Nothing more appealing than a hammock on a beautiful day. Oh great, but what about actually having to “HOW TO”?Read More
A multitude of rooms inside a small home
Aurelio “Ray” Costarella says it was a real challenge to create a small home that didn’t feel like a small home. With only 174 sq m of space to play with, he linked up with local Perth architect/builder Wes Blackie. The two put their heads together and came up with an inspirational two-storey home, which, despite its small size, manages to include two bedrooms, bathroom, powder room, laundry, home office, open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, and even a double carport. Now that’s savvy design!
Inspired by Japanese architect Tadao Ando – famous for his concrete buildings – Ray wanted his home to have an industrial theme. So a concrete block was built on the land and all the external walls were rendered. Polished concrete floors, which feature exposed aggregate, complete the look.
“I still have people walking past [the house] asking when we are going to paint the facade,” Ray laughs. But he believes his home’s grey patina is “ageing beautifully”, with its weathered markings and discolouration.
Interchangeable interior wanted
Wanting the interior to act as an “interchangeable blank canvas”, Ray decided to paint the walls white. “When the actual environment is quite neutral or minimal it’s easy to change the dynamic of it by adding interesting pieces such as sleeper sofas or sofa beds,” he explains. Combining sentimental items with contemporary buys like reclining chairs, stools, and a special living room sofa set- many brought home from his stylish concept store Post Emporium in North Perth, WA – Ray has decorated his home with an eclectic mix of vintage and modern furnishings.
Among the designer’s intriguing finds are a white Marc Newson “Orgone” armchair (a 1993 design), a 1950s dining table – given a whitewash for a new lease of life – and multicoloured perspex letters from an old cinema strung up on the first-floor balustrade.
“I love mixing old and new,” Ray says. “Part of the charm of vintage pieces is wondering where they came from, who they belonged to and how they came to be. The only things we have in the home are the things we really love.”
Another transformation of a small home
Nadia Sakey drove past a tiny, two-bedroom 1930s Auckland cottage as a real estate agent was hammering a “For Sale” sign into the ground. She and her husband Dave had been looking for a house for over a year, but with one child, and another on the way, this small house wasn’t what they were after. But as soon as they saw it, they could see its potential and room to expand. So they bought it.
An advantage of many 1930s homes is that the simple floor-plan consists of a central hallway with symmetrical rooms leading off it. “Basically, we just took off the back of the house and expanded out into the garden, creating a third bedroom, an extra bathroom, and an open-plan living space, which opens onto a large deck,” Nadia says. The original bathroom became an ensuite for the master bedroom and the original kitchen was transformed into a new family bathroom, a budget-friendly option as the plumbing was already in place. “It’s essential to build a good partnership with your builder, to ensure both parties work successfully and minimise any bumps along the way,” Nadia recommends.
As soon as the building was completed, Nadia got cracking with her favourite part of the renovating process – the interior. This has taken a dramatic turn from the original neutral palette. “Colour is something I have a deep interest in – I’ve taken time to understand its meaning and what it can do,” she says.
“The base palette is black and white so that I could have fun placing accents of rich, bold colour in areas that pop and draw the eye. While I appreciate soft toning in the right places, I’m not a big believer in playing it safe.” Nadia is also a fan of wallpaper, which introduces texture, glamour and variety into a room. She particularly likes the designs by her friend Deb Bowness, who produces papers that “play” with real life-size images – such as the trompe l’oeil bookcase in the hallway recess. “There is a new breed of wallpaper designer emerging,” Nadia says. “They are pushing boundaries with technology and becoming as recognised as any other celebrated contemporary artist.”
The house may look complete, but there are plans to put in a pool, and as the family grows, to “pop” the roof and add a parents’ retreat. A tiny cottage is turned into a family home!
What To Do In The Garden This Month; Indoor plants and planters have sometimes been considered a little daggy, but now there is nothing cooler. Check them out
Easy Care INDOOR PLANTS
INDOOR PLANTS have made a real comeback this year, with the trend set to continue well into next. The resurgence in their popularity can be attributed to a couple of factors: the new range of plants available and a crop of great pots.
Innovative PLANTER POTS
It’s goodbye to black plastic tubs, fibreglass office planters and chipped terracotta pots and hello to smart, new polymer planters, chic ceramic pots and stylish stainless-steel beauties.
Savvy garden centres are stocking fabulous pots from a European company, Elho (www.elho.com – the Australian distributor is European Trade Network, etn.com.au), which offers a huge range of plastic pots, including ones that hang over verandah rails and others with built-in lights. There is also a gorgeous range by Robert Plumb By William Dangar (Robertplumb.com.au). For something different, the modular planters from Queensland’s Just Add Plants (Justaddplants.com) come in various innovative fi nishes including coloured stainless steel, coloured metal, acrylic with stone and marble effects, and timber.
So, it’s out with the sad umbrella trees and struggling African violets and it’s in with large leaves, savvy succulents, Zen-like mosses, flowering orchids and fab pots.
Caring for your INDOOR PLANTS
There is no such thing as an indoor plant; they are just plants that are suited to shade. Most will need a spell outside every so often, or – at the very least – a clean with a damp cloth to remove dust from the leaves. Air-conditioning can dehydrate plants; regular misting helps to overcome this. If the aircon or heating is on most of the time, such as in an office, steer clear of palms and ferns and go for tougher plants such as cacti and peace lilies.
Watering needs vary according to the plant, the room it is in and the season, but in general, once a week, take the plant to the bathroom for a long drink and a short shower under a shower-head or tap. Likewise, a regular dose of a liquid fertiliser, such as Seasol or Maxicrop, will noticeably improve your indoor plants’ health and vigour. And for when you go on holidays, place pot plants on a towel in the bath and leave the tap slightly dripping. The plants will absorb the water through the towel and you’ll return to a healthy crop of new leaves.
What To Do In The Garden This Month; Bring a touch of the tropics to your garden with waterlilies. Here’s your “how-to” growing guide
WITH FLOATING leaves, exotic blooms and a beautiful fragrance, the waterlily (Nymphaea) is a popular aquatic plant that makes a sensational statement in the garden. Available in a wide variety of colours and different sizes, there’s a lily to suit all spaces. So whether you have a backyard pond or a miniature water feature on the balcony, read on
Hardly or tropical
Miniature waterlilies are available in both hardy and tropical varieties. With smaller fl owers and leaves they’re perfect for shallow tubs and make great water features on the balcony or courtyard.
How to grow
Sun The one thing all waterlilies need is lots of sunlight to grow (at least six hours a day) – the more sun, the more blooms. No waterlily will flower in the shade. Pots Waterlilies should be grown in strong, squat plastic containers, about 20 to 25cm diameter; smaller for minatures. Provided your pot or pond is at least 40cm deep (or up to 60cm), waterlilies will grow and flower happily. However, they don’t like fl owing or splashing water so don’t position them too close to a fountain spout.
Decor with your Home
Mix & fertilise Use a good-quality, heavy topsoil or garden soil (not potting mix), and add a fertiliser that’s specially formulated for fl owering aquatic plants. Cover with a layer of pea gravel or sand to help keep the dirt in the pot when submerged.
Care Lilies should be repotted every two to three years and can be split into two or three containers at this time. All varieties die down over winter, so don’t throw them out thinking they’re dead when they’re just dormant.
SPLASH OF COLOUR
Waterlilies are available in a huge range of colours: the hardy group generally has softer shades of yellows, pinks, creams and white, such as the vigorous grower
“Colorado” with its lovely coral pink flowers. The tropicals are bolder and more vibrant with some stunning deep purple and blue shades, like the “King Of Blues
FUN & PLAYFUL
If you’re a parent, morning can often mean little visitors bounding into in the bedroom and wriggling into bed with you. A place to cuddle and a place to play, a comfy and colourful bed can make the perfect spot for family time. Grey 300-threadcount Egyptian cotton sheets provide a soft, nurturing base on this bed, teamed with patterned linens in bright green, white and shades of blue to liven up the scene. And just like the stories Dad reads, a bed isn’t complete without a few quirky characters – these fun cushions are just the ticket.
CREATIVE & COSY
Is your bedroom the heart of your home? Then it’s only natural that it should be an inspiring space that suits your personality. Indulge with a rich, decadent palette for your bedlinen – shades of deep purple, pinks and oranges – to create a space that’s warm, welcoming and comfortable. You want your bed to be a place where you can happily spend time doing the things you love. Go all out with fl orals and don’t hold back on the ruffles and ruching to create a cocooning, feminine vibe. This is your zone so be creative, and don’t be afraid to mix and match. Sweet dreams.
what to do IN THE GARDEN this month; Super-hardy, attractive and easy to grow. You can’t go far wrong with succulents. Here’s the lowdown
SUMMER may have seen the death of many of your pot plants around your house or your office, so now is a good time to think about replacing them with something hardier like succulents.
Succulents are renowned for their tolerance to heat and drought – thanks to water-storing leaves and stems – and, in many cases, their ability to cope with wind, cold and seaspray.
Although difficult to kill, most succulents do need a well-lit position to thrive, and many will cope with full sun. They also need good drainage – if the soil is too wet, root problems can develop. Autumn is a good time to plant succulents – avoid winter as it’s usually too cold and wet.
All cacti are classified as succulents, but only succulents with thorns are classified as cacti. The zygocactus (Schlumbergera), also known as Christmas cactus, is a popular flowering type, and falls into the group known as epiphytic succulents.
In this group there are also some rarer species, such as the orchid cactus (Epiphyllum), and the exquisitely beautiful night flowering cactus, which opens its white, scented flowers as the sun sets. These types thrive well on a shaded verandah or balcony.
Of the foliage types, some of the most interesting include the Rhipsalis, which is suited to some shade protection; the thicker Donkey’s Tail or Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum and Sedum ‘Burrito’); and Crassula ‘Baby’s Necklace’, which all cope with sun or shade. The commonly called String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is a succulent that has masses of leaves resembling little beads strung along wonderful cascading stems.
Many of the smaller growing succulents with rosette forms can look superb in a basket. Graptoveria, Sedeveria and Echeveria have flowers that look like leaves, and many have delicate colours of pink, terracotta and blue. Sedum sieboldii is another ideal candidate for a basket – the stems grow to 30cm, and come summertime it’s covered with soft pink blooms. Don’t make the mistake of throwing it out when it drops all its leaves – it’s deciduous, not dead.
Great rooms with great furniture and why they work; Why those fab lights? Dark floors? Luxe wallpaper? These 8 top interior designers let us in on the reasons for their super-stylish decorating choices
Living room decoration with Justine Hugh-Jones
Justine Hugh-Jones, Justine Hugh- Jones Design
A favourite space from interior designer Justine Hugh-Jones’s portfolio is this living room. As it’s in a holiday home, Justine created a space that invited “complete relaxation”.
“It had to be a spacious seating area that encouraged conversation, but also could be used to watch TV,” she explains. “I wanted a casual, attractive look, but one that also was elegant – and didn’t need lots of arranging to look tidy!”
Living room furniture
The long, deep, pale linen sofa or best recliners chair was chosen, along with cushions, for maximum comfort. And a large rustic timbertopped coffee table was selected to introduce another texture and “ambience” to the space. “I chose the coffee table for its lightness in design, with the thin metal and open box frame,” Justine says. “Also, with its weathered pale timber, the style suits a relaxed beach house.” While a white paint palette keeps the room looking fresh – and contrasts beautifully with the natural linen – cushions, rug and throw in a French ink blue add warmth to the neutral tones. The rug also softens the white floorboards. A few subtle, interesting patterns were also introduced to the scheme in the striped Missoni throw and the Chinoiserie-style patterned cushions.
Glass jars and a pewter-coloured stool bring reflective surfaces to the space, bouncing light around the room, and adding a different type of texture, too. The stool doubles up as a side table or extra seating. Immensely comfortable, effortlessly good-looking.
How about the living room design with Abigail Ahern
Abigail Ahern, Atelier Abigail Ahern
“Make this living room as inviting and snug as possible” was the brief to hot UK designer Abigail Ahern. “So against a super-inky backdrop – where walls and floors are painted in the same hue – we added high-voltage pops of colour,” Abigail explains. Colour is fundamental when decorating with a dark base note, she adds. “It evokes emotion, and adds drama and excitement to a space.” Abigail sourced a classic B&B Italia sofa then purposely “threw it off balance” by adding the vivid pink coffee table and yellow artwork and pendant light. She mixed vintage finds with modern classics, with texture key – wool cushions contrast beautifully with the glossy coffee table and shiny floors. “I wanted nothing to match but for it all to make sense,” she says. Abigail likes to combine a traditional approach with a generous injection of personality in her interiors – hence the quirky lights, bright accessories and the bohemian hand-painted bookcase wallpaper. Sassy and unexpected.
Home design with Sara Silm
Sara Silm, HOME Design, Editorial & Styling
Makingbeautiful.com.au Sara Silm can’t remember a time when she wasn’t designing something. “I think designing is a state of mind; it’s not something that you can switch on or off,” she says.
“Designers seem to file design cues and inspiration every minute of the day – even the most mundane things are inspirational,” Sara says. “The other day I was pegging out the washing and found the perfect colour scheme for a kitchen I’m working on – an inky-navy-blue and white striped shirt and a tangerine peg – a magic solution for an upholstered banquette seating and cushions!”
Favourite rooms Sara has designed include this bathroom (pictured). “To me, it feels like a nest,” she explains. “The bath is like an egg – to lie in and contemplate life and all its mysteries.”
To further enhance this cocooning effect, Sara uses dark grey tiles and a charcoal textured rug to envelop the white bath. The plant and artworks bring a serene ambience to the space.
Furniture and interior design with Waller
Andrew Waller, Andrew Waller Design
While a space should be appropriate to the time it is being built, it shouldn’t be slave to current fashions, says Andrew Waller, a furniture and interior architect, who favours a structured but “not designed” look, which is apparent in this kitchen that he recently designed for a client’s warehouse conversion.
Cool kitchen decor
While the vintage metal pendant light and reclaimed stainless-steel commercial benchtops give the kitchen its cool, clean and industrial air, the deer antler “artwork” above the doorway, quirky imitation bronze retro lamp and rustic timber stools inject a generous dose of personality.
The predominantly grey palette extends to the translucent glass windows, selected for privacy, and the painted concrete floor. White trims on the recycled windows and doors provide a smart contrast.
“My designs are a result of the balance between function, budget, aesthetic and the client,” Andrew says.
Elegant style home design with Hoppen
Kelly Hoppen, Kelly Hoppen Interiors
“Timeless elegance” is the best way to describe the style of top UK designer Kelly Hoppen, which is no more evident than in her own harmonious living room (pictured above), with its clean lines, neutral tones and sumptuous textures.
“The design will stand the test of time,” Kelly explains. “It will not date and will always look chic. My style is simple yet opulent, combining the styles of the Eastern and Western worlds,” she adds. Kelly believes that your home needs to say “how happy and comfortable you are in the most chic way possible!”. And Kelly’s home is talking. While the dramatic juxtaposition of white curtains with a black mirror gives a unique and sexy feel to the space, vintage lights and furniture imbue a sense of history and depth. Luscious fabrics in furniture and soft furnishings – such as linen and velvet – add further feelings of comfort and warmth, while round bronze stools lend an “organic” touch to the sophisticated space.
The hero piece, though, is the sumptuous, high-gloss, vintage triangular coffee table, complete with vases of glorious full-blown white blooms. Perfection incarnate!
Clean and minimal bathroom design with Hoy
Brian Hoy, Brian Hoy Design
Interior designer Brian Hoy has designed a clean and minimal bathroom, layered with different finishes that stop it appearing “fl at”. The bathroom was extended onto a small balcony, which had a lower, angled ceiling. “I lowered the ceiling to conceal the angle over the wet zone, which, in turn, defines this area well,” Brian says. The black recess in the lower ceiling conceals the exhaust fan and lighting.
To add dimension to the space, Brian hung the vanity sink on a large mirror, which makes it appear to be floating. A Boffi pendant light is both functional and decorative, and adds a focal point. And a Boffi glass shelf wall unit is handy for small items.
The client collects art, so there is a gallery feel throughout the house, which is extended to the bathroom with the glossy, warm-grey plinth and coral display. And a piece of furniture, such as the Brian-designed Caspian stool, always features in his bathrooms. “It helps soften the hard finish and lines,” Brian explains. Minimum style, maximum chic.
Interior design TV show
Stacey Kouros, Stacey Kouros Design
A contestant on Channel Nine’s interior design TV show homeMade, Stacey Kouros has created a comfortable, open and retro-glam kitchen for a fun, young family.
“The clients have a love for retro, particularly the 1970s, so the choice of finishes and colours reflects a modern and newly built home with hints of retro glam,” she explains.
The main feature finish in the kitchen is the stunning Santos Palisander timber-veneer wall and cupboard doors, which give the space a fabulous retro vibe. This provides a warm contrast to the dramatic, gloss-black overhead cupboards. The simple, functional, white CaesarStone benchtop offsets the magnificent island bench, which is wrapped in Calcutta marble “for a hint of glam”. But hanging above the kitchen island is the piece de resistance in this interior – a 1970s Murano glass chandelier. “This pendant light is a dramatic feature, further dramatised by its reflection in the black-gloss overhead cupboards,” Stacey says. Polished chrome rods form a decorative screen between the kitchen and the stairs – and also serve as a balustrade. Fab and fun!
Design and Colour scheme for bedroom with Weston
Scott Weston, Scott Weston Architecture Design
A client’s Art Deco jewellery collection inspired the design and colour scheme of this bedroom, which gives a subtle but contemporary nod to this design era, says architect and designer Scott Weston. The deep raspberry was based on semiprecious stones in the collection. Scott has “cocooned” the room in this colour, which features on walls and joinery.