A Chic Australian Heritage Home With a Mediterranean Touch

Sacha Strebe

When it comes to interiors, Australian designers are at the forefront. They've nailed the laid-back aesthetic with an eclectic touch, thanks to their unique global positioning. Case in point: This iconic heritage building, The Hermitage, which highlights the nation's European history. Brian Hess of Sydney firm Hess Hoen was tasked with the 1931 home's recent renovation, which included major structural overhauls and updates to the interior. The end result is a striking modern space with a bright open plan and a distinctly ancestral feel.

Our favorite feature is the spiral staircase, which also happened to be the most challenging part of the project. "Every time I design something, it's never a repetition of what I've done before," Hess told YellowTrace. "I'm always pushing boundaries and adapting new details with different materials. It has to work well and at the same time be beautiful to look at." If that doesn't inspire you, then the outdoor bathtub with views of Sydney Harbour will.

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