Story by Colleen Hawkes
Photography by Lin Ho
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Chic townhouse remodel by Interlink Design
Even new properties can be in need of change when they don't quite fit the vision you had in mind.
This city townhouse was essentially just a bare shell when acquired by the owners – a retired couple looking to make a lifestyle change.
Designer James Yong of Interlink Design says the couple wanted a modern, clean-lined, resort-style home that would suit the tropical climate. It needed to have an easy flow to the outdoors, both on the ground floor and on the first level.
"One of the first things we did was to add a lanai off a room on the first floor," Yong says. "With louvred shutters, it has a distinctive Balinese feel and is a welcome place to relax outdoors with afternoon tea. Similarly, we introduced outdoor furniture to a sheltered courtyard off the main living area on the ground floor. With the doors open, the entire living space is enlarged."
To add a sense of drama to the entry and living space, the designer added dark-stained timber slats to white-painted walls.
"The effect is a little like boldly striped wallpaper, but with more texture," says Yong. "It gives the townhouse a fresh, modern look."
The palette is continued in the dining area and kitchen, which has white-lacquered cabinetry, suspended black metal shelving and Corian benchtops in dark brown and white. A dark-stained timber screen helps to hide the cooking end of the kitchen. A bar area beyond the kitchen has similar materials.
To help differentiate the various areas within the large, open-plan living space, Yong created new recessed ceilings with uplights. Parallel bands of lighting are also incorporated into the ceiling to provide a soft, diffuse light.
The living room features Danish-designed furniture with a walnut veneer – the design reflects a Mid-Century Modern influence.
"We added a cowhide rug, colourful artworks and a large decorative pot and plant to create a soothing interior," says the designer.
The family living area on the first floor continues the contemporary resort-style look. It includes a large sofa upholstered in dark brown with gold-toned cushions. Cantilevered cabinets in a highly grained tulip wood veneer provide storage for audiovisual equipment and other items. The veneer was chosen to complement the balau wood flooring in the family room and bedrooms.
Built-in furniture also defines the bedrooms, and helps to maximise space. A long, but narrow bedroom off the family room features a cantilevered wood desk along one wall.
The master suite occupies the entire top storey of the townhouse, and consequently functions as a sanctuary for the owners. Yong divided a section of the bedroom to create a small home office area.
Tulip wood veneer, similar to the wood in the other rooms, features on three tall cabinets linked by open shelving. As well as creating a screening device and storage, the unit provides a contemporary sculptural aesthetic.
Dark-stained timber slats also reappear in the master bedroom. And the adjoining bathroom has a black-and-white colour theme.
A three-tier lighting system was designed for the bedroom.
"A lot of attention was paid to the lighting to provide mood as well as direct and indirect lighting," Yong says.
First published date: 19 June 2013
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