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Australian design & architecture: a preview

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Although London has been my city of residence for almost a decade now, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being back home in Sydney.

As relaxed and rejuvenated feelings overwhelm me, I embrace the warm sun on my skin, the salty sea air and the soft grainy sand between my toes.

 Perhaps what I embrace though, more than anything else, are the qualities that make it a truly vibrant destination. Far different to the ways London can be penned a vibrant, buzzing and cosmopolitan city; Australia is blessed with captivating natural beauty, fresh produce that invites irresistibly good food of a high standard and a gorgeously warm climate.

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Those vast, brilliant blue skies and almost ever-present dose of sunshine allow the interior design and architecture we see in Australia to be vibrant and striking in itself. An element that anyone changing a space will highly consider is the natural light available to pull inside. It softens solid materials, lightens dark hues, brightens whites and generally enhances everything in the space, like nothing else can.

This week marked Australia Day, so this post is dedicated to my appreciation for some of the captivating design and architecture in Australia.

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‘The Skylight House’

Part of the brief for creation of The Skylight House, as taken on by Sydney-based Architect couple Chenchow Little, was (quite naturally), to maximise the sunlight and views of the skies above.

An unexpected consideration though, was that the Victorian façade of the property must be retained, since it was based in a conservation area.

 What resulted was the creation of a space entirely different to anything else: outside, a modest-looking terrace with ornate Victorian features; inside, a striking and stunningly modern space.

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A stark combination of glass, marble and concrete are warmed with vast panes of native spotted gum hardwood. Sharp, geometric shapes are used in unexpected ways, while curves along the ceiling add an extra dimension.

A series of skylights and carefully positioned windows allow the space to be as sun-drenched as possible, while the living area and kitchen on the top floor are open to a view of the stars in the evening.

The stairs to the side of the house open to a courtyard that holds a Banksia tree, an existing feature of the old property.

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 This house is a perfect example of how understated materials and the right structural transformation can allow beautiful natural elements to take the reign, and ultimately, create a truly striking space.

Imagery courtesy of  Sarah Davison Interior DesignEverything Simple & The Cool Hunter

‘Yarra House’

Yarra House, aptly named because of its proximity to Melbourne’s Yarra river, is an architectural collaboration between Leeton Pointon and Susi Leeton Architects. It is a vast space that again, focuses on the maximum flood of natural light throughout.

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Here, contrasting slabs of wood, white wall and concrete intersect one another, while black-framed windows provide added contrast.

Soft and inviting fabrics cover the seating throughout, which, with its subtle curves, exudes a slight retro feel. Soft pastels and metallics add another level of comfort amongst the strong lines and solid materials.

 Not only is this bright, light space a magnet for the eye, but it’s the unexpected details that draw me in most – a vast, curvaceous staircase is a key focal point within the surrounding geometry, while a mix of woods, used also on the ceilings, is unconventionally beautiful.

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Imagery courtesy of Trendir

 

‘Pavilion House’

Pavilion house, located in Sydney’s prestigious Bellevue Hill, conjures up the words clean, natural and beautiful. It is the creation of interior designers Arant&Pyke, a space in which openness and interconnectivity between outside and inside are key.

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Matte white kitchen cabinetry provides a canvas for the slabs of Calcutta grey-veined marble. The central bench space is a cantilevered pane of warm wood, the focal surface for all-day eating.

The wood continues on the floor, where the kitchen meets the living area in an open and socially inviting space.

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A mix of finishes provides added warmth, from the glistening copper pendants to the burnt orange textiles; both of which catch the light that floods the home from all angles.

 A focal wall of azure mosaics fills the bathroom, closely pairing with the sparkling pool water outside.

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A thoroughly gorgeous space that again, embraces all that is beautiful about the surrounding elements of nature. A space that would no doubt have its owners cherishing the simple and beautiful Australian lifestyle that the country enables.

Imagery courtesy of Arant&Pyke

 

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