Inside a landscape architect’s home, a sensitive restoration of a 1930s heritage house, Studio 11:11 breathes new life. With minimal changes to the residence’s structure, the rejuvenation comes from the injection of a fresh, restrained material palette and highly considered landscaping, resulting in a functional family home that feels open and light.

Located in Toorak, a leafy locale in Melbourne’s inner-east, Halcyon House is similar to many homes on the tree-lined inner-city streets; extensive, charming and with large gardens. Toorak is also where landscape designer and owner, Jack Merlo, works on many of his projects. “Being a landscape designer, I suppose the pressure is always on to make sure your own garden looks amazing and showcases your work and whilst [Halcyon House] is beautiful to look at and live in, it’s a home that really works for a young family as well,” says Merlo, reflecting on the home he shares with his husband and two children.

Inside a landscape architect’s home, the existing layout and proportions mostly remain. A study and a guest bedroom border the entry, and as one continues through the entry foyer, there is a large formal lounge that connects to the formal dining room. This sits next to an open-plan dining and living area that overlooks the pool, alfresco terrace and backyard. The original stairway at the front of the house leads to the main bedroom, another bedroom with an ensuite, and two more bedrooms that share a bathroom.

Inside a landscape architect’s home, the material palette and decor are pared back and neutral, dominated by white plaster and a Calacatta Viola marble stone from Signorino. “The Calacatta Viola was a great choice; its smooth finish and patinaed look make it quite versatile in multiple applications and suitable for a family of four,” says David Compagnino, sales director at Signorino Tile Gallery. “It’s really exciting to see the stone used in such a unique way across many different applications.”

“This is the fifth time we have worked with Signorino and the Calacatta Viola really is the feature stone of the house and what gives it character,” adds Merlo. The stone is used alongside Signorino’s Lorde White Marble in the bathrooms and in the studio space. “We love the character of this stone; it’s a calmer, neutral colour and that works really well with the rest of the interior palette,” says Merlo.

Walking from inside a landscape architect’s home outside to the garden, there is a tangible sense of harmony between the architecture, interiors and landscape design. The garden is sanctuary-like; evergreen screening allows for a sense of privacy while the garden changes with the seasons. A steel pergola designed by Merlo is a central feature of the garden space, providing a robust structure for ornamental grapes to weave around.

“I think it’s always important to have cohesion between the different design disciplines – the architecture, interior design and landscape – so, working with interior designer Marijne Vogel from Studio 11:11, we made sure the material palette was neutral so that it flows seamlessly from the living to outside,” says Merlo.

“We’ve really enjoyed restoring this beautiful home and doing something quite different to what we have worked on previously,” notes Merlo. “It’s a great home to live in.”

00:00 – Introduction to the Landscape Architect’s Home
01:02 – The Restrained Material Palette
02:39 – A Walkthrough of the Home
03:59 – Working Collaboratively
04:38 – A Focus On The Landscaping
05:09 – Favourite Aspects

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Photography by Nicholas Wilkins.
Architecture and interior design by Studio 11:11.
Landscape design by Jack Merlo.
Swimming pool by Grange Pools.
Stone by Signorino.
Paving by Eco Outdoor.
Outdoor furniture by Cosh Living.
Filmed and edited by Emble.
Production by The Local Production.

Location: Toorak, Victoria, Australia

The Local Project acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the land in Australia. We pay our respect to Elders, past and present and extend that respect to all Indigenous people of these lands.

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