Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Bling Bling Dynasty cabinet by Daniel – Emma.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Offset Coffee Table & Stool by Resident, from Aura Objects. Kepi armchair from Saba Italia via Estilo Commercial.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Custom Design by Sophia Leopardi. Wishbone CH24 Dining Chair by Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn, from Cult. On the benchtop, Kirikabu Stump Vessel by Yoko Ozawa and Naked Clay Vase by Kerryn Levy from Jam Factory; Slip Cast ceramic bowl by Yuro Cuchor from Handmade & Found.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
White concrete benchtops via Concrete House. City Stick taps from Brodware.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Steel rangehood & splashback with custom paint application through Southern Stainless Steel Fabricators. Major stool from Agostino & Brown. Muller Van Severen Lamp N2 wall light from Valerie Objects via Spence & Lyda. Internal paint colour throughout the interior – Dulux Lexicon Quarter.

 

Upon entering the hallway of Kensington Park Residence by Williams Burton Leopardi (WBL), it would be easy to think you’ve stumbled into an art gallery rather than a family home. Expansive heritage volume is grounded by timber floor unfolding with a deliciously deep black stain. The vivid energy from contemporary art collections leaps from their hung position, leading into the living spaces. This moment comes to define the very special home that lies within – one with all of the visual interest of a gallery but without any of its usual aloofness.

The Adelaide property exists within an original 1800s heritage villa, the new scheme adding to an ongoing narrative embedded within its walls. This latest chapter began with a shared love of design, art, and furniture coupled with a friendship between WBL interior designer and director, Sophia Leopardi, and her clients, Brooke and Hugo Michell, who share their home with four kids, two dogs, two cats and four chickens.

“Our guiding principle for the project was structure with softness, and underpinning this is always the understanding that we must know who we are designing for,” says Leopardi. “In this case, a close friendship gave us a free pass, but as any designer that has worked for friends before will know, this is a double-edged sword. The stakes are extra high, and chances are (so long as you do a decent job!) you’ll be spending lots of time back in the space so it’s a mix of being extra good, with the potential to be extra bad. You just really want to give it some extra sparkle, and just make sure it really bloody works!”

 

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Philippe Starck’s Cicatrice De Luxe Pendant from Flos. Jaime Hayon’s Ro Easy Chair from Fritz Hansen through Cult. Vitra cork stool Side Table.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Custom designed dresser by Sophia Leopardi, built by Barrett Lawe. Hand-thrown ceramic vessels by Ebony Heinrich via Handmade & Found.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Custom designed & made robe hook by Williams Burton Leopardi. AV coathanger from Menu.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Quaderna console bench, a 1970s classic by Sutperstudio for Zanotta.

 

Client meetings unfolded with a series of singlehanded Insta-chats and frenzied pinning sessions while juggling the needs of the designer’s and the clients’ babies – a narrative not nearly as glamourous as the one woven into the home.

The house not only accommodates an active family life but also the overflow from the client’s Hugo Michell Gallery. The home’s unique environment contains a delicious mess of everyday life clashing with contemporary art – a largely unconventional combination, to say the least.

The experience of moving through the residence can be likened to opening a treasure chest. Each room is guest to “a mind blowing contemporary art collection, and unpretentious amalgamation of design classics, and inherited antiques,” says Leopardi. The result is a true visual feast – an interior that doesn’t simply exist as a shell for curious items, but rather an extension of these collections.

 

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Brodware taps, Carara marble stone bench and splashback, Marble joinery handles from CB2, Porcelain floor tiles selected by the client.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Soft chair by Daniel – Emma.

Kensington Park House Adelaide, Williams Burton Leopardi, Australian Interiors | Yellowtrace
Brodware taps, Carara marble stone bench and splashback, Bloom floor lamp and Offset timber stool by Resident, Glacon gold stool by Ligne Roset. Naked Clay Vase by Kerryn Levy from Jam Factory. On the benchtop, Quarter Circle by Unity tray from The Source.

 

Overall, the scheme is largely restrained and neutral in its palette, allowing for a delicate equilibrium between structure and objects. In the kitchen, whitewashed walls are momentarily interrupted with the rich-deep green of the steel range hood and splashback. The glass screen brings balance to the light scheme, offsetting the white concrete benchtops.

The glass screen concept takes a slightly different form in the kids/ guest bathroom, equally leveraging the tall ceilings while being “dialled up a few notches on the ‘glamourmeter’ with the aged brass bringing a classic nod to this zone,” explains Leopardi.

The master bedroom with a connecting dressing room and ensuite act as a retreat among the chaos of family life. The large arched recess housing the vanity acts as the hero – this simple moment mirrors the soft arches of the main hall as well as existing window details, in turn bringing the original heritage soul of the home into the contemporary context.

“This project was a really special opportunity on a number of levels,” shares Leopardi. “From the beauty and soul of the existing heritage house, the incredible collection of art and furniture that fills it. But mostly having a hand in shaping the spaces that will hopefully be enjoyed by treasured friends for many years to come.”

 

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