Amazing greys

Last Updated: 18 Mar 2015
Claire Watkins

A hotel-style ensuite and open kitchen impress with an organic palette that complements the natural landscape beyond.

If ever there was the perfect blend of the cool and crisp, the comfortable and inviting, this is it. This stunning home, situated on the cusp of the Swan River in leafy East Fremantle, employed the talents of architect Rachel Feldhusen from wrightfeldhusen to seamlessly bring the great outdoors in, while retaining complete privacy.

A raw palette of sealed concrete floors, white marble splashback, timber veneer, black gloss cabinetry, stainless steel, and black American walnut timber tops combine in the kitchen for a beautiful layered effect. The same marble is used in a remarkable two-storey-tall gas fireplace.

Reflective black acrylic frames the 'food cave' (pantry), where owners Sue and Mark Newbold wanted food to be on show rather than in a forgotten space. Here, luxurious materials such as marble and open stainless-steel shelving tie in with their uses elsewhere, while the river views and horizon are reflected in the black acrylic.

With no TV in the living room and dining area, Sue was looking for a way to interchange these spaces. For this reason, a pop-up smart TV now rises from the kitchen island bench and rotates 360-degrees so that it can be viewed while having breakfast, relaxing on the deck, or cooking in the kitchen.

The home's hues were chosen to complement the owner's eclectic
collection of art and furniture pieces, and the main ensuite bathroom has been created from naturally textured materials and colours that are inspired by the outside environment.

A vanity with mitred edges was crafted so that the stone is more dominant and box-like, rather than a simple slab fitted on top, while Argento stone was chosen for its flecks of rusty red, which ties in with the rusted Corten steel screens seen in other areas of the home. Natural timber drawers and subtle marble features form the rest of the material palette, allowing the transition of space and function to be blurred.

Among the most unique and striking features of the home are the skylight and tall window in the bathroom, which create a slot of light and allow the space to feel open and airy. Carefully constructed view passages provide privacy and a feeling of security without compromising the abundance of natural light in the area. The unobstructed corner further increases feelings of openness, where the bath appears to be floating on a cantilever that's pushed out from the main structure of the house.

Taking advantage of the bedroom's position within the home, the ensuite draws in the surrounding views, light and treetops. Separated by only half-height walls and low partitions, the bathroom shares the bedroom space, where a stunning kimono – worn by Sue to a wedding in Japan when she was 17 – hangs over the bed.

Combining the relaxed vibe derived from their extended time in the Abrolhos Islands, and an eclectic trove of items collected on their travels abroad, owners Sue and Mark have managed to create the ultimate cooking and bathing spaces worthy of their stunning riverside location.


wrightfeldhusen (08) 9384 6611,
Lamond Powell Construction (08) 9335 9966,
Drage Furniture (08) 9249 4670,

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