Story by Colleen Hawkes
Photography by Andrew Pritchard
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Contemporary resort-style home by Leon House features deep overhangs, monochromatic colour palette and timber slat screens
Resort-style living is all about spacious, airy interiors that blur the line between indoors and out. But the effect can be lost when large openings need to be closed off to allow air conditioning to function.
Increasingly, the solution seems to lie in sustainable design and the provision of alternative ventilation options. That was one of the key drivers for the design of this Perth home by Leon House.
"The site has a 20m road frontage, but it extends far back, which provided an opportunity to design a very long, low house," House says. "The owners wanted a resort-style architecture, and it was clear the interior would need to be very open, rather than a collection of boxed-off rooms. This also meant we could create a 35m-long circulation route right through the house that could be used to pull fresh air from one end to the other."
This axis starts at the front entry, which features a timber platform over stones.
"It's a very deep entry, under cover, which helps create a sense of arrival without being too ostentatious," says House.
"Recessing the entry also provides a certain degree of privacy. Similarly, the decorative concrete block wall and blade walls at the front create a layering effect that helps to screen the master suite."
The front of the house introduces other visual themes that reappear throughout the interior, notably the monochromatic colour palette and the use of dark-stained timber slat screens. One such screen wraps the entry, defining the front door and enhancing the sense of intimacy provided by the deep overhang.
"The screens relieve the architecture and create another layering element, while providing transparency," says the designer. "Every time you take a step, you see a little more beyond. Nothing is entirely closed off, but there is still a sense of privacy. The timber slats are positioned at an angle so that you don't actually see into some of the spaces as you pass by. But when you are in these areas, such as the home theatre, you can see through into the passageway, so there is always this visual connection to the rest of the house."
House says the timber also helps to absorb sound, so even though the house is very open, it is not noisy.
The main circulation passage leads down one side of the large family living area – a dropped ceiling above the kitchen and living room creates a line of visual separation. The axis is further reinforced by a line of solid white pillars establishing a rhythm along the glazed wall that opens out to a pool courtyard.
Positioned right in the centre of the house, the kitchen is a freestanding unit comprising three island elements. The rear wall accommodates the pantry and ovens and has cabinets on the opposite side for children's coats and bags. The central island is the main work zone, but it can be accessed from either side.
"People can work on both sides at the same time," says House. "There are sinks and dishwashers front and back."
The third island is a built-in dining table that continues the black-and-white theme. It features a dark wood veneer top suspended between two marble cubes.
Large appliances, including a wine refrigerator, are tucked into a side wall of the kitchen so they are not too obtrusive.
Dark veneers reappear in the family and master bathrooms, where they are teamed with limestone floors and sleek custom marble vanity tops with integral basins. Mirrored cabinets help to enliven these rooms.
For privacy, bedrooms at either end of the house are screened from the outdoor living area and pool. Decorative concrete blocks echo the wall at the front.
First published date: 28 December 2012
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|Designer||Leon House (Perth, WA)|
|Kitchen manufacturer||Fremantle Furniture Factory|
|Window and door joinery||Viewmaster|
|Tiling||Matter of Stone; Bernini Stone & Tiles|
|Drapes||Add Wow Interiors|
|Outdoor furniture||Contempo Jarden|
|Audiovisual equipment||Surround Sounds|
|Pool||Design by Leon House, construction by Attention to Detail Pools|
|Kitchen cabinets||New Age Veneers|
|Benchtops||Stainless steel; marble and Caesarstone by Metro Marble & Stone|
|Taps||Gessi by Abey|
|Ovens, cooktop, microwave oven and refrigerator||Gaggenau|
|Waste disposal||Häfele Euro bin|
|Shower fittings, taps and shower stall||Sea of White|
|Bathtub||Decina in custom veneer surround|
|Basins||Custom in marble by Metro Marble & Stone|
|Bathroom floor tiles||Olympia from Bernini Stone & Tiles|
|Bathroom wallcoverings||Polished plaster; Olympia stone from Bernini Stone & Tiles|