Melbourne Design Awards - City Design Awards

Hawthorn Residence

Melbourne Design Awards 2010 - Winner

Project Overview

Colour was intergral to this project, embracing the owners appreciation for danish design. This was reflected in bespoke joinery, featuring cutouts in shelving and fun handle details. offset by strong visual materials with shots of charcoal, persimmon and natural timbers. Reflective qualities provided light, through the use of mirrored surfaces, a glass splash-back and highlight windows.

Project Team


Doherty Lynch
Mardi Doherty/ Fiona Lynch


Doherty Lynch
Mardi Doherty/ Fiona Lynch

Mardi Doherty, Fiona Lynch, Michelle Evans, Cassie Tankey

Project Brief

Rather than spend big money on a large scale renovation this family decided to re-organise the existing kitchen living and dining area.

It was important that this renovation was to have a relationship with the existing bones of the 1990's Victorian home. The detailing and materials where to stand out in this new area, performing as both a functional living space to the family of four as well as providing an exciting visual experience.

The success of the spaces derived from fun and innovative design concepts. Large cookie shaped door handles throughout, and a cut-out in the study desk made for a fun element to what could have been quite plain joinery. Repeated elements of American Oak, Woodland Grey, Persimmon and bluestone set off by clean white joinery helped to highlight as well as uniform the spaces.

Project Innovation / Need

Creating spaces where both usable areas are relevant to a family as well as a statement design piece that stood alone was the initial process engaged for this job.

The kitchen provides a central point for this area with the mirrored island bench creating a greater feeling of space, complimented by a horizontal windowed splash back looking onto the lush courtyard beyond.

The strength in colour and natural materials also helped in providing a grounding for interesting and innovative design elements. This can be seen through bespoke door handles, floating joinery and cutouts providing interest, as well as display and storage spaces, which was of high priority.

The "study nook" was an opportunity to show a cheeky side to the design, including unique lighting under floating shelves, hidden cupboards and storage areas. The space went from an ordinary workspace to a fun and punchy focal point!

Design Challenge

The main challenges involved in the undertaking of this job was working within the existing structure of this 1990's structure. With the importance of space and lighting being such an integral element to the final design, which was previously lacking.

The outcome however was great.


An emphasis on local and natural materials were of great importance to the overall design of this home. Using elements of natural bluestone, glass and local timber veneers for the finished design.

Local contractors where sourced within Melbourne, with multi-disciplined professionals allowing greater experiences and minimal wastage.

The central atrium louvre's were used to provide cross ventilation throughout the open areas. A large bluestone open fireplace creates ambience and warmth through the cooler winter periods.

Double glazed windows were also used to assist in heating and cooling methods.

Keeping as much of the 1990's built shell as possible also helped in the re-using and recycling of as much of the existing materials. Creating a relationship between new and old.