Interior designer Edwina Glenn transforms a classic Victorian into a present-day urban retreat in this elegant, highly personalised contemporary city dwelling.
Edwina Glenn’s mission of designing sophisticated and functional homes is realised within this Albert Park restoration. Working collaboratively with homeowner Jill Reichstein OAM, Edwina draws on their shared fondness of Australian landscapes for inspiration while optimising space and access to natural light. We spoke with Edwina on introducing high-end finishes, premium appliances and design classics to this Victorian home – that all reveal a shared philosophy between designer and client of ‘buy once, buy well’.
As with the modest footprint of a traditional Victorian in Melbourne’s Albert Park, space was limited for Edwina Glenn. A clever reorientation allowed the designer to maximise both space and illumination. As such, endless views unfold from the front entrance to the rear garden; and more impressively from the kitchen to the tree-lined streetscape. A strategic internal courtyard floods the kitchen, dining room and powder room with natural light.
The owner’s appreciation for the Australian coastal landscape and her indigenous art collection inspired the home’s colour palette. Eucalyptus green wall tiles feature in the powder room, natural sand coloured engineered floorboards feature underfoot, while seagrass matting flows up an ornate staircase. Rich ochre and burgundy soft furnishings tap into the quintessential metamorphic rock colours along the Australian coastlines.
In an interview with est living, Edwina reveals her client’s shared love of marble was a key driver for the tonality of the home. In the kitchen, honed Arabescato marble benchtops feature throughout, complemented by an understated but evocative colour palette. Custom grey timber joinery takes a backseat allowing the marble to become the focal point, creating a look and feel that is emotive and moody but never fussy. A glass cabinet in deep grey-blue houses the owner’s treasures and ceramics from European travels, as well as her crockery and glassware collection.
“My client is a philanthropist who strives for environmental sustainability. Therefore, selecting finishes and home appliances that are both eco-friendly and built to last is imperative. As the proverb suggests, ‘buy well, buy once’.”
– Edwina Glenn
Floor to ceiling sheer curtains provides privacy between the master and guest rooms while maximising light.
The USM modular bookshelf houses the homeowner’s treasures, alongside the Oeuffice side table.
Edwina remodelled the kitchen flow for efficiency, making way for an integrated, open-plan layout that provides a larger and more luxurious feel. In addition, Edwina specified premium appliances, including the Miele H 2267-1B Active oven and Miele KM 362-1 gas cooktop for their reliability, premium quality and sustainability. “My client is a philanthropist who strives for environmental sustainability,” Edwina says. “Therefore, selecting finishes and home appliances that are both eco-friendly and built to last is imperative. As the proverb suggests, ‘buy well, buy once’.”
As one of Edwina’s preferred brands, sustainability is an integral part of the Miele ethos. A 120-year legacy of designing appliances to endure daily use sees Miele knowing no bounds when it comes to pushing innovation. The new Gen 7000 series, for instance, is the brand’s most intuitive collection yet. Energy-efficient ‘eco fan heating’ uses 30 per cent less energy, as well as an automatic oven door opening for rapid cooling, push their fundamental drive for sustainable excellence to new heights.
White smoked oak floorboards lead to a concealed European-style laundry, housing the Miele TwinDos WWD660 washing machine. True to Miele’s mission of creating appliances built to last, the owner’s previous larger Miele washing machine was handed down like an heirloom to a family member.
Upstairs, Edwina creates a serene mezzanine master bedroom accented with a reclaimed Carrara marble fireplace mantle. This immediately injects charm and character into the contemporary build. Surprisingly, the ensuite also houses the robe for the master to enhance volume and space further. Hand-applied plaster on the robe doors complements the honed Carrara floor marble tiles, accented with soft grey, vertical wall tiles.
Edwina Glenn’s redesign brings this character-filled, traditional Victorian into the present with an assured timelessness and durability. The result is an inviting treasure-filled haven that’s contemporary in style, with a subtle nod to the Australian coastal landscape.
The master bedroom features a reclaimed Cararra marble fireplace mantel.