Magnificent Two-Storey Building in Suburban Hawthorn

 Atticus & Milo – designed interior in suburban Melbourne, which is becoming a triumph of homely comfort and completed residential decoration.

From the street, Huntingtower is an imposingly magnificent two-storey building in suburban Hawthorn complete with central tower, gable, and verandah. It was built in 1890, its architecture is an interpretation of the French Second Empire style, with likenesses of Diana, goddess of the hunting, in original cast iron panels and mouldings on the facade. It’s Believed being designed by the Victorian-era architect John Beswicke. Although it wasn’t  proved because his son destroyed a lot of his papers. Huntingtower is impressive in both stature and heritage.

What truly surprises upon entering the house is the relatively intimate scale of the interior. The entry is short, with the mahogany-coloured staircase a few steps away; the dining room is to the left, and the sitting room is to the right. All around is the most wonderfully eclectic, tastefully arranged and beautifully styled collection of artwork, furniture, soft furnishings and personal effects that have, quite possibly, ever graced the space. It is the home of Caecilia Potter, design director of Melbourne-based interior design practice Atticus & Milo.

When he planned his project, he has expected to step into a formal grand ballroom, complete with massive crystal chandelier. But the result is even better: a well-designed interior that truly reminds a home. It a rare pleasure to behold. “The deliberate informality is very elegant, the styling never contrived and the dialogue between design and decoration both balanced and relaxed. That have a story always touch you because everything in them has special meaning” – Potter says. Perhaps this is the key to Huntingtower design success.

Walking through the dining room and getting  into the billiard room you can find the 1950’s Swedish rosewood cabinet that stands out. This beauty has been customised by  quite frankly but  the most memorable.

In the dining room multi-faced mirror above the fireplace and the artwork that,  is broken up within its reflection in the mirror opposite. One of a collection оf small-scale Guan Wei sculptures, which are scattered throughout various rooms, sits on the mantelpiece, These whimsical white figures recline languidly, and their cloud-like bodies put a smile on the face. There is also elegant rose-colored a chandelier in this room.

Across the entry and into the sitting room a much-loved peppermint green sofa is complemented by a zebra-skin rug. This room has a calming effect, probably due to its colour palette made up of pastels and creamy whites. It leads into the light-drenched conservatory, which was added in 1892 by a new owner, and which is now used as an art studio by Potter’s eldest son. The kitchen is to the rear of the ground floor, but the real delight is upstairs in the powder room and tower, both a stark contrast, colour-wise, to the downstairs rooms.

There is a place for souvenirs which they get travelling on the first-floor. The artwork above the bed from Venice, the books in the den on various international destinations and the pink and orange colour scheme in the powder room and the towers wallpaper is a nod to the South African traditions of Sundowners in Capetown. For Potter and her husband what fills their home is multiple references to journeys past as well as an extensive collection of personal effects collected from their many travels. Like to collect things in our travels that you wouldn’t see here, and so bringing them home helps to cement new memories of a good trip, Potter says. Everything tells a story.

The tower on the rooftop is narrow and winding.  Windows are  opened in the summer, for cooling the whole house, eradicating the need for air conditioning. The view from the rooftop is breathtaking. Surveying the skyline, you can  feel that this house, with all its charm and outstanding design attributes, is something special, because of the emotive and approach of its interior designer.

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