A big splash. Hollywood Modernism in Melbourne.
An ode to Hollywood glamour and Palm Springs Modernism, Monomeath House is a top-to-bottom renovation that leaves no surface untouched. A reflection of the owners’ creativity and personality, it is a home full of colour and texture, and fantastically considered design elements that nevertheless maintain a connection to the original building and the experimental intentions of the era, albeit to function in thoroughly modern way.
The first impression of Monomeath House in Toorak is colour. A wonderful, well-thought-out kaleidoscope of colour that exemplifies the deft hand and signature of owner and designer; this is the home of Techné Architects Founder and Director Nick Travers afterall. Working alongside Nick, Techné’s Senior Interior Designer and Associate Bianca Baldi, let her comfort and experience with the practice’s ethos and approach push ideas and concepts further than one might with a client, yet never forgetting that this is a home with two teenage children and a house to be lived in and enjoyed.
Throughout, colours complement and clash in beautiful ways, as do textures and materials too. Small, mosaic tiles meet larger squares that find terrazzo floors waiting for them, and in other rooms herringbone parquet abuts marble and stone of striking varieties and variation – very much part of the Techné signature.
Continuing the textural theme with elegant results, Surround by Laminex in Scallop 45 clads the entrance and walls of the living room. Painted a warm earthy pink - evocative of mid-century Hollywood - it hits the brief perfectly. Hiding within the cladding, a door reveals a powder room in brilliant blue – like a lapis jewel box, that speaks to the home’s – and designer’s – love of materiality, texture and clear sense of fun.
In the living room, the use of Scallop 45 in Surround by Laminex cements the home’s thorough commitment to detail. Painted in the same mid-century pink, it grounds the theme, reminding us of the original home, before expanding on with new inclusions such as fluted glass that reiterate design motifs, like these scallop facets, set the moment you step through the front door.
Without losing its personality in the process, this is a home with flexibility designed in, intended to grow and change over time. In a space full of artwork and sculptural pieces, the dedication to colour and tactility never competes or contests, nor is it novel or superfluous. Monomeath House proves that colour and texture need not be eschewed for furniture or art or even practicality. It reminds us to take our fun seriously, to work in harmony with our world and life and loves.