Q&A with Alex Hopkins, Director & Principal Designer, Studio Tate

What key features make for a great family home?

Homes that not only enhance amenity and function, serving as a busy thriving hub for family time, but also allow for the zones that support a family’s needs eg. a quiet nook to read, a closed-off area for a call, and a connection to outside giving a fresh change of scenery. Families are spending more time together, so well-designed spaces that aren’t always separate rooms but still delineate areas work well. A perfect example would be in our residential project Armadale II where a kitchen island bench is a functional work surface, a space where informal meals take place, an occasional homework space for one of the kids or a temporary office space for one of the owners. Of course, natural light is also key to harmonious living.

How has the current environment impacted design and its requirements? 

With families still confined to working from home and students often learning from home, design has had to become increasingly adaptive and responsive. The house often needs to cater for all ages for working and socialising, including group Zoom calls and online gaming sessions. What may have originally been a separate sitting room may now have to double up as a study for two students, so rooms with a dual or multiple function and fluid floorplans are required. 

What is the design approach of Studio Tate?

As an interior architecture practice, we believe in ‘Intelligent Design’ that reflects the way people live.  As designers, we see our challenge being to create interiors and environments that resonate with the experience-driven culture we live in and this has only been heightened by the current environment and how we respond to it. A great example of this philosophy in practice was our residential project Armadale II; a grand heritage home built at the turn of the century.  We made clever, strategic changes where we transformed the original laundry, kitchen, dining and family room to create a larger and more functional laundry, scullery, powder room, kitchen and meals area. A sure favourite for our client is the study nook in the scullery - a quiet hideout to get things done! We also introduced a glazed link to connect the original home to the new dining and living room which was a former  ‘tac room’- an original external building.  It was all performed without a multi-million dollar cost. 

In this project, a stately heritage home was refreshed by a renovation that was responsive to its owners’ current needs as a family. The reconfiguration is reflective of the need for designated spaces that effortlessly transition through cohesive design. 

Armadale Residence II - Shortlisted in the IDEA Awards 2020

Armadale Residence II - Shortlisted in the IDEA Awards 2020

Armadale Residence II - Shortlisted in the IDEA Awards 2020

What insight would you give to a new client? 

Work doesn’t always have to be major in scale to make a big difference; a lot can be achieved within an existing footprint through intelligent, strategic design. Frequently residential clients come to us unsure of how to resolve their living challenges. Often, we will embark on a feasibility phase where we develop some floor plan options which explore what can functionally be achieved within the current footprint and/or with a minor or significant extension. We will work collaboratively with a builder to obtain high level costing so that the client can determine their preferred approach, or, if you like, confirm their plans and construction budget.

We love creating homes that are designed to support and adapt to a family as it grows and changes over time.

Please contact Kay & Burton Concierge on 03 9825 2000 or via concierge@kayburton.com.au to engage the services of Studio Tate. For more information about Kay & Burton Concierge, please visit our website Kay & Burton Concierge.

Lifestyle & Design

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