A Room in a inner city home, where a mix of the contemporary and the classic come together perfectly.
This was a Dining Room in a home in Hawthorn Melbourne, that was completed 15 years ago. The property was a large historic home, set on a large block of land with extensive gardens. The house was sound structurally but was in need of extensive interior work. The room featured here, was completely striped bare to begin with, then the walls were papered with a Chinoiserie Wallpaper in a magnificent shade of yellow. New carpet was laid, ceilings and architectural features painted, then curtains were designed and made in a pure silk two toned stripped fabric. This became the elegant backdrop for the clients extensive English Georgian Antique and art collection. Several more pieces of furniture and art were selected to finish the room, the Allan Baker still life above the side board was one such piece. The Swedish Crystal Empire Chandelier was also sourced for the project, and has become the centre piece of the space.
The wonderful thing about this room, is that it looks as good today, as it did when it was first completed. This Dining Room is not an untouchable showpiece, but an elegant and timeless interior designed to enjoyed by all the family who lives in this home.
What could have just been a ceiling on this project, became something special, simply by adding beautiful architectural detailing to the ceiling space. The end result is something that elevates the room to another level.
This Bathroom was designed to be not only functional but elegant in design as well. This was achieved by the choice of finishes and fittings which has created the perfect end result seen here.
Against a colour pallet of warm neutrals, this bedroom was created to be light and fresh in form and finish. The built in credenza creates extra storage space, as well as being a stylish feature in the room. The large glass doors give access to a covered outdoor area with city views. A pop of colour has added through the use of cushions on the contemporary sleigh bed.
The evolution of how we live in our homes and the interior layouts in the last 100 years is interesting. You can see the ever changing 'spaces', within our homes, from clusters of rooms that served a specific function, to less, so called defined 'living/dining rooms', and an open plan approach that we now see today.
The project here, is a good example of not only 'open plan' living, but interior spaces that open out completely to exterior covered spaces, allowing a continuum of flow throughout the areas of the home, where people gather for social interaction and quiet down time.
Where once our grandparents would have been horrified at the thought of a rear wall of a home, disappearing completely, this is now seen as a prized architectural feature of domestic design. When we worked on this design feature, it was to create maximum opening space to the outside areas, which has created not only the sense of greater space, both inside and out, but allows the dramatic effect of joining the two spaces harmoniously. Separate areas are created for dining, sitting and enjoying the extensive city views, both inside and outside the home.
The kitchen is the heart of the space, not just for meal preparation, but a point in the home, where people can gather in conversation and socialise, its become a focal point in the space, the joining factor of the exterior and interior spaces.
The living areas of this home, are open, filled with natural light, natural airflow and most of all, are a reflection of 'how we want to live', in the inner city urban hubs of our cities in the 21st century. These were the considerations we took into account when we stated work on this project, and the end result, combined with elegant furniture, soft furnishings and lighting, has created the ideal home for today.
Finishes and detail, are so important on every project. The image above, shows a newly completed Ensuite. The result is an elegant space, using chocolate and cream marble to create a dateless classic contemporary space, combined with modern designed bathroom accessories and quality bathroom fittings.
The Ensuite is approached via the Main Bedroom, [pictured below], through a large walk in Dressing Room. Sliding recessed doors isolate the areas, when necessary.
The Spaces flow effortlessly and have a harmonious connection, made possible by good design, as well as the quality of the finishes selected. The end result speaks for itself, understated luxury, that has all the practical qualities that make this part of the home such a joy to live with.
The description 'contemporary interiors', is often quoted today, it conjures up the vision of white walls, concrete floors, often cold and austere. Contemporary Design cannot, and should not be defined by any set of rules. It simple is a term that describes an interior or form of architecture that is not 'traditional'.
This Kitchen from one of our projects is contemporary in design, but with classic overtones.
Finishes are the stand out feature, the use of veneers, the contrasting white cabinet work, stone bench tops, glazed subway tiles, walk in pantry and the use of quality Gaggenau Appliances, make this kitchen not only very stylish, but also very practical. The 3 meter Island Bench made from a slab of marble, which is 70mm thick, not only looks good, but is a perfect workspace. With a large overhang it can comfortably accommodate bar stools as well. The contrasting veneers, of toasted walnut, and zebra wood, used in the floating shelves next to the oven tower is striking.
Lighting is provided in the room, via energy efficient LED overhead lights, and the decorative retro industrial light above the island bench. Concealed lighting above the cooktop, provides practical, as well as decorative lighting at the same time.
A truly functional space, but at the same time, one that is timeless and elegant, but very much contemporary. The heart of the house, where meals are prepared, and people gather, what could be better than that.
'First Impressions are always important', or so the saying goes. This is also important for a home. The entry is the gateway to the soul of a home, and an introduction to who lives here. The example above is what can be achieved, when, there is a blank canvas to work with.
The space was contemporary, white, no architectural detail, but had the potential for something much more than what was there. With little architectural detail to work with, colour is the best medium to create detail within the space. The walls were kept neutral, but the ceiling was transformed by painting it a rich chocolate brown. The honed limestone floor already existed and the new ceiling colour accentuated the floor in a way the clients could never have imagined.
With the foundation of the space, transformed, furniture, art and a hall rug were selected to finished the space. The hall rug, is Tibetan, hand woven in silk and wool, with a contemporary geometric design, in a pallet of grey, taupe and silver. Gilded iron benches gives symmetry either side of the large Antique Gilded French mirror, as well as the modern wall sconces, imported especially from the USA. A wonderful eclectic mix of styles, that creates an international feel to the space, it can't be defined in terms of style or definition, just a harmonious, balanced mix of good taste and style. The placement of Asian artefacts and contemporary framed Asian Art finishes the space.
Once a bland nothing entrance, has been transformed by a simple well thought out design approach, that's created a stylish entry, the entrée to the home, for both victors and those who live here.
With Spring well and truly here, we begin to use the outdoors areas of our homes, more and more. The outdoors have become and extension of the interiors of a home, whether used for entertaining or just a quiet space to escape to. With this ever growing style of living, designing outdoor spaces to be stylish and comfortable has become more and more important to home owners. Design projects are now divided into two components, interior and the exterior spaces of a home, with each given just as much attention.
The above image is one such project where the outdoor spaces were given extensive thought, to come up with a liveable and workable environment. The home is positioned on Moreton Bay with extensive views over the water from the front of the house. A large outdoor area from the front of the home allows for social gatherings to take place with ease, and to take in the views. The one downside being that high winds of the water can make the area at times not workable. So the back of the home, was to have its own secluded, sheltered courtyard, quiet, private and rejuvenating.
Mirrors were designed and placed above the sunken pond, to create the feeling of greater space. Furniture is made to endure the environmental factors, and white was selected as the colour finish, so as to be always light and crisp in the hot Summer months. All fabrics are made for the outdoors, as well as the rug, no need to worry about UV and moisture damaging anything. Colours are subtle in upholstery fabrics and bold in cushion colours.
The space is perfect for the family who live here. It can be a quiet retreat, or used as an extension from the dining area of the home, when more space is required for entertaining. Nothing is nicer than on a quiet day, to listen to the trickle of water and relax in a space that is designed in a stylish, yet practical, used and enjoyed by all who live here.