Australian Style 2015/16

Australian Style 2015/16

Last Updated: 03 Jun 2015
Claire Watkins

While natural illumination and lighter palettes ensure the kitchen remains the hub of the home, bathrooms are embracing a far moodier atmosphere, with dark tones, heavily textured surfaces and a serious sense of sanctuary. And nowhere are these trends put to better or more inspirational use than in these projects from around Australia.


The contrast of dark surfaces in a light and bright space highlights key aspects that make this kitchen design so successful. While the moody palette sets a dramatic scene, it's instantly warmed by the use of European oak timber flooring. Perhaps the most charming surprise is its wine cellar, concealed behind the sliding white panels of the wall. The concept for a wall of wine grew from the client requiring a convenient and easily accessible location to store bottles, while still being able to hide them for a more minimalist approach. Not only does the flexibility of the sliding panels allow the clients to change from a quiet home kitchen for two to an entertaining space for up to ten, it also creates a great surprise, and a talking point for guests.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Institute of Architects Award. bureau^proberts (07) 3221 0672,


Nothing adds a sense of quirky character to a room like a sloped ceiling. The intentional irregularity of Bijl Architecture's Naremburn House was the starting point for this family bathroom. The intersections of the walls with the ceiling created unusual opportunities for the shower nook and seat, the long shelf alongside the bath, and a recess for the vanity and mirror, allowing a generous floor area to be negotiated from the constrained dimensions of the space. A simple colour palette, along with different textures and materials, generates feature points throughout the space. Sandblasted granite runs across the floor and up the walls, creating a deserving backdrop for the freestanding stone bath by Cocomo, while the Lenny Kravitz-designed Tune Out tiles create undulations across the wall, with the same pop-outs echoed in the individual heated towel rails by DCShort. Even with its dramatic ceiling line and unusual geometry at the floor plane, the highly functional and robust bathroom retains a sense of relaxation and contemplation.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Bijl Architecture (02) 9958 7950,


Spaces within the new extension of this Victorian residence are clearly defined by materiality. The kitchen crafts its own identity with the use of light oak joinery and pale reconstituted stone in the benchtop. Timber – instead of veneer – was used for its authenticity on the walls and joinery, and a concrete floor helps define the new extension. The kitchen is flooded with natural light through full-height, bi-fold doors, which allow complete integration to the outside, while a bespoke pendant light designed by Robson Rak is suspended above the kitchen island bench.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Interior Design Award. Robson Rak Architects (03) 9079 1860,


Whether you're looking at it, feeling it or hearing the sound of it, there is undoubtedly something soothing about water. After all, there is a reason it is incorporated in the design of some of the most luxurious day spas around the world. The master ensuite of Malvern House by Robson Rak Architects takes full advantage of its strong visual connection to the outside pond by way of floor-to-ceiling glass windows and an openable louvered window for ventilation. Constructed from recycled marble and concrete, the handmade bath and vanity top create a textural experience when used, while touches of timber on the drawer fronts and mirror frame complete the natural, organic nature of the bathroom.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Interior Design Award. Robson Rak Architects (03) 9079 1860,


The total refurbishment of a third-level apartment overlooking the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge saw the transformation of two small bathrooms into one spacious ensuite. Mirroring the brief for the rest of the home, the bathroom is sophisticated yet comfortable, with layered finishes to create texture, and a darker palette to contrast the lighter living areas. Lustre and balance is created through the matt charcoal wall and floor tiles, wet glazed-look mosaics in the rear of the shower, and a recycled-timber bath shelf and veneer joinery. Placed deliberately opposite the door is a freestanding bath – in prime position to make the most of the views while bathing.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Interior Design Award. Hare + Klein (02) 9368 1234,


Proving to be much more than a functional place to prepare food, the kitchen in Iredale Pedersen Hook's Trigg Point Residence is a space to enjoy the surrounding context and ocean view. Situated in the centre of the home, it forms part of a fluid, continuous space that merges the interior with the exterior. With views north to Hillarys Marina, south to Fremantle and west to Trigg Point, the slight bend halfway along the kitchen refocuses the view to the north and northwest. Natural ventilation is welcomed from the southwest cooling winds, while natural light is provided by the stair void and LED lighting by a recessed ceiling plane. Everything has its place behind concealed, reflective surfaces that increase the sense of light and connect to the shimmer of the ocean.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Iredale Pedersen Hook (08) 9322 9750,


To counteract the visual outcome of a small space, the typical response is to paint or tile it in a light colour to make it seem more expansive. Carterwilliamson Architects went completely against the grain in the bathroom of Light Cannon House by lining it in glossy black tiles
for a lush, glamorous feel. With both clients being chemists, the design team played on an industrial chemistry riff and paired exposed copper work with a lab sink and handmade black glass tiles. The small terraced house in Sydney's inner west made space-saving imperative. The WC is completely concealed by the living room joinery and continuous lining board panelling – so much so that guests are always surprised to learn there is a bathroom tucked away under a staircase that leads to the level above.
Carterwilliamson Architects (02) 9799 4472,


With an interest in Feng Shui garnered from living in Asia for a number of years, the owners of this home have in turn created a stunning setting in which to live, and a creative space in which to cook. The overt form consists of two inward curving crescents that suggest waxing and waning moons. Each crescent faces the other across a light-filled entry void that divides the sleeping wing from the living wing. Blackbutt flooring and Tasmanian oak solid and veneer cabinetry in the kitchen create a warm and inviting space, while extensive research into the properties of building materials resulted in low- or zero-VOC products being used throughout.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Seeley Architects (03) 5261 4163,


A former mechanics workshop, Dock Street Warehouse is now a four-storey home that reflects the owners' creative talent and zest for raw, natural materials. A mere snippet of the edgy design seen throughout
the home, the ensuite bathroom highlights the distinction between
the dark, matt flooring and light gloss, tiled wall. The skylight to the corner of the shower enhances the uneven nature of the handmade wall tiles and provides a view to the sky. Rather than glass, a central wall is used to divide the shower from the rest of the room, for privacy and a sense of retreat. Positioned to allow views of the city, the bath features brass tap fittings – this raw material will alter over time to give the space the charm of age and opulence.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Interior Design Award. Surroundings 1300 734 119,


A small house on a large rural block, Prospect House by Breathe Architecture reworks the basic design of miners' cottages for a compact, robust family home. Built for a gold miner from WA, it features mild steel cabinetry with an applied emulsion to create a warm, golden hue. As it reaches up to the off-centre, V-shaped ceiling in the kitchen, timber battened acoustic fabric forms the central core of the home to separate rooms spatially, and absorb sound. While small, Prospect House sits high on the scale of efficiency, warmth and light due to a quality-focused local builder, collaborative design, and locally supplied materials.
This home is in the running for a 2015 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Breathe Architecture (03) 9381 2007,


Dark and moody, this bathroom by Splinter Society Architecture is a space that invites one to spend hours relaxing. Situated within a townhouse that faced site constraints, much of the focus is placed on the internal structure and detail. Subtle openings for natural light combine with carefully placed artificial lighting to wash the textured surfaces. Light grey matt porcelain floor tiles balance out the darkness of the black matt hand-glazed wall tiles, while touches of solid blackbutt form the vanity ledge and mirror frame, lending warmth to the space. Gloss black laminate on the storage areas and the basin opposite works to offset the matt finishes and provide a sense of luxury. The composite stone bath sits within the shower void to add a sculptural element to the room.
Splinter Society Architecture (03) 9419 4189,


A single slab of Carrara marble floating on a forest of steel legs takes centre stage in this stunning kitchen, which has been designed to be open and well-connected to all indoor and outdoor spaces of the home. Designed by Splinter Society, the Kew House kitchen uses simple, honest and robust materials in their raw, beautiful form to create highlights and delight among more pragmatic, cost-effective finishes. Both natural and artificial lighting are used to showcase these details, and a palette of burnished concrete, mild steel, recycled spotted gum and rough-hewn stone provide detailed accents against a clean backdrop of white, hand-glazed tiles.
Splinter Society Architecture (03) 9419 4189,

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