Contemporary Comforts

 14 Jul 2020

Studio Esteta has taken a beach house with good bones and mid-century lineage in Victoria, and mindfully renovated it to the standard of contemporary creature comforts. Blessed it may be in site and heritage, until recently, something about Portsea Beach House was amiss: the aged design and build was ill-suited for contemporary creature comforts.

Portsea Beach House hit the desk of Studio Esteta in the form of a well-defined yet not restrictive renovation project brief. Wanting for spatial reconfiguration and some design TLC, the original volume was to be transformed into a light filled, six-bedroom family home. Destined to set the scene of many fond times with family and friends yet to come, the clients’ sought spaces fit for sharing and entertaining more than peace, quiet and respite.

Portsea House by Studio Esteta

Studio Esteta was entrusted to realise this vision with just two reasoned edicts holding the architects’ response shy of carte blanche. First, to keep the redesign within the existing built footprint; and foremost, to cultivate the mid-century charm of Portsea Beach House’s lineage while bringing contemporary sensibilities to its updated design. The resulting residence is modern and casual, yet with a deep sense of nostalgia and soul.

The existing kitchen, dining and living areas were maintained to the first-floor level maximising the coastal aspect and adjacent spacious terrace. The bar provides a relaxed entertainment area, incorporating a high benchtop and operable window that maximizes views and cultivates a connection with the Portsea Pier.

Portsea House by Studio Esteta

In keeping with the clients’ preferences, Studio Esteta ensured that heritage mid- century details were retained, wherever possible, or used as a point of reference whenever not. This included the reuse of unique wall hooks and existing glazed mosaic tiles that, although couldn’t be salvaged, inspired the palette direct for the five individual wet areas. Meanwhile, the use of a Zip HydroTap in the relevant wet areas acts as a refined nod to the contemporary comforts now enjoyed at Portsea Beach House.  

“Innovative and unique to this project was the commitment from our clients and ourselves, as the designers, to cautiously alter the existing home whilst remaining true to, and enhancing, the stylistic significance of its mid-century undertone,” says Sarah Cosentino, co-director of Studio Esteta. “The resulting home has now become a sanctuary where our clients can find a shared respite in their beloved beachside property with friends and family.”

Portsea House by Studio Esteta

Consisting of slatted wall panelling, bagged white walls, warm timbers and accents of natural stone, the tactile palette works to create a cohesive, unpretentious and modern seaside home. Previously a vacuous space, the reimagined entry foyer is defined by a bespoke, mid-century inspired staircase. Studio Esteta has coupled this prominent design feature with views through to the bar and the coastal aspect beyond for an impactful first impression.

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PROJECT: Portsea House, Port Phillip Bay, VIC
SPECIFIED BY: Studio Esteta
PHOTOGRAPHY: Sean Fennessy
HydroTap Classic All-In-One BCSHA - Brushed Chrome
HydroTap Classic 5-in-1 BCSHA - Brushed Chrome