Achieving A Moody ‘London Look’ Interior, With Gillianne Griffiths

Studio Griffiths founder and creative director Gillianne Griffiths says her style is best described as ‘understated luxury’.

‘For me, simplicity, style, and elegance are the signatures of the most successful design ideas and will always remain the cornerstone of my approach to design,’ Gillianne says.

This aesthetic is something her Melbourne-based architecture and interior design practice brings to every project they work across, including a recently revamped Toorak home called BTT Residence. Taking design cues from London townhouses, Gillianne focused on creating modern interiors using a moody colour palette.

Black steel windows have been paired with parquetry flooring, leaving room for statement furniture and styling pieces from DOMO such as the Wittmann Grain Cut Side Table, and the Ligne Roset Clouds installation, which brings a sculptural element to the refined backdrop. Meanwhile, the former garage has been converted into a luxe theatre room lined with Ligne Roset’s Togo Small Settee and Togo Fireside Chairs and Togo Footstools.

Hear more from Gillianne about this sleek project below.

Hi Gillianne! Your BTT project features a timeless interior inspired by traditional London terrace houses, how did you approach the design?

Having renovated the owners’ residence in Red Hill, BTT was to become their ‘city pad’. London is very special to the clients who spend quite a bit of time over there, and having traversed the streets of Belgravia and Chelsea many times myself, I understood the direction of my clients who wanted to emulate a classic London terrace. Key goals were to maximise the 315-square-metre footprint with a functional floorplan, and more importantly to bring in natural light throughout.

How do you define the ‘London look’ when it comes to interiors, and what components of this project channel that style?

From an exterior perspective, the distinctive giveaway is that these homes are built in rows and the interiors are vertically stacked with bedrooms on top, living spaces below and typically a back garden. Another important component is capturing and combining old with new — so balancing contemporary design with heritage.

Starting with the foundation of flooring, BTT features beautiful parquetry throughout typifying the ‘British’ sensibility of a townhouse. Using contemporary colours is another key aspect, namely the study and theatre uses dark walls and ceilings to create this contemporary feel. Patterned fabric such as the custom-designed tartan carpet and colourful furniture in rich saturated hues is used as a unifying thread throughout in this project, and another nod to the British heritage.

The project has a real sense of comfort, with an emphasis on upholstered furniture in generous proportions and lots of textural fabrics. What’s your advice for creating a space that feels inviting, while also ensuring it appears elevated and refined?

Choose soothing colours. I normally gravitate toward colours that are soft, warm, and calming as a base, and then juxtapose these with deep, muted colour and texture in upholstered furniture, benchtops, wall and floor tiles. Adding some natural elements such as greenery and ensuring clear sight-lines to the landscape will always bring a sense of beauty and harmony to your spaces too. Installing floor-to-ceiling, steel-framed glazing at the rear of the house created a transparent view to the stunning lush and leafy courtyard of this project.

Using soft lighting will also help create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere — think table and floor lamps, and wall sconces. Having organised and considered spaces with beautifully proportioned furniture items will always create a sense of spaciousness, order, and peace, which in turn will ensure your design is refined and timeless.

The inclusion of the Ligne Roset Clouds wall installation is a really unique addition to the dining area. What drew you to this piece, and why does it work so well in this space?

I’ve always loved this innovative typology by the Bouroullec brothers and obsessed with the textiles of Kvadrat. The Ligne Roset Clouds are a fabulous alternative to hard materials and artwork, presenting the opportunity to bring soft materials into our rooms. It’s also so versatile due to the simple construction of the click system, so you can really personalise and customise a design to the space. We’ve used it to soften the dark masculine notes of the joinery, instead providing some light and movement with its sculptural forms.

More generally, what features are you drawn to when selecting furniture and design pieces for your projects? 

The two fundamental points I consider are functionality and aesthetic integrity, as this directly affects your interior spaces. Proportion, quality, and durability are equally important elements in furniture selection as these elements promote comfort well-being and user experience.

What’s next for Studio Griffiths?

Having now relocated our headquarters from the Mornington Peninsula back to the city, it’s exciting that we can continue to service our existing projects and clients on the Peninsula with a satellite office over there and then maximise our focus to increase our presence to clients, projects and suppliers here in Melbourne. Our goal is to continue to create meaningful projects and spaces — we’re currently working on some beautiful projects and we also have a few projects coming out of construction, so it will be a proud moment when we reveal these.

For more than 30 years, DOMO has remained Australia’s exclusive stockist of prestigious design brands from Europe, and across the globe.

With showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, DOMO offers a curated collection of classic, contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture ranges that last a lifetime.

For more design inspiration, follow DOMO on Instagram here.

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