Australian Style Kitchens & Bathrooms

Last Updated: 09 Jun 2014
Claire Watkins

The frontrunning wetroom designs from this year's national awards.

A striking mix of materials, colours and textures positions these kitchens and bathrooms as frontrunners to win this year's national awards.

Hunters Hill House, Arkhefield

Hunters Hill House is a celebration of the qualities of the site, with a palette of richly textured materials and references to the owners' Italian and Sri Lankan heritage. Made up of a series of garden rooms that entwine the new home with the landscape, it includes a stunningly beautiful open-plan kitchen, dining
and living area that connects directly with its lush surroundings. A purpose-built stone wall houses the pantry, fridge, cooktop and storage to create a streamlined yet fully functional space, while five large sliding glass doors on both sides of the pavilion move independently for maximum flexibility and openness. Concrete, stone and timber finish the space to give it a sense of age and permanence.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Arkhefield (07) 3831 8150,;

Moreton Street Residence, Blueprint Architects

Part of a pavilion extension of interconnected and flexible informal and social spaces, this kitchen contributes real warmth and character. Material finishes and details were inspired by traditional homestead kitchen typologies, and consist of charcoal and black laminate finishes to the cabinetry and matte finish charcoal stone benchtops, plus spotted gum timber finishes to the pantry, island bench front and ceiling. Features also include a raw pressed-metal splashback and polished concrete flooring throughout.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Blueprint Architects (07) 3391 6446,;

Cossington House, Jorge Hrdina Architects

The alterations and additions made to an existing Queen Anne Federation-style dwelling built in 1894 embrace the modern while sensitively retaining and restoring the original house. The main ensuite bathroom sits on the south side of the house, with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing views of the vegetation beyond. It is in this room that an original stone wall – seen in the mirror's reflection – was demolished before being rebuilt. Natural elements such as timber cladding further encourage the feeling of it being an outdoor room, while Isernia stone flooring enhances the natural light that floods in from the windows. The Neutral Bay residence was once the home of Grace Cossington Smith, a pioneer of modernist painting who introduced Post Impressionism into Australia.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Jorge Hrdina Architects (02) 9929 9490,;

Kerferd Place, Whiting Architects

In the creation of this utilitarian home, Whiting Architects went against the grain. Rather than start with a design and then turn it into a building, they started with the building and turned it into a design, having already sourced a number of elements and materials. The black and white colour palette of the main ensuite bathroom exudes restrained elegance, with unique tiles from Bespoke Tile and Stone, tapware in black from Par Taps, and a monochromatic cast iron bath sourced online. Custom oak joinery with a custom-designed door ties in with the architect's aim of crafting a home in a vernacular, traditional way to produce something that intuitively feels right.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Whiting Architects 0400 107 744,;

Flinders Lane Apartment, Clare Cousins Architects

Working with a modest budget, Clare Cousins Architects addressed this 75sqm flat for a young family to create a light, bright bathroom space that conveniently houses the laundry. The walls are covered in budget-friendly tiles composed of different sizes to create interest and a point of difference, while terrazzo floor tiles are used for their extremely practical textured surface that hides any dirt and loose hair. Gold electroplated tapware proved to be another cost-effective feature that packs a punch in the aesthetics of the space.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Clare Cousins Architects (03) 9329 2888,;

Melbourne Residence, Elenberg Fraser

Situated among Melbourne's urban laneways, this luxury penthouse features a fluid organisation of rooms and natural materials throughout. With its Ocean Travertine stone surfaces, blackened steel and linished stainless steel fittings, the kitchen is very much a focal point of the open-plan living areas. While dark herringbone parquetry flooring adds another level of drama to the kitchen space, perforated architectural screens that wrap around the entire glazed perimeter of the penthouse allow an abundance of natural light to penetrate. This, combined with high-performance glazing, enables the internal rooms to stay at a comfortable temperature.

This home has been shortlisted for a 2014 Australian Interior Design Award. Elenberg Fraser (03) 9600 2260,;

House in a Warehouse, Splinter Society Architecture

In keeping with the client brief of a "warehouse conversion minus the usual clichés", this kitchen uses a balance of recycled spotted gum and existing brick walls to give warmth and texture, offset by clean white vinyl wrap and black honed granite to offer a contemporary, sharp feel. Designed as a pragmatic centrepiece for the house in which the family can gather, the kitchen disguises its utilitarian function to present an integrated and crafted, yet contemporary aesthetic. It was also designed to mirror and reflect the adjacent stair detail while floating off the existing warehouse shell behind. Appliances are hidden from view, and the integration of spots to decorate the kitchen with art allows the room to become a natural extension of the open and light-filled living spaces with which it connects.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Splinter Society Architecture (03) 9419 4189,;

Dale Residence, Robson Rak Architects

It's hard to imagine this light-filled, open-plan kitchen was once part of a pokey 1970s bluestone home. Now, a simple palette of stone and timber complements the warmth and durable qualities of the bluestone, while limestone floors and marble benchtops create a feeling of solidity. Engineered timber flooring was used for the kitchen joinery to create a more authentic look and feel, with lineal slots incorporated within the joinery for heating and cooling purposes. Designed for a couple that enjoys entertaining, a long island bench in the kitchen provides a hub for family and friends to congregate, while a skylight above defines the space and bathes it constantly in natural light.

This home has been shortlisted for a 2014 Australian Interior Design Award. Robson Rak Architects (03) 9079 1860,;

231 Smith Street, MA Architects in collaboration with Neometro

A simple, stylised bathroom design with a minimal palette of charcoal and white perfectly complements the post-industrial aesthetic of the rest of this home. The space establishes a meeting of strong, graphic expression and functionality, its features including timeless honed terrazzo floor tiles, a sculptural wall basin and a Flos Mini Glo-Ball light against charcoal wall tiles, as well as a customised matt black powdercoated steel shelf with crisp detailing, and a customised mirrored cabinet with prelaminated Wilsonart 'Slate Grey' finish. All materials were selected for their low maintenance needs and low embodied energy features.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. MA Architects (03) 9421 6671,; Neometro (03) 9534 7774,;

Stonewood, Breathe Architecture

Fundamentally, Stonewood is an efficient home with an elegant plan that provides flexibility for a humble family. Aesthetically, it is a home that offers character through its otherwise offbeat and unconventional features. In the kitchen, a naturally robust material palette provides warmth and texture to the home, where recycled Tasmanian oak sliding doors and joinery accents are enhanced by bursts of colour in geometric tiles and lime-washed ply with translucent lemon accents. A sculpted island bench makes way for a breakfast bar and further defines the space, while well-placed windows filter light on to the black data lines of the polished concrete floor. Stonewood is compact in size, yet honest in materiality throughout.

This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Breathe Architecture (03) 9381 2007,;

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