Set in Victoria’s Yarra Valley wine region, this house enjoys a secluded setting, overlooking a vineyard with views to the mountains beyond. The clients had originally built the house only 7yrs prior to engaging us to overhaul it, as they were already suffering the growing pains of not having enough space for their family.
All up, the project took nearly four years to complete. The clients originally came to us with an expanded brief to create a guest suite, a private master bedroom zone, more room for their rowdy three boys to play, and an overall update to the kitchen, bathrooms and storage throughout that would cope with the rough and tumble of life.
Given the limits of retaining the existing building footprint where possible, the design response was to extend the first floor to include a guest suite and enclose an internal ground floor garden to double the size of the rumpus room. We also proposed a complete flip of the master bedroom & robe to capitalise on the view by providing a private entry point off the stair and adding an ensuite onto the rear. The scope was a little more than the clients were comfortable with, so after much discussion, they took 6 months out to think about it. Eventually, they returned with a reduced brief to exclude the guest suite addition but to proceed with the rest of the design. This allowed us to work primarily within the existing footprint with the minor addition of the new ensuite and extending out the rumpus.
On my first visit to the house, I looked out through the living room windows, down into the valley and was struck by all the beautiful colours in the landscape. Ghost greys of the eucalypts, the washed out greens of the grapevines, the terracotta blush of the soil and the blackened bark of the trees. I had my colour palette.
It seemed an obvious thing to build the interior finishes around these colours to create a language with the landscape. Rich terracottas, saddle tan leathers, polished plaster, slate, cedar and sandblasted timber were used to effect a warmth and familiarity between inside and out. Limited by the low ceilings throughout, we coated all the walls and ceilings in polished plaster to create textural shade and bounce light onto the ceilings. We changed out all the windows, cleaning up repetitive runs with large picture windows to frame those fabulous views and bring the pool deck to life. We wrapped new render around the entirety of the house and in this way, it began to feel like a modern Australian country home.
To lend a modern edge to the interior, graphic elements like the Patricia Urquiola tiles were used to wrap the kitchen walls and island bench, and the terracotta brick screen in the rumpus throws light into an otherwise land locked hall. Unexpectedly these elements are mixed tongue in cheek with country classics; louvred robe doors, meat safe mesh kitchen cupboards, rope wrapped handles, sandblasted oak vanities and concrete baths and basins. Texture and layering were paramount in this interior. And the hand of the artisan is felt throughout every inch of this home.