When the old meets the new: Sorrento House blends time perfectly
Australian beach houses from the fifties and sixties often have a unique character. Built to maximise light and views, they exude a vibe that is at once relaxing, inviting and serene. Exactly what you want in a seaside retreat.
Predominantly built as holiday homes, the beach houses along Melbourne’s famous Mornington Peninsula comprise many classic examples. Unfortunately, few meet the demands of modern life. Pokey rooms, lack of flow, and outdated fixtures and fittings can take the lustre off what should be an idyllic coastal experience.
This was the problem facing interior design firm Sanders & King when they were tasked with extending a much-loved holiday home to include a new kitchen, dining room, laundry and powder room.
Naturally, the owners didn’t want to lose the charm of the home their family had enjoyed for decades, so the brief was to create a contemporary addition to the building’s footprint that would harmonise with the existing dwelling.
The original architecture was in relatively good condition, which meant that work beyond the new extension could be minimal: a bathroom upgrade, minor touch-ups to the bedrooms, floorboards re-polished, and a lick of paint were all that was needed.
It also meant that the original kitchen windows could be repurposed in the extension, and period details could be retained and indeed reproduced, all of which makes the transition from old to new virtually seamless.
Key to the success of the project is the use of sympathetic materials, a coastal palette, and carefully curated objects that belong to now while also – somehow – nodding to the vintage of the home.
The Shaker fireplace is a perfect example. A modern design classic, its simple lines work brilliantly in the relaxed context of the Sorrento House.
But it has a timeless style that works in completely different environments just as successfully. Indeed, the Shaker has found a home in every type of architectural aesthetic, from industrial urban spaces to ultra-chic luxury homes and everything in between.
Respect for the old and passion for the new have resulted in an utterly cohesive design outcome for Sorrento House. Sanders & King have delivered a home that’s perfectly suited to a contemporary lifestyle without losing one millimetre of character.