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Belle Magazine Australia|April 2021
With its resort-like rooftop, club floor and basement bar, this home channels the look and feel of a boutique hotel.
CARLI PHILIPS

Homeowner Tracey Atkins admits she started with a “strange brief that was more about an idea [rather] than a place” when she and her husband Andrew first approached interior designer Swee Lim about renovating their recently purchased beachside property. With an affinity for all things equine, Tracey hesitantly put forward a loose concept that referenced the look and feel of an Argentinian polo club and its muted textures and natural tones. She found herself pleasantly surprised with Swee’s enthusiastic response: “It was refreshing and rare but I loved it and completely embraced it,” says the Melbourne-based designer and art consultant.

The Brighton home, originally designed by architect James Rigney about six years ago, featured finishes that, although beautiful, were a little sterile. At 1115 square metres across four storeys, the sheer breadth of the house was daunting and filling it with proportional furniture and artwork required careful planning. “It was a beautiful blank canvas with lots of travertine, marble and stone but the surfaces were still cold and hard – and really big. So we had to work a lot with scale and layer it up to make it feel like a family home,” says Swee. “The house has so many enormous rooms and large common areas that it simply did not sit comfortably with a normal residential approach.”

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