Arent & Pyke

  • 8 November 2017

I’m a long time fan of  the work of Sydney Design Studio Arent & Pyke, I love their clean aesthetic, eye for detail and their use of colour.

Barcom Terrace project is a sympathetic modernization of an 1800’s boarding house all of the images are gorgeous but the 3 that catch my eye are below…

The unexpected use of concrete to create bench seating that then cleverly flows into the fire hearth grounds the room, the squab and cushion combination on the bench seat is again thoughtful. Default decision (as discussed on my previous blog) would be to have the squab full length with a multitude of cushions … I love the thoughtful detail of the short squab and the combination of cushion shapes the over-sized wall mounted lamp adds an intimacy to the space.

The kitchen sits majestically at the other end of this open-plan space, the steel framed joinery housing the Scullery not only visually separates the space but entices you into a space that is traditionally hidden

The industrial mix of the concrete plinth and black fittings with elegant wispy white fabric and marble  ……

Superbly Photographed by Tom Ferguson

Australian heritage house reinvented by tenfifyfive

  • 8 August 2017

Tenfifiyfive web site has me on the first page “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”  William Morris’s quote is one of my favorites and definitely  the basis of my own design ethos.

There is lots to admire in the studios gallery of work, I particularly like the combination of materials and attention to detail in the Park House project, rustic red bricks, warm timber, harsh raw concrete with super fine back steel and elegant Statuario marble all wrapped up in a family home.

I’m a bit obsessed with window seats at the moment  I like to communal gathering space they offer, love the depth of this window seat and how the joinery wraps around the window, the depth detail is nicely repeated in the desk area.

As creatures of habit we make auto pilot decisions without considering alternatives, glass shower screens are always designed to disappear right?  Think again ….. glass framed in super fine black joinery is stunning. Auto pilot #2 cabinetry stops at the window .. not necessarily!

Layer upon layer of texture and detail … love it

Park House images by Christine Francis, first seen on Contemporist

New build villa style

  • 24 May 2017

Every now and again a special project comes along,  without a doubt this is one of those. I was lucky enough to work with some extra- ordinary clients who had a very clear vision and buckets of bravery, digging deeply into my bag of tricks we created something pretty special together.

Hours of deliberation over tiny details, lots of excited clapping (mostly from me), and Harwood Homes amazing team of builders and subcontractors, produced this new build which is oozing with character and intricate detail.

Client brief was to recreate the essence of a traditional Villa with a modern twist.

Inky depths of Resene Nocturnal in the entrance set the mood for the rest of the home, traditional Wainscoting panels were custom made for the entrance hall along with metal screens through which you catch a glimpse of what lays beyond. Crystal chandeliers in the dining room cast delicate shadows on rich Black Marie solid timber flooring. Suspended shelving displays collected  treasurers, touches of brass continue through out the Interior adding warmth.

Images by the very talented Amanda Aitken.

Bosjes Chapel – an astonishing building

  • 13 March 2017

Located in South Africa’s Western Cape Bosjes Chapel is nothing short of remarkable.  The stunning organic form hovers delicately and weightlessly above an equally majestic landscape.

The crisp white concrete shell appears to be held up by nothing but glass …. how is this possible!!? The roof line swoops and soars and at points dips to almost touch the surface of the refection pool. A cross shaped window frame represents the traditional crucifix, a golden pulpit positioned in front of the window sets the scene  for contemplation.

A collaboration between UK based Steyn Studio and South Africa’s TV3 Architects. First seen on Contemporist

Feature walls

  • 27 February 2017

I often get asked if people still do feature walls interestingly enough almost every time the question is voiced out loud it’s accompanied with a shame full cringe is if an unwritten rule has been broken and lighting is about to strike.

My reply is always this …….. There aren’t any Interior Design rules, lets face it it’s not a life and death situation! If there were rules and this was one of them and YOU love the idea of a feature wall then lets do it!

At least half of my projects have feature walls or feature rooms, it is a perfect way to add depth, mood, texture and personality.

This recently completed project in Mount Maunganui, is a great example of all of those things.

A harmonious collaboration between myself,  JMAC Architecture and  Ultimate Homes.

Images via Redfish

bathroom design with Brass

  • 24 November 2016

A beautiful simple bathroom worth sharing – mirror cabinest are a must have for any well designed bathroom,  they provide excellent storage for all those tiny bathroom necessities, Lenka Mikova has taken this mirror cabinet to a whole new level of cool by adding Brass.

Careful lighting highlights the Brass, a sparkling contrast to the Matt Black Hexagon tile and simple tap ware. Super thin vanity tops compliment the thin Brass profile.

Via Contemporist, photos by Veronika Raffajova

traditional plain interiors transformed into modern contemporary spaces

  • 22 March 2016

I recently completed a Perfect Combination Project – A blank canvas spec home + existing clients on their second project = boundaries pushed with amazing results!

The newly constructed spec home was beautifully proportioned but super plain – so plain it made you sleepy!! Client brief was to add some personality, warmth and interest so we set to work……..

The Master bedroom was spacious  opening out onto a sunny courtyard but lacked any redeeming features so we added Harlequin wallpaper, Hemptech fabric and Bianca Lorenne Bed linen.

Feature wallpaper was repeated in the Lounge with dramatic effect, an existing David Shaw Chair was revitalized with new Harlequin fabric.

Another stunning Harlequin wallpaper in the entrance added drama

These simple additions change the house to a home.

A space well and truly stamped with the clients personality.

Elegant Country house renovated to its inspirational former glory

  • 20 July 2015

I know my work has been completed on a project when it’s time to put a call out to Amanda – my trusted photographer. It’s exciting and kind of sad in a way too as it can be a long process getting to this point. On a large complex project it’s not unusual for many months to pass working alongside clients getting to know the in’s and out’s of the  family’s life, visualizing each part of the home always with the ultimate vision in mind.

The images below are testament to this very process. I had the privilege to began work on this project 2 years ago – no that’s not a typo it really did take 2 years to ensure we left no stone  unturned.  When we began renovating, the  home was terribly neglected it was shocking to see a magnificent home so ruined by weather, fortunately the beautiful bones where in tact although in serious need of TLC!!

Bridge beams were originally white washed, Jarrah flooring water damaged, structural features were hidden, some rooms had never been completed and that was just the tip of the iceberg!

My brief was to create an elegant but comfortable country home – take a look at the results

The clients had quality furniture that was also worth renovating, couches were re upholstered, family pieces were unearthed from storage and reinvented, notably the elegant arm chair in JD Madagascar Paradise. Bespoke pieces were locally sourced, the Ottoman in Harlequin Purple Snakeskin and Button Backed dining chairs in matching colored pairs.

We altered the layout of the kitchen to become open plan incorporating the bridge beam into the Stone Island bench top.

Bathrooms were elegantly restyled to fit seamlessly with the essence of the grand country home.

A combination of wonderful clients with open minds, a team of brilliant local tradesmen made the project an absolute pleasure ….. A good job well done I think!