Home Tour: A Stylish Perth Home With Colourful Furnishings
As its name implies, a shell of timber batten screens cloaks the Shutter House. Located in Wembley, a western suburb in Perth, Australia, the project was conceived not for a homeowner, but rather as a lifelike showcase for furniture and architectural products from Australian company Mobilia. The result proved to be so inspiring that it was later purchased as is by a buyer who wanted to own it as an actual home.
Headquartered in Perth, the family-owned Mobilia offers a tasteful selection of brands such as Kettal, Cassina and Moroso. Mobilia had tasked Perth-based multidisciplinary firm State of Kin to design and furnish the house.
“The project served as an exciting opportunity to test design ideas,” says Alessandra French, who leads State of Kin with co-director Ara Salomone.
The project served as an exciting opportunity to test design ideas
— Alessandra French, co-director of State of Kin
The architecture and design of the house connect intimately with its site near Lake Monger. The main door, located at the base of the steeply sloped site, opens to a triple-storey foyer that features Perth- based artist Elle Campbell’s art and a Fordite 3 rug from CC-Tapis.
These lively additions complement the fluid design of the staircase’s handrail. “The handrail winds seamlessly around the spine of the staircase like a delicate ribbon that curves and flows up, over and around the path of travel,” describes French.
“At its core, the home’s design is meant to be expressive; it invites you to look closer. We took great pride in creating interesting spaces with the materials and their application. When these materials catch the light, it makes for multifaceted expressions.”
White walls, exposed concrete ceilings, terrazzo flooring on the ground floor and stained-oak parquetry upstairs, and robust stone varieties like Bianco Chiavara granite, Aphrodite quartzite and Noce Eschilo travertine combine in a harmonious whole.
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At its core, the home’s design is meant to be expressive; it invites you to look closer. We took great pride in creating interesting spaces with the materials and their application. When these materials catch the light, it makes for multifaceted expressions.
— Alessandra French, co-director of State of Kin
On the first storey, four bedrooms, each with their own balcony or courtyard, are pleasant and filled with light. A gallery divides the master bedroom from the other bedrooms. Here, the pink Tender Vis-a-Vis daybed from Moroso offers a resting spot.
The topmost level is the house’s communal centre. Here, the lake-facing dining area segues into the dry kitchen and living room, extending to the terrace, pool and a separate studio block.
In the outdoor spaces, State of Kin gives simple materials a whimsical touch. “Forms are geometric and clean, with rectilinear shapes punctuated by curves,” says French, on the art deco influences. Unconventional circular steps lead from the pool deck to the aforementioned studio block, while partially concealing the window to a bedroom below.
Mosaic tiles in olive green, chocolate brown, navy and white adorn the pool steps. Similar tiles clad the bathroom. Iridescent Shimmer mirrors from Glas Italia throw fuchsia shadows onto the tiles, with this playful air reinforced by the sculptural bathroom fittings.
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“Bathrooms need to be functional; light and air are very important. But so is a feeling of joy and energy. The tiles are incredibly tactile and feature tiny flecks of colour in their glazed surfaces. We wanted to demonstrate that colour can in fact be sophisticated when juxtaposed against natural materials and a nuanced external palette,” says French.
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Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola’s vibrant aesthetic language is present in many of the chosen furnishings. Her Redondo bed for Moroso gives the master bedroom a feminine touch, while in the living room, the curves of the Moroso Gogan sofa contrast with the angular layout.
These rounded pieces work well with furniture by other designers, such as the minimal lighting pieces by London-based designer Michael Anastassiades and Spanish designer Jaime Hayon’s colourfully jovial and eclectic accessories.
“The home developed over time to reflect a lifestyle centred on entertaining,” says French. The kitchen is integral to this social approach. A large pivot door conceals a culinary space tailored to catering and food preparation.
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The dry kitchen continues the screen motif with a sliding timber door behind the island counter to hide clutter. Its location, between the living and dining areas, facilitates movement between the two spaces. It is also a peaceful breakfast spot with a view out to the courtyard.
The home’s current owner appreciates its idiosyncratic charm and thoughtful functionality; a testament to the accomplishments of the design firm.
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