Take a tour of this David Hicks designed elegant home that channels cocktail-cool and warm, family liveability in equal measure.
Behind its neat Georgian facade, this rambling six-bedroom home in inner Melbourne leads a tantalising double life. One moment, it’s elegant and glamorous, cocktail-cool with an after-five air, while the next it casts off its best dress and becomes a warm and vital backdrop for a family with four boisterous children.
Designer David Hicks had created a home for the couple 10 years before, so he was the obvious choice when they wanted to give this house a makeover nearly two years ago. “The clients wanted to streamline the house and make it fresh,” he says. “As they have a young family, they wanted it to be robust, while at the same time have ‘grown-up’ areas, where they could retreat. They wanted something sophisticated, yet very liveable.”
The formal sitting-cum-music room in the home designed by David Hicks boasts a grand piano which adds to the feel of rich colours and fabrics.
Whether the scene of a chic cocktail party, or a gathering of boisterous children, this Melbourne home is all things to all people.
David loosely based the formal areas on mid-century Italian Modernism. “We wanted to evoke the era of the cocktail party, where the world was becoming modern and chic,” he says. In the formal living room custom-made Italian cocktail chairs are upholstered in seal-grey velvet. “We even had the legs cast in brass to evoke this era,” David says.
To create a sense of arrival, David enclosed the entry portico with custom wrought-iron screens.
The family areas “were loosely based on coastal Italy, with whitewashed walls, concrete and timber flooring, and white sheers”. Fabrics in light browns team with cushions with hints of gold and blue. Concrete flooring and the rock-work fireplace lend an earthy texture, while the Carrara marble coffee table provides the classic Italian touch and echoes the kitchen joinery.
Refreshing the bathrooms was also high on the owners’ wishlist. “All these layered items give the spaces personality, along with the wallpapers, flooring and the beautiful marble work,” says David.
The designer is known for his love of lighting and chose a vintage glass chandelier in the ensuite to lend sparkle and elegance.
Just a few changes were made to the floor plan, including the addition of a butler’s pantry to the kitchen and this walk-in robe, added to the main bedroom.
Rather than having one colour and one theme run through the entire house, David created two distinct zones. A dramatic, darker palette was selected for the ‘grown-up’ areas, including the main bedroom, ensuite and robe, while a calmer, airier scheme was chosen for the informal space, including the family living areas, kitchen and the other bedrooms.
David borrowed space from an adjoining bedroom to create a walk-in robe for the main bedroom. “The clients wanted to streamline the house and make it fresh,” he says. “As they have a young family, they wanted it to be robust, while at the same time have ‘grown-up’ areas, where they could retreat. They wanted something very sophisticated, yet very liveable.”