Thoughtfully crafted by Ewert Leaf, No.8 Grattan’s facade couples strong linearity with natural materiality to present an elegant addition to the Hawthorn streetscape. A palette of dark masonry and pale render creates a residential feel, tying in seamlessly with surrounding heritage homes. Appointed by Jack Merlo, generous greenery provides a vibrant contrast to these monochromatic tones while softening the overall quality of the building.
Giving definition to the facade, protruding balconies allow for engagement between residents and their surrounding environment. The building’s top level is set back from the street to ensure that its presence is captivating yet entirely unimposing. Tying all elements together, the design is symmetrical in nature, complete with a framed pathway at the centre for a considered arrival experience.
The location was the biggest source of inspiration for us, particularly the fact the residences are so close to the Yarra, nestled within a beautiful leafy setting. This influenced our use of natural tones and materials with rich, earthy qualities to them. We wanted to subtly reference the many hues and textures you’d find in a natural landscape, presenting them in a way that feels premium and polished. We also wanted to draw a strong connection between the architecture and the interiors – for me that’s always a big thing. There needs to be cohesion in the design language between inside and outside.
We wanted to create an environment that felt like a private residence, not something impersonal or mass produced. In addition to the apartments’ expansive size, this sentiment has been exemplified by the crafted, considered quality inherent throughout. The materials palette is filled with beautiful details like panelled joinery, reeded glass, terrazzo and natural stone, which come together to create a rich sensory experience. The generous appliance package from Miele is also a standout feature, as is the use of elegant Articolo wall sconces.
The interiors are innately generous, a place that downsizers can smoothly transition into without feeling like they’ve compromised on quality, size or lifestyle. With an appreciation for craft, they exude luxury in a way that is quietly refined – not flashy or ostentatious. We also wanted to cultivate a glorious sense of retreat, which I feel has been achieved through a calming and natural palette along with abundant natural light.
The kitchen. I love nothing more than a well-appointed kitchen. You can just see how the residents could have really amazing gatherings there, be it for Christmas with the family or dinner parties with friends. I’d be spending every weekend cooking up a storm in there with those exceptional appliances. I also love the connection to the generous terrace from the kitchen and open-plan living area. Being able to open those doors and connect the two spaces would be delightful in the warmer months.
Whilst being connected and central in an inner-city suburb, you’re tucked away from the hustle and bustle on quiet, leafy Grattan Street. You’re close to the river, and I think just being near water creates an instant sense of relaxation and rejuvenation. You’ve got brilliant access to nature here – both the Yarra and local parks – which I think is key to a fulfilling lifestyle. On the other hand, you’re just a stone’s throw from the city and Hawthorn’s fantastic lifestyle hubs. The restaurants and boutiques in the area are some of my favourite in Melbourne, so residents couldn’t be more spoilt for choice when it comes to culture.
Associate Director and head interior designer at Ewert Leaf, Simone MacGinley’s favourite space within No.8 Grattan is the kitchen. Here, grey marble adorns the island bench, splash back and bar area – a material selected for its striking details, elegant colour and durable quality. Full-height joinery provides abundant storage for all your kitchenwares, appointed with consideration for the instinctive ways in which we move around a kitchen. Resident entertainers will delight in having a butler’s pantry and custom bar complete with a premium wine fridge and built-in shelving. Miele appliances in sophisticated black will simplify meal preparation while bringing a polished quality to the overall palette.
On a cool day, cosy up by the fireplace in your expansive, light-filled living area. Paired with an opulent stone plinth, crafted timber joinery imbues texture while providing extra storage. Sturdy and low maintenance, engineered oak floors create a sense of warmth and a calm, homely feel. Framed by full-height windows, the space is afforded with a verdant outlook to the landscaping and treetops, allowing the greenery to become an art-like feature within. On warmer days, open the sliding doors to create a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor living – the ultimate setting for a summer soiree.
A private haven, the master suite of No.8 Grattan is a defined by crafted luxury. Here, a base of woollen carpet is gloriously soft underfoot, cultivating a cosy and nurturing feel. The spacious walk-in-wardrobe epitomises grandeur, boasting generous storage space for all your garments along with practical built-in shelving. A panelled timber dressing table is the hero of the space – the perfect home for your jewellery, perfume and most treasured objects.
Designed to evoke a sense of rejuvenation, the ensuite is a vision of refined details and rich textures. Illuminated by dappled light, terrazzo tiles have been teamed with marble surfaces, panelled timber joinery and reeded glass. A spacious free-standing bathtub and walk-in shower imbue a sense of hotel-style luxury, encouraging endless moments of self-care. Providing optimal storage, a generous double-vanity and expansive mirror will ensure your daily rituals unfold with the utmost ease.
Each of the residences is unique, and as such, we’ve customised both the architecture and the landscape response to provide seamless, considered outdoor environments. We’ve ensured that a beautiful green aspect can be admired from within the residences wherever possible. Being able to draw that sense of greenery into the home is so important – you should be able to enjoy your garden visually even when you are not physically outside. When a design is able to achieve this, that is when the interiors truly comes to life. It was also important that people moving out of a larger home won’t feel like they’re sacrificing a beautiful garden or a leafy outlook.
You’re so close to the city here yet still very much surrounded by nature, with the Yarra River just a stone’s throw away. We wanted to mimic the sense of enclosure and tranquility you feel whilst down by the Yarra, which is why we’ve incorporated larger trees to the courtyards along with dense foliage and a selection of natives.
I think it’s vital for people to feel an enhanced sense of wellbeing as soon as they step out onto their terrace or courtyard. To feel immediately relaxed and at ease. Through the use of dense, generous foliage with deep pigmentation, we’ve been able to cultivate a sanctuary. Even the upper level residents will enjoy a beautiful sense of privacy through strategically-placed plantings. Ultimately, these spaces are designed to be enjoyed, whether it’s in the form of entertaining guests or relaxing with a coffee and book. We wanted to create a really beautiful backdrop for these kind of activities – environments that residents will instinctively gravitate towards.
Being good at what you do is loving what you do. Twenty years on and I still really enjoy the challenges every job poses. I like to maintain a personal involvement in every project. No two jobs are ever the same, so that keeps my energy and enthusiasm up.
The courtyards of No.8 Grattan feel like full-sized gardens, featuring expansive layouts and pre-existing trees to select apartments. Utilising a low-maintenance yet fast-growing plant palette, Jack Merlo has curated a lush oasis that changes with the seasons. It provides privacy, seclusion and a beautiful outlook within the interior living spaces. Sophisticated pavers present the perfect spot for an outdoor setting, complete with a state-of-the-art barbecue for all your backyard events.