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Tropical influence – Southeast Asian designed home by Julian Woollett

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Southeast Asian designed home by Julian Woollett

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Southeast Asian architecture is defined by relaxed, tropical resort-style living areas that invariably flow seamlessly to an outdoor terrace or patio.

Dark-stained timbers and contrasting white furnishings are also a key part of the look, which is well suited to subtropical climates.

It was this look that the owners of this house, Kris Johnson and Cassandra van Dommele, had in mind when they commissioned architect Julian Woollett to design their new home.

To provide an easy base for modern living and casual entertaining, the kitchen needed to be in the heart of the home, and open to the outdoors.

"We wanted the whole house to open up," says Johnson. "The opening beside the kitchen is 6.5m wide, for an easy flow to a covered patio. Honed limestone floors, which feature throughout the house, also flow from the inside to the outside."

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The Southeast Asian aesthetic is enhanced by large ironbark timber posts, which were reclaimed from an old bridge. The verticality is echoed inside the house by a series of more refined timber posts.

"Dark-stained timber also features above and between the white dropped ceiling elements," says Johnson. "We introduced the dropped ceilings to help define the living and dining areas and the kitchen within the open-plan space."

The couple chose a dramatic Pietra Grey marble for the main kitchen island, one of two parallel islands.

"We wanted this island to make a strong design statement," says Johnson. "The marble has mitred edges and the veining all lines up, so it looks as though it is carved from a single stone slab."

Because the toekicks on the island are recessed by 300mm, they are effectively invisible, which makes the island appear to float within the space.

The marble island is not only a serving area – it also includes a teppanyaki cooktop with overhead ventilation. Its proximity to the outdoor dining area ensures the owners can socialise with guests while preparing dinner.

"Although the marble provides great visual impact, we knew we wanted something a little more practical for the main work bench, so we decided on stainless steel benchtops for the second island," says Johnson.

Both islands and the bank of cabinets at the rear of the kitchen feature doors and drawers in charcoal satin lacquer. Recessed pulls ensure there are no handles to interrupt the streamlined look.

Wherever possible, appliances are integrated, including two Liebherr refrigerators. Vertical pantries are positioned either side of the refrigerators. The twin appliances, ample storage and bench space ensure several people can work in the kitchen at the same time.

First published date: 12 April 2012

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Credit List

Architect Julian Woollett
Kitchen designer Julian Woollett; owners Cassandra van Dommele and Kris Johnson
Interior designer Cassandra van Dommele
Kitchen manufacturer Bayside Cabinets
Cabinetry Lacquered in Charcoal Satin
Hardware and storage systems Blum
Benchtops Pietra Grey marble; stainless steel
Flooring Paras limestone
Blinds Helioscreen
Lighting Hive Halo lights in dining room from Ke-zu
Oven, cooktop, ventilation and dishwasher Miele
Refrigerator Liebherr
Sink Integrated stainless steel
Tapware Gessi Oxygene from Reece
Water dispensers Zip HydroTap from Reece
Waste disposal Blum
Table setting Custom-designed and manufactured teak dining table and bench seats
Window and door hardware Duce