Alex Hopkins, director of interior design practice Studio Tate has worked on numerous residential projects over career, but never on a house she previously frequented as a babysitter! 

When this family asked Alex to design some bespoke joinery for their 1899 home, the designer decided to go a step further. ‘Upon further discussion, and looking over the floor plans more generally, we found there was an efficient way to extend the life of the home, allowing for the changing needs of the family,’ Alex says. 

The vision was to update the dated interiors (a combination of period features and ‘90s renovations), and better connect the floor plan. 

Studio Tate devised a new glass walkway in response, connecting a former ‘tack room’ (a storage room used for stable gear), turned main dining area, to the rest of the house. This minor addition meant all other works could be completed within the home’s existing footprint, in turn minimising construction and respecting the heritage requirements of the area.

The new dining area is complemented by a more casual seating area around the kitchen island bench for a more low key vibe. 

Distinctive period features were retained throughout the home, such as Victorian period mouldings, picture rails, and parquetry flooring. The entryway’s geometric motif ceiling was also restored, and inspired much of the project’s mirrored symmetry. 

Unexpected furnishings and a bold contemporary artwork provide focal points amid the home’s largely monochromatic palette, whilst luxe textures and details, such as the velvet drapes in shades of plum, dark navy, tan and soft lavender add a colour and texture to the bedrooms with a nod towards the home’s grand origins. 

Alex’s nostalgic attachment to this home gave her a head start in understanding how to approach its update, resulting in a truly excellent renovation!



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