Living Divani Hinge stools from Studio Italia

A love of cars and custom design collide in a home built for high gear entertaining

Normally people park their love of cars in the garage when conjuring their dream home but for this young family with boys, the aesthetics of automobiles were part of the original brief.

“The client’s love of fine automobiles played a crucial role in the inclusion of precision detailing and durable materials,” says interior designer Miriam Fanning, founder of Mim Design, who collaborated on the project with architect Emma Tulloch. “Integration and visual appeal were essential in creating a home that exuded luxury, exemplifying modern family liveability.”

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B&B Italia Oskar table from Matisse
Baxter Chester Moon sofa from Cavit & Co and the Poliform Mondrian coffee table from Studio Italia

While the owner’s collection of model automobiles is a direct representation of car-centric creativity, the remaining details in the modernist Melbourne residence nod more subtly to their design heritage, with aerodynamic curves dominating the generous wine room’s expansive display. 

“The curvature also creates an amphitheatre effect with the central wine table being the focus within the cellar, where theatre, entertaining and the collection all meld together,” Fanning says. 

Cars were even at the back of the designer’s mind when selecting furniture, focusing on pieces that would age as gracefully as a vintage Jaguar while delivering impact on arrival. 

Ligne Roset togo from Domo 

“It was imperative that our clients accrue a collection of pieces that were both classic and emerging in design,” Fanning says. “Whether it’s the seafoam green tufted Chester Moon Sofa by Baxter greeting its residents in the formal living room, or the fine brass Avoa Chair by Matter Made anchoring the commissioned Colin Pennock painting, these pieces have been carefully positioned to tell a unique story.”

The story of the award-winning, open-plan kitchen, dominated by a stone island, is easier to interpret. While the stone delivers a memorable monolithic moment, this is a place for serious entertaining, with the black and stainless appliances merging seamlessly with custom timber veneers.

“The design of this project does not deliver a themed look but a custom approach to kitchen design incorporating a timeless aspect with the use of authentic, visually aesthetic materials and product selection,” Fanning says. “Quality and authenticity are an integral element to sustainability.”

Brokis Capsula pendant from ECC
Lee Broom Fulcrum candlestick from ECC

While stone offers considerable challenges when creating a cosy home environment, conquered by Fanning’s holistic approach, it was custom details such as the living room fireplace and the cocktail cabinet, offering visual temptation from the formal dining area, that tested the team’s design skills.

“These aspects were challenging and also rewarding as the design was worked through to every millimetre from each material to junction joint to working with 1:1 as built prototypes,” Fanning recalls.

Even with hefty materials and considerable customisation, the home proceeded from concept to moving-in at a speed normally reserved for German autobahns, taking a mere two years.

“Our proudest moment was looking at our clients’ faces as they entered the completed home,” Fanning says. “From a design perspective, the planning, flow, customisation through to delivery, getting that right, feeling that space and knowing everything you have worked through is executed to a craftsmanship high level is a very proud moment that stays with us forever.”


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