Project Sheet: A State of Blue

THIS HOME MARRIES VICTORIAN CEILING ROSES WITH HIGH-GLOSS METALLIC LILAC. AND IT WORKS. SEB NELSON WRITES. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEREK SWALWELL.

Philip Wolfhagen’s work sets the mood of the re-design. Sofa from Poliform.

Designing one’s own home may sound like a dream project: no back and forth between client and design studio or conflicts in aesthetic taste. For interior designer Lucy Bock, director of Lucy Bock Design Studio in Melbourne, it was the perfect opportunity for personal expression.

With meticulous detail and unwavering aesthetic direction, Lucy ensured that art was at the centre of her Brunswick residence re-design. “Each interior design project starts its journey with an intrinsic feeling,” tells Lucy. “A feeling in response to the existing architecture of the home. Colour palettes might then evolve from initial inspiration sourced from a significant painting or sculpture, fashion and textiles, a feature of the surrounding urban or natural environment, or selected building materials for the project such as a brick or a ceramic tile.”

For this project, that feeling came from a Philip Wolhagen painting, purchased more than 25 years ago from Hobart’s Bett Gallery and passed down through her family. The ethereal depiction of a remote Western Tasmanian landscape became a prologue to the narrative of layered emotional responses Lucy peppered throughout her home.

Purchasing the property as a double fronted Victorian with a 1970s rear extension, Lucy and her husband sought to reinstate its period features – which included cornices, ceiling roses, windows and doors – as well as preserving its heritage streetscape. The contemporary extension at the rear of the property brought the real fun.

A high-gloss lilac reveal, sky blue and deep grape joinery, Elba marble and iridescent midnight plum brickwork helped Lucy create a striking yet harmonious colour palette within the home. Light and dark playfully converse with each other and help accentuate form within the space.

The soft grey, deep burgundy and smoky purple hues of the Wolfhagen hanging in the living room became the springboard for the colour palette, accompanied by the calming blues found in the Amber Wallis hanging in the master bedroom, the dark grey metallic glaze adorning the Kate Tucker sculpture on the kitchen island and the stark white gloss of the Alexandra Standen vessel in the sitting room.

“There are varying styles of artwork featured, which generate different emotional responses and create interesting layers throughout the home,” says Lucy. “I like that some pieces have a history and a personal story behind them. As the artworks have been collected over the years they also tell the story of our art collecting journey”. Melbourne galleries such as  ARC ONE, This Is No Fantasy, Sophie Gannon Gallery and Diane Singer have become Lucy’s go-tos for her own collection, as well as that of her clients.

While iconic furniture pieces, lush velvet and leather textures and bold design objects help imbue a sense of integrity and playfulness in the home, art really is its hero. It permeates through the design in a powerful and educated way, so that the interior architecture is married to each piece in colour, scale or form, creating a sense of permeance within the space Lucy now calls home.

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