What are the outstanding features of Australia’s best interior designs for 2015? Are the coolest kitchens black or white? Do bathrooms pretention curvilinear tubs or square wooden plunge pools? Are our top designers decorating living rooms with modern Shaker styles or Italian Memphis suites?
The answer to these questions and more can be discovered by taking a sneak peak.
While no dedicated trends are forming, collective ideas are afloat. To identify some of these looks, we preview a selection of this year’s shortlisted finalists – room by room.
Dark or black kitchens are popular, but can be rather serious if not given a lift with some highlights. An acid yellow pendant offsets black cabinetry in the kitchen of this house extension by make Architecture, which also features a playful layout with an all-in-one breakfast bar, dining area and chill-out bench beside the garden. Designer inspiration came from thinking about how the family who live here enjoy life: “Spaces are playful; conceived more like a favourite local café than a private house, reflecting the family’s desire to create a home that allows them to connect with friends, family and their local community.”
The Living Room
Rustic wooden planks for walls, floors and cabinetry are a feature of this renovated and extended house in Malvern Victoria by Robson Rak Architects. In the living room American oak timber floorboards in “mink grey” enter via the hallway and wrap around the walls to form extensive cabinetry along one side. Cool polished concrete floors and a central dark red brick fireplace provide contrast, while a soft grey sectional sofa and luxurious laced floor rugs complement the warmness of so much wood.
The Dining Room
This super smooth and modern dining room sits within its own pavilion on a site overlooking Lake Wendouree in rural Victoria. The buildings are located in a landscape of varied garden types – formal, rambling, kitchen and courtyard. The design is a fitting homage to the beautiful gardens of the town of Ballarat where it is built. Designed by John Wardle Architects, the dining room features a vaulted ceiling lined in red timber giving the room a sense of grandeur.
In the penthouse of The Strand apartments, Melbourne, is a sublime example of the playfulness that is evident in current trends in bathroom design. Pleasant Argyle-patterned tiling forms a backdrop to complement a freestanding oval bath and large round wall mirror. Whiting Architects have essentially decorated this apartment in a monotone palette of black, white and grey, but this strict colour code is balanced by the use of sensual textures and charming patterns throughout, and this is particularly evident in the bathroom.