|Project Name||Palm Beach House||Posted in||Residential||Location||
|Architecture Practice||Alexander & CO.||Area (sqm)||537||Completed||December 2016|
When architects, Jeremy Bull and Charlene Cong, of architecture and interior design firm Alexander & CO. were asked to renovate Iluka House, an existing holiday villa all 537 square meters of waterfront property on Palm Beach, Sydney, they had two directives to go by: open up the house to the exterior, and approach the design with a "traditional European vernacular," aka give it a handmade, bespoke quality. Completed in December of 2016, the 310 square metre, two storey home more than lives up to both requests.
To start with, the architects completely redesigned the flow of the interiors, creating a layout that is open and bright; perfectly suited for their clients, a family that adores entertaining. The joint kitchen, dining and living room embraces this concept, not only within the design of the three designated spaces themselves but also between them and the surrounding exterior just outside the metal framed, glass doors.
Natural materials tie the three spaces together starting with the flooring: with the dark, herringbone timber floors in the living/dining space morphing into white Carrara in the kitchen, which is also the material used for the center island and the backsplash behind the stove and counter. The Carrara marble-topped, dark walnut wood bench is a design element that combines the two materials together, while the light wood ceiling "reflects" the large dining table in both tone and materiality.
Upstairs, the same subdued palette of warm earth tones - seen especially in the dark, herringbone flooring throughout - contrast with minimal, white furniture and touches of black metal - i.e. in window frames, bed frames and picture frames. The upstairs verandas distinguish themselves thanks to the patterned tiles on the floors and heavy potted plants which give a slightly more "exotic" vibe, while still keeping it minimal and fresh.
All of these natural materials make the transition to the exterior seem effortless, and throwing open the windows eliminates any boundaries between the two. One of the challenges of the redesign that the architects listed is the fact that this property is situated back from the water's edge compared to surrounding properties. The answer to this design test was to keep their approach to the garden just as minimal and pared back as for the interiors. This means simple, white sandstone pavers making paths in the green grass and a minimal use of other vegetation. Outdoor furnishings, such as the custom-made, heavy, concrete table and comfortable wicker chairs, also prove that "simple is best."
This is a holiday home obviously created with entertaining in mind, providing the perfect backdrop for both the home's family residents as well as their guests to enjoy life without over-thinking; in effect a home that is the main attraction without ever demanding the spotlight.