Hiro-En House by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design

July 18, 2018

Outside In

Hiro-En House by Matt Gibson Architecture + DesignThis Victorian villa in Melbourne has been extended by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design to create an uplifting space which more than fulfils the homeowners' brief to optimise their outdoor living space.

The architects adopted the traditional Japanese building concept of "hiro-en" and based the extension at the back of the house on two deep verandahs, one of which is double-height.  With the dividing glass walls flung wide open, the living room extends seamlessly into the garden.  In addition, the architects added a sail-like metal mesh curtain all around the two verandahs, providing flexible and beautifully ethereal protection against the fierce afternoon sun as well as the neighbours' gaze.

Inside, the original part of the villa features a darkly atmospheric living room with library-style bookcases lining an entire wall.  The open plan living space in the extension is light and airy with skylights cleverly positioned to mark the meeting point of the old and new structures as well as lighting up the original brick walls.  We also like the sumptuous bedroom with its dramatic flower print wallpaper and luxuriously upholstered furniture set against the ornate stone fireplace and gilded mirror.

However inviting the interior spaces are, nothing quite beats the stunning outdoor dining area.  With the setting sun filtering gently through the billowing curtain and the barbecue all fired up, this indoor-outdoor space is simply irresistible.

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Matt Gibson Architecture + Design

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Product Inspiration

Create your own indoor outdoor style by combining natural wood furniture such as the Fan table from Desalto with outdoor-friendly chairs such as the Ming aluminium chair from Stellar Works and the Gardenias outdoor armchair with pergola from BD Barcelona Design.

Fan Table   Ming Aluminium Chair (Outdoor)   Gardenias Outdoor Armchair with Pergola


A statement light such as the Noon 5 suspension light from Zeitraum would look great in the darkly atmospheric living room.  For the outdoor spaces go for portable LED table lamps such as the Piknik from LZF or the Carrie from Menu.

Noon 5 Suspension Light   Piknik Portable Wireless Table Light   Carrie LED Portable Lamp - Set of 2


Wild botanic prints, such as the Tropical Bloom wallpaper from Mind The Gap, look great in bedrooms, especially when teamed with accessories such as the Knotted Cherry container from Ghidini 1961 and the Twitable from Seletti.

Tropical Bloom Wallpaper   Knotted Cherry Container (Large)   Twitable

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