Merrick’s Guest House, ensconced within the beauty of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, invokes an emotional response akin to the peace that descends when entering a sanctuary. The luscious greenery that cascades down the rich, weathered timber clad exterior lends the building a humble and whimsical quality. It is as if the established surroundings have cocooned the shelter, whilst cleverly aligned window openings on each elevation provide views straight through the structure to the natural landscape beyond. This considered design element of the conversion from what was originally a studio welcomes, beckons and hints at the light-drenched interior within.
Through the introduction of new openings, the interior of the cottage is flooded with natural light and views of the surrounding gardens are framed to wholly redefine the spatial experience.
Presenting as a rural property with an existing residence and studio outhouse, the conversation of the studio to a two-bedroom accommodation offering was guided by both its surroundings and the primary residence with which it was to be anchored. When Melbourne design practice Studio Esteta initially sat with their clients – owners of the 10-acre property located within the peninsula’s wine region – the necessity to maximise the connection of the cottage with the natural beauty of the site’s surroundings was defined. As was the need to provide a functional residential arrangement, with a compact and minimal aesthetic within, that complimented the aged and rustic beauty of the building’s facade.
Through the introduction of new openings, the use of the cottage has been wholly redefined. Beautifully flooding the interior with natural light and simultaneously enhancing the experience of inhabitants by framing views of the surrounding wine region, neighbouring paddocks, the pool, and surrounding gardens. This influx of light and the implementation of a cleverly considered layout resulted in 2 bedrooms, a compact bathroom, euro laundry and open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas.
Considered spatial planning of Merrick’s Guest House has resulted in 2 bedrooms, a compact bathroom, euro laundry and open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas.
An interior palette of soft timbers and natural stone draws upon the rustic nature of the external elements and creates a tangible connection to the landscape. A refined sophistication is evoked through the use of smoked oak floors that flow throughout the living space and seamlessly transition between horizontal and vertical surfaces in a subtle continuance into full height joinery. This seamless integration of materials is further applied to the bathroom, an inviting timber clad pod, and is contrasted by black hardware and accents that lend a timeless resonance to the interior of the cottage.
Studio Esteta’s elevated design approach for Merrick’s Guest House is evident in the highly detailed yet subtle lines of the interior joinery, the cottage’s soft palette and the highly tactile quality of material choices.
The gentle harmony between exterior and interior of Merrick’s Guest House culminates in a bespoke accommodation offering that is raw, honest and entirely luxurious.
Words by Tiffany Jade and Studio Esteta
Photography by Tom Blachford