In the current issue of Habitus, Juliette Arent speaks to Nicky Lobo about her interior design work and the inspiration she has always taken from the life and work of Ilse Crawford. To hear more about that you’ll have to go out and grab a copy of the magazine, but we thought we’d take a look at one of Arent & Pyke’s recent projects, the Randwick House…
Could you tell us about the owners of this home?
The owners of this home are a busy family of 5. Our aim for the interior was to reflect the client’s spirit and personality. The clients were fabulous to work with – they really embraced the design process – colour and texture were definitely on their agenda!
Did they have any specific requirements for the interiors?
A key aspect of the brief was their wish to make more use of the formal spaces at the front of the house, without compromising the sense of grandeur in those rooms.
We did this by interpreting a modern version of “formality “ making the spaces more light-hearted.
The bedrooms needed to be special and considered, so we also worked with the client to create a warm and inviting master bedroom, and give each of the three children their own unique space.
We began by assigning each space in the house a purpose, responding to the architecture, then trying to embody the space with the character and energy of the client.
How did you approach the interior design of the Randwick House?
Our challenge was to respect both the grandeur of the original structure and the light-filled contemporary spaces created by a substantial renovation, while producing a unified interior palette that suited the family’s style of living.
The client’s lifestyle was of key consideration in the choice of furniture and finishes. Outdoor fabrics were chosen for interior elements in the family room to withstand the strong sunlight pouring in through the skylight.
Slipcovers on sofas allow for a wash–and–wear treatment and add seasonal flexibility. For the furnishing we considered Australian and International suppliers, and commissioned custom-made pieces where needed, keeping the mix unique and fresh.
Did you work closely with an architect on this project, or was it existing?
The clients were in the middle of an extensive renovation, (no architect) when they enlisted our help.
The extension of the house created two distinct architectures to work within. The front rooms of the house retain the original proportions and features of a grand Sydney terrace, while the new family space at the rear contrasts strongly – it is stripped of embellishment and is flooded with natural light.
Our challenge was to respect both styles, but create a unified interior palette that suited the family’s style of living.
Could you describe your favourite aspect of the design and why you love it?
Transforming the two original formal front rooms of the home into an inviting area for a young family to grow. Theses rooms, originally dark and disused became a popular place for the children to spend time with friends as well as being a warmer entertaining space for the adults.
What part did colour play in the design?
A consideration of colour is fundamental. It represents the mood and feel of an interior and how you should feel in that space.
The colour palette for this house was deliberately kept smudgey in the older spaces, with some clear accents of primary hues in the rear extension. We transformed the dark front rooms of the house by selecting lighter wall and joinery colours, as well as coloured and neutral rugs.
We encouraged the client to invest in some significant pieces of Australian contemporary art, which also informed the decorative elements of the scheme.
Arent & Pyke