Shots and blocks of bold colour plus a liberal use of natural materials characterise the interior design of this highly functional inner-city terrace in Melbourne. The bedroom is light and airy and is decorated in an easy breezy style. Soft grey carpet and checked curtains complement the striped bed, while a headboard of timber planks extends out along the width of the wall, cleverly concealing ample storage. A bank of built-in robes lines the opposite wall, affording the sleek room ample space.
Why make the nursery any different to any other room of the house? Design practice Atticus and Milo ensured that this townhouse had the same design credentials throughout the home. Baby’s room was given a grown-up look but retained a sense of wonder with all-over wallpaper patterned with maps and a bank of built-ins with black chalkboard fronts.
The Outdoor Room
Many of the finalist homes, including Curraweena House in Sydney, feature large open-plan living areas that blended seamlessly with outside paved patios and garden decks. Hare + Klein is one design firm that is not afraid to decorate these areas with living room style furniture covered in weatherproof fabrics. What’s more, contemporary outdoor furniture is reasonably light so it’s easy to pick up, reposition and later store away after use.
The Indoor Courtyard
Open-air courtyards provide light and ventilation in the home, but new to the trend is the idea that floor space should blend from inside to out. This house designed by Matt Gibson Architecture and Design has an internal courtyard at its heart. Rooms border the timber-lined courtyard separating private areas, such as bedrooms and studies, from the open living, kitchen, and dining spaces. The courtyard also provides a meeting place for entertaining and leisure activities.
Somewhere to work, somewhere to relax, the study is a getaway room. But it need not be bland. Colour excites the senses and drives creative thinking. In this Victorian terrace, Nexus Designs considers comfort and style as important as functionality. “We added blackened timber joinery to the invite-only library space and a round, swivelling sofa in velvety burnt orange on a circular rug. It’s the nourishing, private heart of the home where bedtime stories are read, parents collapse with a book or snuggle by the fire in winter.”
The Chill-out Room
Andrew Maynard likes to challenge his clients with ideas that might seem better suited to a playground than a home. Whether designing a reading tower, an outdoor bathroom, a mezzanine trampoline stretcher for relaxing, all his ideas are about having fun at home. Maynard says this Tower House, a group of buildings assembled together “is anti-monolith, a village externally and a home internally – a home where community, art and nature to come together”.