While 1990s homes are not as shockingly retro as the avocado-green and burnt-orange trends of the 1970s, interiors in their second or third decade of life are usually in desperate need of a refresh.
That’s exactly what Alexander & Co.’s Shelby Griffiths and Jordan Fleming delivered in Pacific House, a 1990s concrete-framed home overlooking the ocean in Sydney, Australia. Their team, alongside principal architect Jeremy Bull, reconfigured the layout, opening up the dark interior with blond-wood and marble surfaces galore to take advantage of the stunning scenery and honor the client’s taste for classical architecture with a contemporary twist.
Before attempting any interior design, the architect reworked the house’s awkward circulation to make it easier for the clients to spend quality time with their children and enjoy the ocean views.
While traditional marble interiors often feel stuffy, Griffiths and Fleming strategically deployed white and gray marble surfaces to reflect light throughout the kitchen, bathrooms, and common areas. In the courtyard-facing kitchen, terrazzo-like floors are made from Carrara, Grigio Firma, and Grigio Lana marbles. The oak ceiling is accentuated by American oak veneer joinery by JP Finsbury, while the suave Bianco Carrara marble backsplash and island further amplify the brightness of the floors, cabinets, and ceiling.
The kitchen’s lightness extends to intimate and common areas across the five-bedroom house. In the powder room, the designers chose Smeraldo Quartzite for the vanity to add a pop of green against DK Carrara White honed stone skirting and sleek gray tumbled floor tiles by Surface Gallery. In the primary bedroom, a custom-made, American oak veneer headboard recalls the kitchen’s oak finishes. Downstairs, shared areas are punctuated by archways framed in Grigio Firma marble, one of the three stones used in the kitchen floor. Some of the interior archways are fitted with pocket doors, while exterior doors frame the spectacular view.
With its extensive renovation, the blond wood and shimmering marble preserve a hint of the home’s ’90s mystique, but this 21st-century home is now undoubtedly contemporary.