Melbourne-based architecture and interior design firm Studio Esteta bring us a heritage revival that skilfully links two distant corners of the world; Australia and Italy. Designed for a young family with a deep-seated love of travel, Malvern East House is equally expressive as it is personal. New seamlessly transitions into old; inside seamlessly transitions into the outside. In the end, we are met with a spacious, light-filled ‘2.0’ of a period Melbourne home.

The terrace’s original four rooms have been restored and altered to comprise a master bedroom and ensuite, a guest bedroom and a study. Then, a wide archway theatrically marks the threshold between the old and the new. It frames views from the main entry, down the hallway, through to the extension and outdoors beyond. 

Passing over the threshold, you land at the base of a travertine-clad stairwell. The stairwell, solid in structure and dramatic in scale, strengthens the invisible line drawn between the old and the new. The void and skylight overhead offer a reconnection to the outdoors, which the stairwell’s presence may have otherwise overshadowed. To the same degree, the kitchen, dining and living area has been orientated towards the garden to encourage synergy between people and place.

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“The Malvern East Terrace House palette is intentionally minimal but textural, adopting honest finishes and traditional methods inspired by southern Italy,” Studio Esteta co-director Sarah Cosentino says. Travertine, warm timber, handmade bricks and smooth tiles come together cohesively to create a “refined, sophisticated and unpretentious” quality. A special mention goes to the handmade bricks, which effortlessly flow from inside to outside. Outside of the home’s thematic earthy tones, we see more experimental tones such as gold, olive green and nude pink.

Studio Esteta have thoughtfully integrated sustainable design practices into Malvern East House; window and skylight openings allow the house to ventilate naturally; energy efficiency requirements have been addressed wherever possible; natural materials lead each space. Perhaps most importantly, the house features an extensive list of locally sourced Australian materials and finishes. 

Rich in detail but refined in design, Malvern East Terrace House by Studio Esteta manifests sensibility from start to finish.  

“The adaptive rejuvenation of the existing home has provided a resolution that is both timeless and sympathetic to its context.”

– Sarah Cosentino

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Full-height windows frame views to the neighbouring treetops.

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