After purchasing a grand, but somewhat dilapidated, 1889 Victorian Italianate terrace, Sydney-based architect Scott Weston reveled in the opportunity to apply his passion for colour, pattern and texture to "raise this grand old dame from her slumber."
The main two-storey terrace was restored to its former grandeur, with a few minor adjustments to the interior to accentuate the building's high ceilings and maximise the natural light to create a fusion of contemporary design with Victorian architecture.
To the rear a modernist two-storey addition was created in glass and steel containing an expansive kitchen and living room plus bedrooms and bathing areas.
With help from Wattyl, a custom paint collection was created for Villa Carmelina - a colour palette inspired by the remnants of a 1950s colour scheme that appeared in various guises throughout the home.
Using pinks, yellows and muted coral tones that most would shy away from, Weston said his colour palette choice was a nod to the home's journey, which he took onboard to create a colour language that starts in the hallway and continues throughout the villa.
Serving as an introduction to the colour palette, Weston created the hallway as a meeting point for eight of the project's custom colours. Lady gray on the timber dado and velvet grey-lilac of studio mauve on the wall above and a wash of lemon chiffon on the Victorian ceiling bordered with ivory grey piping to highlight the decorative cornice and ceiling rose.
After being marred by the passage of time, Villa Carmelina's faded Victorian charm was reinvigorated through Weston's passion for elements of colour, pattern, texture, art, light functionality and beautifully crafted, artisanal materials and finishes.
"As an architect who is not formulaic, I thrive on tailoring spaces that embrace and celebrate all of these elements within a domestic interior.
"When it came to creating my own home, I was given the ultimate canvas to express that philosophy, paying homage to the generations who had lived in this unique home prior to my acquisition."
Moving through the rooms, Weston said the living room walls and decorative plaster moulds above the fireplace were washed in the faded pink of Miss Havisham rose. Timberwork, in the ivory tone of marcasite, highlighted the original architectural details, while the lathe and plaster ceiling provided a plane of light grey, using ivory grey.
The kitchen, described as the living heart of Villa Carmelina, was strategically placed within the expansive living room and featured a black and white terrazzo floor and timber hemlock walls. Two horizontal bands of custom architectural joinery were hand-rolled in the saturated, deep blue colour of curious planet.
In the dining room, the reference to a 1950s Hong Kong tea house, was made using a soft matcha tea shade on the walls - custom-matched to the textural hemp wallpaper used on the feature doors of the joinery unit. Having no direct light, the dining room ceiling was highlighted in a modernist, darker grey, to accentuate the handmade 'cloud' chandelier, Weston said.
The antique Chinese moongate was unquestionably the focal point of this room, framing views and showcasing a collection of Weston's treasures.
The home's studio space offered a grandeur that looked out onto the main staircase where the walls were washed in the grey lilac tones of studio mauve - a hue that Weston said changed colour throughout the day, thanks to a northern glass roof.
The studio walls were finished in the sophisticated soft grey of marcasite with a horizontal line of jazz age coral applied to the perimeter above the tall doors, to envelope the cornice and ceiling in one dramatic gesture. The ornate ivory grey ceiling rose was crowned by a George Nelson 1950s pendant light.
In the guest room, a display of rare and beautiful objects was highlighted against grey-blue tones of celadon blue walls to provide a quiet background to the ensuite's dramatic floral cascade in miniature glass mosaic tiles.
With sustainability in mind, Weston chose Wattyl ID Advanced Ultra Low VOC interior paint for Villa Carmelina, citing the fact that it exceeded green-building requirements and could be custom-matched to any colour.
"Colour is such an inexpensive way of changing a space, explore it, it's not as hard has what people think. Just painting things white, it's like, well, you haven't really tried, what's the joy. [Colour brings] so much joy."