“I start by considering how the light flows into the space. Where do we want it to go? How do we want to control it? Considering context, function and aesthetic really drove all of the decisions within the Caulfield House.” - Kate McCluskey, founding Director of McCluskey Studio
This month we talked to the owner of a renovated Victorian home in Caulfield, as well as the interior designer of the home Kate McCluskey and the builder John Leone of Leone Constructions who brought it to life. Each person we interviewed seemed to have approached this project with aligned goals to create the ultimate family home.
The client’s brief was to “ensure that we kept the bones and character from the existing home and then create a large open living area with plenty of space for our kids to have their own areas to play freely in.” Kate told us, “It was important for us to design spaces within the residence that could grow, transform and keep up with the young family’s needs. We needed to find the balance between a functional family home that allows the children to flourish and play, whilst seamlessly transforming into an oasis the parents can enjoy once the day is packed away.”
When it comes to specifying window furnishings John provided this practical advice for all families looking to build or renovate their home, “if you have the foresight to consider window furnishing in the early phases of design then you can ensure that your complete budget considers everything that is needed for us to hand over a home that is ready to live in straight away.”
Kate generously provided us a detailed insight into how she makes the decisions between window furnishing typology in every home as well as this one specifically, “designing for the space in between is at the core of everything we do at McCluskey Studio. Considering context, function and aesthetic really drove all of these decisions within the Caulfield House. The heritage features in the children’s rooms, with the beautiful bay windows are fitted perfectly with Phoenixwood shutters, providing a traditional window covering whilst ensuring internal block out and a robust, no fuss solution for the children. Whilst, you wouldn’t want to install delicate linen curtains in a toddlers room (as they are likely to be destroyed!), when it came to the master suite, with its more contemporary features and linear form, we wanted the softness of sheer curtains that could play with the incoming light and give the space a sense of luxury and elegance.”
From a build perspective, Lovelight has always prided itself on integrating seamlessly with the construction process and never interrupting it. John added that on each build Leone Constructions “actively engages with Lovelight to provide notice for when site progress is ready for measure, typically the early stages of wall and ceiling linings.” Then the Lovelight team weaves their magic off site and installation is planned for, “as close to completion as possible to shield against dust and potential damage to bespoke fabrics.”
On completion of this home the full team was able to stand back and take in their triumphs. Unsurprisingly they each found a different aspect of the home to be the one they were most proud of. For John the builder it was as simple as “the engaging kitchen zone functioning harmoniously as the heartbeat of the house.”
From an interior design point of view Kate told us that she, “really loved finding moments in this house to capture the imaginations of not only the owners but their guests too. The playful wallpaper in the rumpus alongside a beautiful clean stone, the dark and mysterious walk in robe with floor to ceiling black cabinetry and clean details wrapping around the entire space to frame a vintage valet chair. Finally, a pop of colour in the concealed bar in the living room, prompting childish fun in the adults area.”
At the end of the day it’s the people who will inhabit this home on a day to day basis (and even more so this year!) that needed to love it most of all. This is what they thought, “we love everything that the team have created for us! Particularly the sheer curtain in the bathroom which adds extra softness against the stone and tiles, the arched steel doors that act as the threshold between the old and new.” Of course, with all the thought and effort that this team has put into every detail in this home, how could they not love it?!
Images: Shannon McGrath