This house is all about delivering a glamorous and sensuous experience that is visual and tactile and links meaningfully to the outdoors.

Rob Mills

RMA took a site with a derelict duplex in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak and turned it into an impressive family home that is at the same time functional, sleek and contained.

“The client on this project was an inspiration to me, and the feeling of the house very much reflects her character, her sense of style and fun,” says Mills.

Extensive excavation on the site created a subterranean area for a movie room, a sophisticated wine cellar and car parking. The entrance sequence for guests is that of a tall, proud façade giving way to formal rooms, such as a sunken living room off the foyer, and then through to informal areas where the family gather.

While there is a clear differentiation of space, with distinct zones, these also have the ability to merge; walls slide open, the spaces link and the visual generosity of the entire space is revealed. The controlled monochromatic palette for the interior decoration throughout ensures that there are no jarring visuals and that the eye can move seamlessly across the space.

Other devices enhance this perception of free-flowing space, from the unconventional kitchen bench, which is raised on chrome legs like a piece of furniture, to the walls of glass that place firm visual focus on the landscaping beyond. The masterstroke is the covered outdoor space, another room entirely furnished in Spanish brand Gandia Blasco, with its distinct melding of comfort and style.

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toorak staircase
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Andrew Martin Interior Design Review UK, 2011

  • Shortlisted, Interior Designer of the Year

Australian Interior Design Awards, 2010

  • Shortlisted, Residential Design