When I came across this video interview with Parisian architect Joseph Dirand via Twitter, I can honestly say that watching Dirand discuss his beautiful home in Paris stopped me in my tracks. I already knew of Dirand’s work - I posted about another glorious elegant project of his here - but still, his own home is just exquisite in its refined aesthetic and gorgeous, gorgeous use of materials.
Consider the kitchen with its herringbone parquet floor and chunky marble countertop and matching splashback - though the word ‘splashback’ doesn’t do this feature justice. Look at the compact dining area in the kitchen with its built-in bench seating. Look at that perfectly minimal marble fireplace in the living room. And the way in which the period detailing - detailing that Dirand installed into this property in the city’s 7th Arrondissement - is effortlessly complemented by the elegant, clean-lined furniture.
A few weeks ago I posted about this compact and clever urban house in Victoria called Lightbox, which has been shortlisted in the Residential Category in this year’s Australian Interior Design Awards. Needless to say, perhaps, this wasn’t the only project to have immediately caught my eye while scanning through the images of the shortlisted projects on the AIDA website. This project, called Swinging Seventies (great name, right?), literally popped out from the screen, thanks in no small part to the fantastic images by Derek Swalwell.
Can I just take a moment to pause here and say, how unbelievably cool is this interior? I mean, we all see lovely houses, but some just have that edge – let’s call it attitude. And Swinging Seventies is jam-packed full of attitude, from the colour palette – I practically melted when contemplating that high gloss ochre lacquer kitchen cabinetry – to the abundance of texture including brick floors and timber panelled walls and ceilings – all original to this circa 1973 blockwork house by Gordon Cope-Williams.
THE PUMP HOUSE
You know when you spot something that’s just so good that you have to share it? (Of course you do, that’s what Tumblr is all about after all.) Well, this lakeside timber cabin in rural Victoria, Australia, offered one of those moments when I spotted it on Dezeen. As mentioned in my previous post, I love compact architecture, and I’m always drawn to natural materials. And, I guess, I dream about one day having a retreat, a place to escape to. And this cabin answers all of that - albeit on the other side of the globe.
Designed by Branch Studio Architects, the original brief was for a storage space for a water pump and the other equipment necessary for the owners to maintain their farmland property, and for a place to shelter and rest. As architect Nicholas Russo says in the Dezeen feature: “Although the project eventually developed into something slightly more extravagant, the modesty of the original ambition is still evident in the ‘no-frills’ detailing and rugged materiality of the finished building.”
Earlier this month I posted about a fantastic dining-kitchen in black and brick - part of a renovated and extended terraced house in Victoria, Australia, which had been shortlisted last year in the Australian Interior Design Awards. The post reminded me to look out for this year’s awards, so when the shortlist was released I headed over to the Residential Design category to have a look - you can also find the list here from Vogue Living. Needless to say there are many fantastic projects showcased here, but a couple did leap out, including this house in Melbourne designed by Edwards Moore.
I’ve long had an interest in compact urban architecture, which probably comes from living in a city centre myself, and I’m constantly drawn to houses where the owners - or architects - have created space, or the feeling of space at least, from a tight floor plan.
CASA DO PEGO
Maybe it’s the arrival of spring here in the UK but suddenly my interest has shifted from Scandinavian cabins set against snowy backdrops (hello Four Cornered Villa) and thoughts of curling up beside a woodburning stove to, well, thoughts of summer, and warmth, and the possibilities of indoor-outdoor living.
Which is why this property simply leapt out from the screen when I spotted it listed with The Modern House. If you were to ask me what my ideal summery holiday home might look like, this would be it. Long and lean, with beautifully minimal lines and extensive glazing, and designed to offer seamless indoor-outdoor living between the interior spaces and the large decked areas. And tactile too, with a generous use of concrete played against timber – pinewood in this case. Throw in Beat Lights by Tom Dixon and I’m well and truly sold.
I’ll admit, black wouldn’t be the first colour I’d choose when designing a kitchen. This isn’t to say that I can’t appreciate black kitchens - I even wrote a post on the subject here on Copperline, where I swooned over a variety of sleek designs. My first choice would be a chalky grey hue, but every so often a black kitchen crops up on Pinterest or Tumblr, or on another blog, and it stops me in my tracks.
This kitchen offered one of those moments. If you asked me to describe my perfect black kitchen, I reckon this would be it. The Bridge Street project is the renovation and extension of a single-fronted Victorian terraced house located in Victoria, Australia, which was shortlisted in the Australian Interior Design Awards in the Residential Category for 2013. The project is the work of the St Kilda-based Beatrix Rowe Interior Design. The new and the old parts of the house are separated by a large internal courtyard, and the dining-kitchen spills into this area thanks to large sliding doors that open up the courtyard elevation.
AT HOME IN HELSINKI
A couple of these images have been doing the rounds on Tumblr - I’ve reblogged them myself on my other photo blog - but when I spotted the whole interior featured in Residence it felt very worthy of a share. This 1920s apartment is located in Helsinki and is the home of interior architect and designer Joanna Laajisto and her photographer husband Mikko Ryhänen along with their two young children. The interior combines classic pieces of furniture and lighting with the light-drenched and restrained aesthetic that feels instantly recognizable as Scandi-style.
I must admit, I’ve been wondering about introducing grey-toned walls into my own all-white interior (see this post on The Property Files to appreciate why) but considering this apartment and the quality of the light here inspires me to stick with white walls for a little longer. After all the mood is so serene, yet uplifting.
KARRI LOOP HOUSE
Located just south of Perth in the town of Margaret River in Western Australia, Karri Loop House is a wonderful example of a building that’s been designed and constructed in harmony with its setting. And I mean that literally as this house was built around three existing trees. The building was designed by MORQ and has an H-shaped plan that wraps around the tree trunks while framing a pair of courtyards.
Karri Loop House was featured on Dezeen where the architects said of the project: “These trees, their root systems and their unstable large branches presented a challenge to the build-ability of the house. We like to think of this project as a mutually beneficial development; the building is designed to retain the trees, while the trees visually contribute to the quality of the inner space.”
A STYLIST’S HOME
Seeing these images (which I spotted on this post from Desire to Inspire) simply reminds me why I need to renew my subscription to Inside Out magazine. I’ve always loved this publication - I have a stack of back issues sitting in my office. Sure, every issue features great looking homes, as you would expect, but also the styling and photography always has that special something, and then there’s the magical natural light that seems to infuse every interiors shoot.
And this home in Daylesford in Victoria in Australia is no different. Beautifully photographed for the magazine by Armelle Habib and styled by Julia Green, it also helps that this is the weekend home of interior designer and stylist Kali Cavanagh, who has designed, decorated, renovated and styled various properties in Melbourne, Sydney, and London.