Posts filed under residential design

Brunswick West House, Melbourne Australia - Taylor Knights

"This addition to an existing Californian bungalow in Brunswick West was from the outset an exercise in ‘quality over quantity’. For the clients, a creative couple with a teenager, achieving ‘more space and lots of it’ was never the goal, rather, opting for considered, flexible spaces that would adapt with them as a family. Often, the very nature of alterations within heritage homes can call for fiddly solutions in negotiating the traditional corridor and room arrangements. In response, our strategy looked to avoid significant reconfiguration of the existing internal spaces by repurposing the generous ivy-lined side access, creating a lush and unassuming new entry point at the centre of the home. This approach enables the home to operate quite cleanly and disparately in two parts of a whole: the existing rooms now accommodate bedrooms, while the addition forms the new social heart of the home. These new primary living spaces are arranged in and around three sculptural masonry walls, creating nooks and reveals within the open plan of the new addition – spaces that could offer a place to sit and share with family, or to retreat within at other times. For the client, creating a space that would also accommodate their diverse collection of artwork and literature was also an essential part of their brief – a family favourite being the much-loved print of Kandinsky’s Upward (Empor). This offered an opportunity for us to draw upon some of the artwork’s beautiful geometric and tonal elements, which in turn formed a reference for the interior palette within the new pavilion space. The result is the interplay between the white walls and light-reflecting timber lined black ceiling, and perhaps most noticeably, the striking sage green concrete floor flecked with dark local bluestone." - taylor knights

Curatorial House, Sydney Australia - Arent + Pyke

"Reconfiguring and returning gravitas to this classic P&O home, in collaboration with Architect Luke Moloney, the design references the 1930s era through subtle nods to Hollywood’s glamour days, while overcoming the disparity between the original and its 1980s extension. The relocation of the kitchen to the centre of the ground floor and the creation of a bespoke fireplace in the lounge, give heart to the home. Its engagement with the garden has also been addressed with a new balcony, defined doors, and windows without compromising the original architectural bones. The kitchen is now highly functional while seeming effortless. A large island of marble and a bespoke display cabinet, informed by the architecture of the house, provide a visual focus and act as dividing elements, with the pantry and working parts of the kitchen out of sight. As a curator’s family home, the hand of the designer remains unseen, allowing art to be changed without disruption to the visual rhythm. Pared back to a monochrome palette of black and white, the richness of heritage detailing and spatial volumes provide the foundation, while decoration and design details bring movement and a sense of dynamism." - arent + pyke

The Temps Retrouvé, Milan Italy - Marcante Testa 

"The project involves the renovation of an apartment of about 150 square meters in the center of Milan whose rooms overlook an internal garden. The visual relationship with the natural element was the determining reason for the choice of the client of this place in which to recognize and find each other. From this assumption the project of the Marcante-Testa architectural firm has been outlined as an investigation of those elements that, in the design of the living space, are able to evoke pleasant memories of domestic dimensions, often extra-urban, probably lived in the family: the house as custodian of the most intimate aspects of people and their memory, the house as an extension of an outside in which to isolate itself from the urban context and the working dimension. Nature bursts lightly, evoked and a little surreal on the walls of the rooms, integrating the foliage of the trees that emerge from the courtyard among the leaves. Materials such as wickerwork, Vienna straw and linen that make up seats, equipped partitions and closures of wardrobes, as well as the faux laminate marble of the kitchen table and the wicker beds of the beds, all together remind us of environments, perhaps lived in the "grandmother's house", here reinterpreted and made functional to contemporary needs. A "light" project made of decoration and furnishings (both vintage and designed) for a house to be built in a very short time and with costs commensurate to being a rented home, where the architectural structure of the building is not altered while modifying its perception space. The vision of the rooms changes and is articulated through the contrasts of color on the walls, using the floor resin that, partially covering the parquet, becomes "carpet" to identify the table and its chairs, but also through the metal frames in the rooms that they frame flowers and plants on paper, defining the places for study and rest. To the rigidity of the ridiculously hypermodern and falsely hypertechnological house of the Arpel family in the film "Mon Oncle" by Jacques Tati the soft humanity of "Monsieur Hulot" was preferred: a house able to preserve, making them visual, indispensable aspects of our character such as humor, lightness, and the ability to never take, even in the architectural project, too seriously. A house whose physical rooms help us to highlight the most authentic parts of our interior rooms, combining all the appropriate and useful elements of today with an enriching memory not to be denied, a project in which Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa have been able to conjugate the present at a temps retrouvé." - marcante testa

Rachel Castle Home, Sydney Australia - Rachel Castle + The Design Files

"Artist and designer Rachel Castle and her family have lived in their much loved Northbridge home for the past 10 years. The essential criteria for buying the house were ‘privacy, great light, and a living area that opened onto a level backyard’ and this property delivered on all fronts. The Castles have since fully nestled into their local neighbourhood – where neighbours have become best friends, and children have grown up together. ‘We are our own little suburban Ramsay Street!’ Rachel describes. Over the past decade, the family has transformed their home, through the layering of Rachel’s bright and cheerful soft furnishings and artwork, as well as through major renovations. After some frustrating false starts with the bureaucracy of planning permits (grrrr), plans for an upstairs renovation were flipped, when approval was instead granted for ground floor works to proceed. Rachel explains that after this process, ‘we were so reno weary, we just left the upstairs in the end.’ While council restrictions limited a large-scale transformation of the site, no administrative red tape could dampen the energy of Rachel’s distinct aesthetic! She views her style as ‘laissez faire’ as she loves ‘too many different things to have a proper style.’ Hilariously, she proclaims ‘I love so much those houses that are highly curated and so easy to find a quiet spot in, I would love to live in one, but I would have to burn everything we own in a bonfire and start again.’ PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS RACHEL! Rachel’s styling approach is simple: ‘sticking all of the things I like in the one spot’ and collecting art that she truly loves. She outlines this straightforward approach succinctly, ‘I never sell anything, so my one rule is just to love it there and then on the spot and commit to it.’ This has resulted in walls laden with beloved artworks, and a house which truly communicates the passions of its owners. While Rachel’s self-described ‘lazy’ style has organically led to the relaxed, bright and cheerful feeling of the space, she is eager to highlight the contributions of interior designer Tina De Salis, too. Rachel enthuses, ‘the house would never have looked half as good without my interior designer’ who specified all of the cabinetry,  windows and doors, all of the fittings. ‘Even though I knew what I wanted, she was KEY to getting all of the details right’ Rachel emphatically concludes, adding ‘my one piece of advice is to invest in the service of a good interior designer.’ If we have any chance of ever occupying a house as beautiful as this, we’ll be following this sage advice!" - the design files

North Perth Apartment , Perth Australia - Simon Pendal Architect

"Located at the end of a 1990s reproduction Georgian Mews in North Perth, this renovation reimagines a two storey townhouse interior and a modest, high walled north-facing brick courtyard. The new interior was developed on two principal fronts, firstly to accept and occasionally embellish the decorative parts of the original interior – ornate skirtings, ceiling roses, cornices and plasterwork – and treat each of the spaces as ‘castings’, and secondly to intensify these ‘cast’ spaces through the use of a single colour per room on floors, walls and ceilings. Diaphanous linen curtains have been added to all external windows and openings allowing the harsh light of Perth to be tempered and in certain rooms become almost fog-like. Key moments of top light are introduced and transitions between rooms are amplified by vivid colour change. Immersion within the coloured rooms (white for bedrooms, emerald green for the kitchen, black within niche spaces and the dressing room and Prussian blue for the upper sitting room) suspends people and things, orchestrates a powerful sequence from one space to the next and correlates to a specific atmosphere with each room’s intended use. The courtyard was emptied-out and re-clarified as a high-walled brick room addressing the dining room, kitchen and sky. A new brick floor with crushed fines border was introduced. Ficus Pimula has been extensively planted around its perimeter so that in time its walls will be awash in soft green foliage." - simon pendal architect

Frieda Gormley + Javvy M Royle (House Of Hackney) Home, London UK - House Of Hackney + Architectural Digest

"Visitors to Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle’s freshly redecorated house in London’s Hackney borough might want to pack a machete—it’s a jungle in there! Flowered papers climb walls and cross ceilings. Blossoming fabrics dress chairs and drape windows. Leafy carpets turn floors into meadows and the stairway into Amazonia. Vines dangle from newly opened skylights as thickly as fringe drips from sofas and lampshades. “We’ve been referred to as maximalists though this place is really just high on print and color,” explains the Dublin-born Gormley, cofounder of House of Hackney, the granny-mod lifestyle brand that she and her husband, a native of Somerset, have nurtured into a cultural phenomenon since its 2011 launch. So much so that two years ago the couple—he resembles a dashing goth rocker, while she is absolutely Pre-Raphaelite—were asked to redo the Terrace room at Annabel’s, the legendarily louche Berkeley Square private club. Which they did, splashing the space with palm-frond motifs and potted plants—think Madeleine Castaing goes hippie. All those botanicals reference what was the borough of Hackney’s pride and joy in the early 1800s: the largest hothouse in the world. “Palm trees were integral to this place, and that inspired our home,” Gormley explains of the project, completed in December with MRA Architecture & Interior Design. (The firm designed House of Hackney’s London flagship.) She and Royle expanded the narrow house, once a warren of bedsits, to the lot line. “Each person’s home should be a place where they exist happily,” she continues, “and psychedelic florals make me smile.” Whales, on the other hand, delight Gormley and Royle’s son, Little Javvy, hence the pod swimming across his walls; daughter Lila likes flowers. Add to this dollops of Morocco, India, and Africa, cultures that make the neighborhood “a melting pot with great energy,” Gormley says. Moorish-inspired arches now lift doorways, while photos by Mali’s Seydou Keïta (“They could almost have been taken here in Ridley Road Market”) hang on the entry’s cream-painted Lincrusta. The neutral background comes as a bit of a surprise given House of Hackney’s polychromania—though, Gormley sagely observes, even brilliantly colored decors require moments of relief." - house of hackney + architectural digest

Canning Cottage, Melbourne Australia - Bicker Design

"Originally built in 1874, the 32 sqm workers cottage has been transformed into a full self contained studio. Through attention to detail and experimentation with materiality, the small space has a big impact." - bicker design

Palm Beach House, Sydney Australia - Alexander + Co.

"Palm Beach House is the transformation of an existing waterfront holiday villa in Palm Beach, Sydney. The project is a restrained approach to a traditional European vernacular, exploring bespoke quality detailing, materiality and architectural framing. The result is a highly detailed and bespoke 5 bedroom coastal home." - alexander + co. 

Minna Parikka's Home, Helsinki Finland

"There are seven months of gloomy weather in Helsinki. But in the world of Minna Parikka, the shoe designer behind those playful bunny trainers you've seen on the feet of celebs like Cara Delevingne and Kylie Jenner, grey doesn't have a place. Parikka's home might be right in the heart of her home city, but stepping inside is like being transported to a universe uniquely Minna — and that was exactly her intent. "I wanted to create a home that looks 100% like me and that does not follow the usual Nordic home design. I wanted it to be fresh, fun, and adventurous, but still comfortable and functional," says Parikka. "I love creating worlds that are filled with fantasy and escape from the mundane."Parikka's design skills know no bounds: she designed all the interiors herself with the same childlike wonder and practical functionality as her shoe designs. "There is nothing worse than a beautiful shoe that is impossible to wear or a unique home that makes every day more difficult," she says. The apartment's fluid layout is what attracted her to it in the first place; she could see it seamlessly accommodating her lifestyle. "I was immediately drawn to the high thatched ceiling of the upstairs open-plan living room and kitchen area and the tranquil downstairs bedroom and workspace," Parikka says.While there's no lack of color and pattern, Parikka means it when she says her home is hyper-functional. In typical Finnish fashion, there is virtually no clutter and everything is there for a purpose. "One of my favorite details is the TV cabinet that is masqueraded as a piece of art. The illustration of Ziggy Stardust by the fabulous NY-London based illustrator duo Craig & Karl," she says.Although picking a favorite spot is near-impossible, the pink monochromatic bedroom definitely tops her list. "The furniture is made to order: the bed and the padded leather headboard wall, fitted closets, bedside tables and the window shutters. Not to mention the pink carpet or even the ceiling," says Parikka. "The inspiration for the bedroom came from the totally pink Sketch restaurant in London."While there's not much about the apartment that pays tribute to traditional Finnish design, there's one thing that she couldn't forgo: "I love a sauna. It is the best way to relax after a long flight or day at work. It is common to have one in Finnish houses. It is the luxury of everyday life," she says of the bathroom's sleek built-in sauna.While switching from shoes to interiors is never an easy transition, Parikka wouldn't make a single change to her renovation. "I love designing interiors. I wish to keep the house as it is. It resembles my taste now and everything has its place. I don't need to buy even one more object for it." Hey, if the shoe fits." - elle decor / minna parikka

Alessandro Mendini Home, Milan Italy - Alessandro Mendini

"Alessandro Mendini has a confession to make: “I never created furniture for a house of my own.” The 86-year-old Italian architect has long separated work and home, filling his humble Milan apartment—just upstairs from his atelier—with only simple, functional basics. But 12 years ago, as Mendini looked for a vacation home outside the city to share with his two grown daughters, Fulvia and Elisa, a photo-graph of a beauty in the Stile Liberty mode (Italy’s term for Art Nouveau) caught his eye in a real-estate agent’s office. “I immediately loved it,” he recalls. A private residence that served for a time as a summer camp for children managed by nuns, it sat snugly in the mountains of Olda, a village north of San Pellegrino Terme. Soon, keys in hand, Mendini felt something change: “I put my own furniture on display as if it were a museum and positioned them next to Liberty-style antiques.” The house makes me think, links me to the past, and detaches me for a few days from the speed of life and work. With a wildly prolific career of more than 50 years and counting, there was a lot of material to choose from. Mendini’s affinity for environments began earlier than most. Born prematurely in Milan in 1931, he and his twin sister were placed along with a couple of hot-water bottles in a large, zigzag-patterned armchair designed by Piero Portaluppi (who also decorated the family house) and left to incubate. From that improvised cradle, an infant Mendini gazed up at the Annunciation, a Surrealistic artwork by Alberto Savinio. “That was my first habitat,” he once wrote. “A Tyrolean Futurist arm-chair and a metaphysical painting.” After he graduated from architecture school at Milan Polytechnic, Mendini’s career took off in wild and unprecedented directions. Critical of bourgeois culture, he moved within the late-1960s anti-design Italian Radical movement, from which he went on to cofound (along with luminary Ettore Sottsass) Studio Alchimia and later designed for Memphis (founded by Sottsass). All the while, he built buildings, penned books, and served as the editor of Domus and Casabella. Discerning as he is, he created not only objects of contemplation, but also ones for practical use—corkscrews for Alessi, watches for Swatch, and plastic stools for Kartell, among countless others—that tirelessly deliver his cheerful wit to the masses. Of his new home, Mendini says, “It allows me to experiment, especially with color.” Sweet pastels—calamine-pink; pistachio-green—splash the rooms, which are filled with Technicolor furnishings. Like so much of Mendini’s work, the juxtapositions are improbable, even jarring. As design dealer Didier Krzentowski of Paris’s Galerie Kreo, a longtime collaborator with the designer, puts it: “He will never do something that is not himself. He really has his own world.” The star player of that world, of course, is Mendini’s unforgettable 1978 ode to French writer Marcel Proust: a baroque seat hand-painted with thousands of Pointillist brushstrokes. One of the limited-edition versions shares a sitting room with Fulvia. Two green plastic models produced by Magis—the design has been reimagined in dozens of materials ranging from marble to cast bronze—sit downstairs in the belvedere, and Pointillist spots sprinkle headboards, mirrors, and rugs all over the house. Mendini’s own works (rare prototypes, wild cabinets, and charming rugs) mingle with those of his friends, such as a gelatinous vase by Gaetano Pesce and circus-like poufs by Anna Gili, as well as a table that she designed for the Memphis Group. And all that vibrant modernity sits with the Stile Liberty antiques that came with the house and a cache of other venerables—small tables, lamps by Émile Gallé and Tiffany, a few bronze sculptures—purchased at an auction of decorations from the nearby Grand Hotel." - architectural digest / alessandro mendini