Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 24 Autumn 2010 Contents INSITE AUTUMN 161
Standing within the main living area
of this Claremont home -- with light
bouncing from the pristine white
walls and cabinetry to immaculate
stone floor, air flowing through and wide
windows overlooking a sparkling pool
beyond -- the fact you're well below street
level is the furthest thing from your mind.
Being reminded you're essentially standing
in an architect-designed hole set on a
narrow, tricky block is slightly jarring --
but for the owners, it's a point of victory.
"I remember overhearing the brickies
saying, 'God, this house is going to be like
the black hole of Calcutta -- it's going to be
dark and dingy, and there'll be no air...'
But it's so light in here. And since we've
moved in, we've only slept one night with
the air-conditioner on."
Originally from Albany, where overcast
days and shadowy, tree-lined streets are
commonplace, the owners were primarily
concerned with creating a light-filled
space. It's a common request, but one that
was not easily achievable on a problematic
block like theirs. "I knew the house would
be complicated to get right," she says. "But
when I saw (architect) Fernando Faugno's
house in a magazine, I thought 'that's
exactly what I want'. I loved his style, and
he was fabulous. He listened to me, and did
everything I wanted."
Together with Fernando, the client used
a small selection of materials in neutral
tones throughout the home: dado-finished
concrete walls she had seen in Fernando's
home, stone floors in Saltino Macchiato
limestone from their previous home, Corian
benches and plenty of glass.
e repetition of materials is calming
and subtly leads the eye through each space,
creating a complete 'look' rather than jolting
the zones from style to style.
Professing to be "not a fan" of colour
-- "When you've done the 70s purple and
orange once, you're fixed for life" -- the
client's strong aesthetic sensibilities and
fairly comprehensive understanding of
the building and design process aided the
smooth transition from architect Fernando
to builder Heath Davies at Jumeirah Homes,
but also led to her designing and completing
all landscaping at her Claremont property.
"It's just a hobby," she says. "I've done
interior and landscape design courses during
retirement just because I love it."
While passion and a keen eye cannot be
bought, her furniture and carefully curated
selection of art is certainly an important
element in creating this totally polished home.
e artworks have been collected over
a number of years, in varying styles and
depicting all manner of subjects, but are
pulled together by their neutral colour
palettes. e furniture is sleek and modern,
and mixed with some antique favourites, but
it is used sparingly, which aids the owners'
primary want for light and spaciousness.
e execution of this desire is evident
from the front door. Set with a gigantic
pane of translucent glass, it pivots open to
reveal completely flush flooring in the entry
foyer. From the entry, the ceiling remains
at the same level, while the floors step down
along a corridor to an open-plan living area,
A repetition of materials and desire for concealed
details has created a home of elegant simplicity
for a couple that overdosed on 70s colour.
MATERIAL WORLD: Stone floors run seamlessly from
indoors to out, as does the grey dado wall, which hides a
barbecue in a cavity. Outdoor setting from Invisage. (left)
The kitchen melts into the interior thanks to a use of colour.
Furniture is from previous homes -- the sofa a Country Road
buy, the dining table picked up in Melbourne years ago -- but
they are given new life in this space. Artworks by Valerie Glova.
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