WOWOWA Architecture brings a playful approach to the renovation of Hermon House, using texture, colour, and creative design to bring new life to an Edwardian property.

Hawthorn is a wonderfully leafy, inner eastern suburb of Melbourne. Its large, wide streets feature gentle curves and corners that occur at whim, creating interesting aspects and unconventional blocks. All this is to say, there is a luxury to these homes. Once off the busy arteries, these streets present calm and tranquillity.

Hiding behind an Edwardian façade, an amazing, contemporary renovation has stitched the ornate details of yesteryear with the modern palette and the signature shapes of WOWOWA Architecture.

Hermon House is both homage and embellishment. Once you pass the final Edwardian flourish of the main hall, it’s only then that you’re aware of the contemporary space WOWOWA has created.

“The colour palette came from the [original] stained glass. They’re beautiful lavender, pink and green. It felt very Australiana,” explains Monique Woodward, WOWOWA’s Director. “The joinery also takes its cues from the geometric patterns, celebrating the existing details and archways of the old home.”

WOWOWA relished the distorting of elements and the subverting of expectation with their characteristic playful approach.

“I think there’s a tendency to go in a much more minimal direction [in homes like this] but we go the other way,” say Woodward on her approach to Hermon House.

Part of the WOWOWA signature – and excellent advice for any designer – is design cohesiveness, repeating colours or motifs that connect one space to another. In this home, the wonderful, natural beauty of the garden is brought inside by Laminex Bayleaf green. It is teamed with earthy terracotta and warm terrazzo finishes on concave and convex curves that invite and draw you in. “We were keen to partner that with the browns and warm tones in the space… to tie it in and bring the whole house together,” says Woodward.

Laminex Bayleaf is repeated in the bedroom cabinetry, bookending the design language set out by main living areas.

“We love working with Laminex,” says Woodward. “In a way when you’re choosing any colour under the rainbow, it’s nice to know that an interior designer or stylist has previously chosen this colour specifically!”

Whether cabinetry or wall panelling, Laminex delivers colour to architects and designers like WOWOWA to complete their vision, comfortably sitting alongside a palette and material list as extensive as this.

“One of the best things is looking around the room at the end of a project and seeing all those little moments. They just bring joy.”

Design and architecture: WOWOWA
Video: The Local Project
Photography: Martina Gemmola