Magnolia House

Arent&Pyke: Magnolia House

Magnolia House

‘Moments’ rather than looks best encapsulate a home’s positive impact, and the ultimate moment experienced in Magnolia House is the slow and elegant descent down its new sculptural staircase, the metaphorical spine of both the home and the project.

The two-year renovation began as a basic brief to re-work the kitchen and bathrooms, but our impromptu sketch of an alternative staircase (a gut-felt response to the overbearing timber balustrade in the entrance foyer) sent the project up, as it were, to a whole new level.

“It expanded,” says the owner. “We’d always wanted to decorate and improve the flow a little bit in the entry, but they had this vision that just blew us away.”

The owners chose Arent & Pyke for the colour and texture we favour in our kitchens, but doors soon opened to the rest of the house and by demolition day, the brief had extended beyond recognition. While the volume of the house was retained, its internal distribution was scratched and re-designed for the movements of a young family. Herringbone oak replaced limestone floors and the lighting was resolved to ensure a warmer welcome.

Photography by Anson Smart